Posts filed under 'Graduation'

Looking Back On My Time At Fisher

Where have the past two years gone? I still remember sitting through orientation at the Blackwell and listening to various administrators and faculty members telling students that their time in the MBA program would fly by. I remember even more vividly thinking to myself that they were full of it.

A few weeks later, during my stats, finance, and accounting classes, I recall thinking that the program might never end.

Now, two years later, I realize that they were absolutely correct. The full-time MBA program flew by.

As a recent graduate of the MBA program at Fisher I’d like use my last blog post as an opportunity to reflect back on my experiences here as a student. Here’s a glimpse into what I have loved and enjoyed about being a Buckeye MBA.

  1. Friendships – Some people refer to this as “networking” – another lame business buzzword. It’s almost as ridiculous as leverage and core competencies. Real “networking” is being a good human, looking out for others, and making friendships that last a lifetime. If those friendships help you in your career progression, great! If not, you’ve made a great friend with whom you can share your joys and sorrows as you go through life. The friendships that I have made with many of my classmates are real, authentic, and don’t include a bogus 60 second elevator pitch. I look forward to staying in touch with my classmates over the years. I feel indebted to them because they have helped me grow and become a better person.
  2. Development – During my time at Fisher I have had the chance to learn and grow in so many ways. Classes, case studies, interviews, guest speakers, job offer negotiations, and many other aspects of business school have given me a greater understanding of myself and what I can become. Business school is a grind which seems to break you down the first year and build you back up the second. The process is incredibly challenging but worth every minute, even when you are awake at 2:45 in the morning studying for a final.
  3. Community – This is what the Fisher College of Business is all about. When I was analyzing business schools to attend I spoke with many different people from Fisher. I talked to alumni, admissions staff, current students, and associate deans. All of them kept mentioning the word community throughout our conversations. Now I know what they mean. Fisher isn’t just a place to attend school and gain a piece of paper. There are plenty of places to do that. Fisher is a community of diverse individuals all striving for excellence. Not only is everyone welcome within the community but others help and encourage everyone to succeed. Successes are celebrated and accomplishments recognized. Students help one another succeed by working together to prepare for exams, negotiate job offers, analyze career opportunities, etc. Professors and administrators offer their wealth of knowledge and experience to students and alumni.

To summarize, Fisher has been an incredible experience and I am grateful I decided to attend school at The Ohio State University. Good people. Great education. Incredible community. I’ll never forget my time at Fisher! It’s been life changing!


Jessica Reynolds, MBA

I GRADUATED!

This past weekend was such a mix of emotions, family, friends, graduation celebrations — and lots of food and good times. Maybe a little bit too much food and good times, but hey, it was graduation!

Reynolds  family at graduation!

Reynolds family at graduation!

On Saturday, May 3rd, the Fisher College of Business held its “hooding ceremony” for all graduates. It was a great ceremony, and perfect for family, friends and loved ones to attend. The hooding ceremony (or pre-commencement) occurred at Mershon Auditorium, and is the first step of graduation weekend. All Fisher master students are encouraged to attend the intimate ceremony, and it’s a great opportunity for pictures. What can I say? I am a sucker for capturing all of the great memories. :)

As an undergraduate of OSU, I attended the big graduation in The ‘Shoe. Because the school was still on quarters, I graduated in the month of June. Personally, I thought it was HOT and LONG. However, it is a cool experience for those that have never attended – and now graduation is in May, so it is significantly cooler. If you chose not to attend the OSU graduation on Sunday, you can pick up your diploma the following week.

jr and kn - hugging - complressed

One of my best MBA buddies – Kelly!

For the Fisher pre-commencement/hooding ceremony, a few speeches were given, and then graduates for each program were called by name. You walk across the stage and a professor puts the Masters’ hood around you neck. Lucky for business students, it’s the beautiful color of drab (we all know it wasn’t a marketer that came up with THAT name!). At the end they play a slideshow (only part where I got slightly choked-up), and a brief reception is held after. It was a great time, and I was very happy that my parents and best friend were able to attend.

Me and the beautiful Melissa!

Me and the beautiful Melissa!

So, I am closing the MBA chapter of my life, and starting my journey as a young professional. I will begin my career at Alliance Data in a few months, and can’t wait to see what happens next. Entering this program was one of the best decisions I have ever made – and the laughs, tears, struggles and TONS of learning were absolutely worth it. I know that I am going to miss my business school friends that are moving across the country like crazy, but am so proud of my entire class and all our accomplishments. And, this means I have lots of people to visit!

I have made best friend, found mentors and created relationships that will last forever. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family, friends, everyone in the GPO and the Office of Career Management — and for that, I am extremely grateful.


Still feels a little weird to consider myself a Master of Business – but hey, that’s what my degree says. :)


OSU Commencement and Closing Thoughts

As much as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Ohio State as a student, Spring Commencement was celebrated on Sunday, May 5.  Over 8,000 graduates were packed onto the field in Ohio Stadium, and I was surrounded by my MAcc classmates as we listened to President Obama, OSU President E. Gordon Gee, and many others encourage us to dream big and change the world.   OSU graduates were fortunate to have a sitting president speak at our commencement, and I’ll share my favorite message from our keynote speaker:

The point is, if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble, you will screw up, you will fall down.  But it will make you stronger, and you’ll get it right the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that.  And that is not only true for your personal pursuits, but it’s also true for the broader causes that you believe in as well. 

There were so many wonderful moments of graduation:  walking across the field to receive my diplomas as the victory bells chimed from the stadium, meeting my friends’ families after the ceremony, and plenty of hugs from my proud parents and sister.  Of course, we had to stop by Fisher after commencement, where many business student graduates were gathered to take pictures and say their goodbyes.

I’m going to miss this place!

As I write my last blog post for My Fisher Grad Life, I’m not sure there’s a better way to leave than by closing with the words of “Carmen Ohio,” the alma mater of the school of which I am now a proud member of a group of over 500,000 living alumni.  So, here goes…

Oh! Come let’s sing Ohio’s praise, 
And songs to Alma Mater raise; 
While our hearts rebounding thrill, 
With joy which death alone can still. 
Summer’s heat and Winter’s cold, 
The season pass, the years will roll; 
Time and change will surely show 
How firm thy friendship — O hi o.

Some great friends I’ve been lucky enough to spend my last four years with at Fisher!


Fisher MAcc Graduation Ceremony 2013

It’s hard to believe my eighty classmates and I have completed our Master of Accounting degree from the Fisher College of Business!  On Friday, May 3, we gathered at the Ohio Union with faculty, family and friends, to celebrate our success in this program.  The evening was complete with a reception where I was able to meet the families of many of my close MAcc friends and chat with faculty members one last time before the summer.  A formal ceremony followed with touching remarks from our director, Professor Arya, and many others.  Several students were also recognized for different successes in the program, including the top ten percent of students based on academic performance, the top performers on our MAcc exit exam, and the members of MAcc Council.

One recognition that was particularly special was the E&Y Award for Excellence in Teaching.  This year’s winner was Professor Zach, our instructor for the academic research course in the program.  I had the pleasure of having Professor Zach as an instructor for my first accounting class as an undergraduate as well, and I was so happy to see him recognized for the fantastic job he does in encouraging students in research and academic development.  For all of the future MAcc students who will take his research class, you’re in for quite the experience!

Professor Zach, this year’s MAcc Professor of the Year, and me at the MAcc reception!

Awards, speeches, and other formalities aside, this celebration was a great way to end the program.  I can’t begin to describe how amazing my final year was at Ohio State because of my decision to pursue my MAcc degree.  There are too many people who made the year special to name them all, so to all of the incredible faculty and classmates – thanks for an unforgettable year!  I will miss this group…

The graduates of the MAcc Class of 2013


On to Spring 2!

It is that time again…the start of a new session after a quick seven weeks of the Spring semester has already flown by. I only have four more classes left to go before I officially earn my Master of Accounting degree! The end is so near that even commencement information has finally been released. Here is my schedule for Spring session 2:

1.) AMIS 7010: Ethics in Accounting and Business with Professor Esselstein

2.) AMIS 7250: Government and Non-Profit Accounting with Professor Mittendorf

3.) AMIS 7520: Misappropriation of Assets with Professor Turner

4.) BUS MHR 7230: High Performing Teams with Professor Dumas

I think that this schedule will be a perfect balance between accounting and other relevant topics in business that I will use in my future career at GBQ.

Another exciting piece of news is that the University commencement will be hosting President Obama as the guest speaker in front of 12,000+ graduating students! Regardless of any political views, it is an amazing opportunity to hear a president’s speech, especially one tailored to OSU! Check out this news article in the Washington Post announcing Ohio State’s spectacular graduation ceremony to come. Perhaps First Lady, Michelle Obama, will make an appearance on campus as well! Check out this video of Michelle Obama’s commencement speech to Virginia Tech graduates last year:

I can only imagine how President Obama’s speech will compare to the one above! Stay tuned for more commencement details and Spring session 2 updates!

President Obama at a previous rally held on OSU’s campus.

 


It Can’t Be Over – the Finale (aka “The Best Year Yet!”)

I became friends with Wen, Yan, and Christy, seriously some of the sweetest people I have ever met, during the first week of classes, and now we're graduating!

Well, it’s official – the MAcc 2012 class has graduated! The Graduate Programs Office held a lovely reception for our class on Friday evening. It was wonderful to have my family meet my friends and their families. We enjoyed catching up over hors d’oeuvres before the start of the official ceremony, which included thought-provoking and entertaining speeches by Dean Mangum, professors Anil Arya and Pat Turner, student Jeff Howard, alumnus Bobby Murphy (class of 2010), and Michael Petrecca, a partner with PwC. We all got our names called as we walked across the stage, which is something that of course cannot happen for everyone at the university’s commencement. The finishing touch on the ceremony was a video montage of our MAcc year – so much fun! I loved having our entire class together one last time, but of course it was a bittersweet evening. I was not (and am admittedly still not) ready for our MAcc year to be over.

On Saturday, my family got to experience my exciting Ohio State life through lunch with MAcc friends and families, pictures with my undergraduate Cohort, a Cohort reception, a picnic with my roommates and families, and the candlelight ceremony on the Oval. The student speaker at the candlelight ceremony encouraged us to define our Ohio State years in 6 words, and though it would be hard to capture the essence of my time at Ohio State in such limited vocabulary, I will say this about my MAcc year: This was the best year yet!

On Sunday, commencement was held in Ohio Stadium. There was a record-setting number of graduates (around 10,640), and about 50,000 guests were there for the ceremony. Despite the stifling heat, the ceremony was fun and impressive. As the first listed graduate program in the commencement agenda (“accounting” comes first alphabetically, apparently), we all had good seats for the speakers and enjoyed sitting together as a class. We heard from President Gee, Archie Griffin, and Susan Rice, the U.S. Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations. Then we each got our picture taken on the field as we received our diplomas. It’s amazing we can get our individual photos and our actual diplomas! What a logistical feat! There was a group of us MAccers who got our picture taken with university president Gee after the ceremony, and then many of us went back to Fisher to get post-graduation pictures together.

It is so sad that many of our classmates have already left Ohio, but I know we will keep in touch! This has been a phenomenal year with lifelong friendships and lessons. I can say with certainty that the faculty, staff, and students I have had the privilege of getting to know this year have impacted my life in so many positive ways, many I likely have yet to realize. I look forward to seeing where life takes us all but know there are wonderful things ahead for everyone! In the meantime, there are about 20 of us taking CPA classes together this summer, and I am so thankful for their company. We just can’t get away yet, and I look forward to sticking around Ohio State and Fisher over the summer. In the fall, though, a new class of awesome MAccers will start their new adventures at Ohio State, and I am so excited for them! I hope that one year from now they will also be saying “This was the best year yet!”


It can’t be over … part 2

The past week has solidified the fact that everything really is coming to a close in the Fisher MAcc program. I turned in two final papers and took a final exam, but that’s not really what drove the point home. All sorts of exciting things are happening around campus, and having time to do them has been a wonderful reminder that I have no more homework! I think I am still in denial about the year being over, but for now, I am enjoying and savoring every minute!

For beating our professor in the 5K race, a group of us was treated to Jeni’s ice cream! It was so much fun :) I got to go on a steam tunnel tour and the Orton Hall bell tower tour this week, and my friends and I loved decorating our graduation caps at an event at the Union.

One really fun activity was the dessert crawl that my friends and I did on High Street. We started at Jeni’s in the Short North area of Columbus and proceeded to go to Bakery Gingham, Chocoholique, Piece of Cake, Cuzzin’s frozen yogurt, Insomnia Cookies, Pera for baklava, and Cold Stone! Don’t worry, we didn’t each buy something at every location, and we shared :) Everything was delicious. I recommend trying all sorts of restaurants and taking advantage of the amazing Columbus opportunities whenever possible. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

Us with my MAcc heart contribution to the chalkboard at Jeni's!


And in the end …

I have not contributed nearly as much as I had hoped to this blog.

I have been a blogger for two years and neither year was I able to contribute as much as I though I would be able to.  However, the past two years, I have grown more as a person than I thought possible before coming to Fisher.  So much so, it is difficult for me to wrap my head around everything that has happened and condense it into simple blog posts that could be easily digested by prospective students.  This experience has been such a developmental one that it is hard for me to fathom anyone connecting to it without it looking like over the top, dramatized platitudes.

Moving to Columbus from Detroit, I was familiar with adapting to new environments, living in a large city, and making my way without much guidance.  That was how I began my time here.  I figured I could get by just fine on my own, without depending on many people because that has always been how I operated.  My life entering the MLHR program two years ago was completely different than it is now.  So much so, I’m not sure I would recognize myself from that time.  I started here in a long-term relationship, with my girlfriend moving with me.  I was excited and nervous about courses and whether or not I had the ability to do well.  Questions constantly circled about how I could find and internship, could I get a job, as well as a number of personal issues that still had to be dealt with.

Being someone who always felt that needing help indicated a sign of weakness, I went through the first year not connecting with many on a real level.  I knew the people in my Cohort were great people, but I kept a distance so as not to appear I couldn’t do something on my own.  As the summer came and went, the relationship I was in ended and I was working as an intern at ExxonMobil in Texas.  Now as background, my family did not come from means in any sense.  Therefore, I did not leave my home state of Michigan until I was 25.  Therefore, living in a new state, in a new work environment, and being newly single created so many obstacles for me to climb, and each one being faced head on.  I found a new confidence in my ability and further engrained the thought that I can do anything on my own.  This thought was further confirmed by being extended a full-time job offer at the end of the summer.

Coming back to Columbus, I was excited to see the people I had missed over the summer.  While I had been extremely successful professionally over the summer, there was a new void.  Being used to having someone around all the time is undoubtedly something that was missed upon my return.  However, I did not feel I had connected with many in my cohort, which lead to a sense of isolation.  I didn’t have the courage nor did I think it was necessary to really open up.  This isolated feeling lead to a lack of confidence in myself.  As if, while I am smart and have a lot of interestes, I didn’t have the ability to truly connect with people.  That has been a challenge for me the entire year.  However, as with everyone, there have been challenges for me this year for which I needed a support system.  Luckily, I have found some members of my Cohort who have truly been people I feel I will forever be able to lean on and will desperately hold on to for as long as possible.

Wes Lin – Wes was the first person I met at the awkward mingling thing that was part of our first year orientation.  We are roughly the same age, although, for the record, I believe he is older.  (I just say that to make myself feel better.)  Wes was someone that I did connect with very early in the first year.  Perhaps it was the age, perhaps it was because we are both secret nerds, who knows.  But going through personal turmoil, Wes was always someone I could depend on talking to without being judged and would get sound advice.  Even if it was to stop being an idiot…sometimes that the best advice to give.

Rachel Brokaw – Rachel and I talked very little in the first year, mostly during group get-togethers.  Early this year there seemed to be a perfect storm of my personal problems, coordinating group work, and a lack of desire by others to go to the VC that caused us to socialize more.  While I was going through some of the worst personal crises of my life, Rachel became someone that I could confide in.  I knew after a short period of time that, similar to Wes, I could open up to her and not be judged by the difficulties that were thrust upon me.  In addition to that, in my personal opinion, she is without question one of the hardest working people I have ever met.  I have the deepest respect for what she is able to do with her time and still be successful at all of it.  Her work ethic inspires me every time I talk to her.

Rebecca Zurek – Rebecca was the absolute first living soul I met when coming to Fisher.  My first thought was “this person has to be the most energetic woman ever, I’m too old for all this.”  We were always friendly, but again, it was not until this year that we became close.  We have come to depend on each other during various emotional roller coasters.  We are rarely the thing that brings the coaster back up, or relieve the anxiety of a steep drop, but are always there as the safety bar to hold onto and feel safer.

Micaela Savage – Only in the last few weeks has Micaela become close…this may be a case of too little too late.  As is a theme, I have come to trust her opinions and her friendship.  I have a tendency to be a little on the negative side, so having a friend who can call me out without judging is a pretty good deal.

There are just a few of the people in the Cohort that have helped me the most during this very trying year.  I could list so many others who have had an incredible impact on my life and who I hope to stay friends with for a long time to come.  Jen Hunt, Shawn Henderson, Amber Stephens, Stacey Falardeau, Dana Wagner, the list goes on.

The point of all this is to say, while I am still the same person I was when I started, I am very different.  I have learned, almost more importantly than the class work, that I absolutely cannot do everything alone.  I need people around me to lean on.  I need people I can trust and who can push me, put my in my place, bring me up, and let me do the same for them.  I do not have a large supportive family like many of my classmates, but I am able to create my own if I choose the right people to spend my time with.  Luckily, this Cohort was not lacking in amazing people to let into my life.

Thank you to everyone I listed here.  You have all made a larger impact on my life than you could truly know.  To those not listed, please do not take offense.  I will remember this group for a long, long time.  Especially since half of you are coming to Houston with me.

Good luck to everyone.  I wish nothing be success for all of you, and if I can ever be there for any of you the way some of you were here for me, you know where I’ll be.

 

Peace and Love


How to Love Your Time at OSU

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I absolutely loved my three years of undergraduate course work here at The Ohio State University.  I was very much in the work hard, play hard mindset and think this really paid off for me.  I tried to take advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities made available to me, both academically and otherwise.  However, I don’t think I fully appreciated my time on campus until this past summer, when I had an internship with PwC (this was, for example, one of the great opportunities OSU made available to me).

My experiences with PwC were incredible.  I worked in assurance, and was lucky enough to work on Hirtle Callaghan & Co (a mutual fund), Mettler Toledo (scale manufacturing), The Ohio State University, and Abercrombie & Fitch.  I got to see so many different industries and really figure out what interested me the most.  PwC also did an incredible job of throwing me into the meat of the work so I could really appreciate what a day in the life of a full time auditor looks like.

Needless to say, I worked auditor hours, which are a little bit different than student hours.  This had its pros and cons, but more than anything was just something different to get used to.  The internship also carried a completely different stress than being a student.  Again, pros and cons but mostly just different.  The biggest difference?  At PwC I was getting paid for my hard work, while at OSU I am paying for it.  But one parallel I was definitely able to draw was the work hard, play hard attitude.  It appears as though this never disappears, so master it early!

This all has a point I’m trying to make, I promise.

While I loved working for PwC and being a contributing member of society, it is an incredibly different experience than what I had during school.  Once I graduate, I’ll be able to work and live in the real world for (hopefully) 35+ years.  Depending on the route you take for college, you get 4-6 years.  During those 4-6 years, its far too easy to get caught up in the rush of things and really miss out.  I’m not saying grades and studies aren’t important – I’m just saying relax and make the most of your time.  The recruiters will appreciate you making the most of your time in college, especially as you master the work hard, play hard balance.

So, as I get ready to begin working at JP Morgan in internal audit, I’m again ready to practice my work hard-play hard skills.  I really have loved every minute at Ohio State, but I’m very ready for the next step.  Ohio State (and the MAcc program in particular) has prepared me so well for what is to come, and I am eager to explore this “real world”.

Thanks to all of you who have followed my thoughts throughout the year – I hope you found them entertaining, quirky, but most of all, helpful and informative!  I really can’t speak highly enough of the MAcc program, and hope you will consider applying.  If you’re already admitted and will be here in autumn 2012, allow me to congratulate you and I wish you the best of luck during the upcoming year.  Don’t be afraid to take chances and explore all of what Fisher can offer – you’ll have a great experience.


It can’t be over! … Part 1

I have finished all of my classes, both for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Thankfully, I do not think this fact has fully sunk in yet. I completed two final exams and only have two more standing between me and graduation!

The last week of classes was busy but fun. We made and ordered a MAcc yearbook on Mixbook.com and wrote messages for each other! It was wonderful to think back on the year and how close our class has become.

Signing yearbooks made us remember our high school days of doing the same, and another “Are we really grad students?!” moment occurred in the graduate student lounge on Tuesday. The Graduate Programs Office gave us Jeni’s ice cream and a photo booth! We had so much fun taking goofy pictures as a break from studying!

Speaking of Jeni’s ice cream, it was rated the best ice cream in America by US News Travel! Graeter’s ice cream, another Ohio favorite, was ranked sixth.  Although I’m admittedly not ready for this awesome year to end, I am looking forward to a summer being surrounded by the best ice cream in the country :-)

We had so much fun with the photo booth!


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