Two Years

The other day I put in the paperwork to graduate Summer quarter 2011. I mentioned this to Marie, my wife, and she said, “Wow, that went quick.”

Quick? I don’t think so. Only two years on the calendar, but those two years were made up of some pretty long days.  Two or three days a week, for two years, I was busy straight through from 6am to 11pm: get up early to get the kids ready, work a job all day, spend another four hours in class, flop into bed long after everyone in the house was already sleeping.

Weekends were for homework, so were a few hours in the evening during the week when there were no tennis games, school concerts, parent-teacher conferences or community obligations.

School has been at least another part-time job on top of the full-time jobs I have at home and work, plus the other part-time jobs I do.

Two years of deferred home improvement projects, fascinating books not read, magazines piling up and friendships put on ice.

But I did it, and I liked it, and it was worth it. It was only two years, but I feel a lifetime wiser.

And thanks to Marie for putting up with my absences all that time.

The MLHR Master’s Examination

Although visions of graduation are dancing in our sweet little heads, we’re not there just yet. During your final quarter in the MLHR program you must successfully pass the Master’s Examination– for all those graduating in June, the case was released this past week. So naturally, we MLHR folks been more nervous and harried-looking than usual.

What is the exam? Here’s the brief description that you’ll see when your own day of reckoning arrives:

The master’s examination is mandated by the OSU Graduate School, and is the final validation of performance in meeting the program’s degree requirements. The master’s examination for the MLHR program consists of a thoughtful analysis of a case study. The purpose of the case study requirement is for a student to demonstrate mastery of knowledge learned throughout the MLHR program, and the direct application of concepts and frameworks learned to topical issues facing the HR profession.

The case was posted this past week and we have a week to read the case and write an analysis. The objective is to demonstrate that you know how to put everything that you’ve learned during the past 2 years to good use. Students are asked to analyze the case from the perspective of an HR professional (which we will be in a few short weeks!) and present their own, original recommendations. Each of us will submit a work of about 15 to 20 pages, which will then be blindly reviewed by faculty and deemed “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

While some of my peers are freaking out about it, I seem to have a much more devil-may-care attitude. I’m confident that I’ll be able to tackle this case and utilize everything that I’ve learned during my past 5 years of HR education. But maybe, just maybe, I should buckle down and focus on the case instead of working on my blog 🙂

Results will be posted on May 11th- good luck to everyone taking it now and everyone who will be taking this in the future!

Life Beyond Grad School

It’s kind of intimidating. Okay- really intimidating.

I am one of the fortunate second-year students to have a job offer in hand that I accepted back in October. Every day I feel more and more excited to start working in June and be able to apply all the ideas I have from my classes.  And every night I feel more and more excited to dream about what I’m going to do with my first real salary 🙂

As someone who has been a full-time student for the past 17 consecutive years (virtually 77.2% of my entire life), it’s hard to imagine what life will be like after I graduate and start working. What will I do when I don’t have evening classes to attend 3 days a week? What will I do when I don’t have to spend my entire weekend writing papers and meeting with classmates to work on group projects? Thinking about all this free time has made me think about what I want to do with my life besides go to work every day: I want to buy and remodel houses.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I did some house hunting in Lafayette, Indiana- where I will be living and working after graduation. I’ve decided that I want to buy a 3 bedroom fixer-upper, spend my evenings and weekends rehabilitating it, and then rent it. I consider myself to be a pretty handy person- and everyone who knows me considers me to be the kind of person who goes crazy when she doesn’t have some sort of project to work on! My ideal house is something that also has 2 bathrooms and was build around 1950 or later- something like this one that I saw. Believe me, the inside isn’t as cute as the outside:

The Barbie Dream House

So even though I’m 22, I put on my big-girl-trousers this weekend and acted like I knew what I was getting myself into. I have a feeling that by the time the first bathroom renovation is done, I just might end up wishing that I was back in graduate school- where things were easier!

Applying for graduation!

Well, I have been quite the deadbeat blogger this summer. It’s mostly because I have nothing to really write about — I haven’t had time to do much of anything interesting since the 2nd year summer core classes are VERY time consuming (and also pretty interesting, so I won’t complain too much).

But today I got the little boost of encouragement that I desperately needed: that quarterly e-mail from the GPO asking if I am “Planning to graduate at the end of ___ quarter?”  Finally, this e-mail applies to me! It’s time for me to apply to graduate!

I’m really looking forward to being a normal adult again – who has only one job, has every evening free, and doesn’t feel guilty about having fun when I should be doing homework. The freedom to stare at the TV for hours on a weeknight, or to go to a “happy hour” and let it turn into an “all night hour.” 

For the first time in my life, I won’t be severely depressed when winter comes, because come December, I’ll be freeeee!  =)  

Who’s jealous? Or who’s also graduating? Tell me what you’re going to do when you reclaim your free time!

Oh, this is going to hurt ….

Quarter-to-Semester Update

Any student taking one class per quarter or any prospective student will be facing the Quarter-to-Semester conversion at OSU.  My concern is the student will lose credits or have to review redundant topics in class after the conversion.  This may be especially true in my case where I am cherry picking my electives first rather than following the “standard” curriculum flow.  At the very worst, students will have to take (and pay for) more classes.   I doubt OSU can make any promises to alleviate this concern.  Regardless, here’s a clip from Peter Koltak, former USG President and Member of the Semester Conversion Communications Subcommittee:

Ohio State is committed to protecting the academic progress of its students during the transition to semesters. A pledge to that effect has been developed by students, faculty, advisors, and advising administrators. The pledge is the university’s promise to students that they should see no disruption towards earning their degrees if they:

1. Decide on their major and degree within a time compatible with four-year graduation;
2. Meet the standards for progress defined by their academic unit and continue to complete appropriate course loads successfully; and
3. Actively develop and follow academic plans in consultation with their academic advisors.

Academic advisors will understand how the changes in courses and curricula may affect students’ degree programs, will know where and how programs can be flexible, and will be prepared to assist students in planning for on-time graduation. Students will be responsible for getting and using this advice, which will be essential to their progress toward their degree.

To see the full text of the semester conversion pledge to students, click here.

Back! And Recap of Graduation Week

After a busy finals week, a full-of-excitement graduation week, a relaxing home-sweet-home week, and a new-to-the-city Boston week, I am BACK, back to my Fisher blog. I will keep posting until September when the 2011 MAcc class assembles at Fisher.

I actually left Columbus half a month ago, but keeping my Fisher blog grants me a way to stay in Fisher, virtually. Feeling closer to the Fisher community reminds me the interesting details during the year. People from the Fisher family always give me the confidence to overcome any challenges in my new life in the new city. I will post more about my new life in Boston. This entry is reserved for a brief recap of the graduation week.

I still remember my graduation from undergrad. I had enough time, between my final exams and the graduation ceremony, to drive to Columbus for apartment hunting. This time was different. Although I had full five days after the finals, never did I feel sufficient the time I had remaining in Columbus. Tuesday, right after I submitted my last take-home final, I dragged my boyfriend, with my Ohio State marching band bear, to take pictures all around the campus. I tried to shoot for every corner in school, hoping the pieces of photos could preserve this special year in this special place in my mind….

Hm…that sounds sad, nevertheless, the rest of the week was infused with fun and happiness. The whole week’s schedule was packed with back-to-back events: my first pro baseball game initiated by the head of the Rabbits (see Nadia’s blog here), a crazy group trip to Cedar Point, the MAcc pre-commencement reception followed by a friend-and-family visit to the Columbus Zoo, and last but not least, the grand graduation commencement at the Shoe on Sunday. I was so grateful that I have many dearest friends and an always supportive family to make up this happy ending to my MAcc life. Although the day I packed everything onto my dad’s car and drove back to New York was unavoidably heartrending, the cheerful feeling brought by friends and family will last for a life time. A famous line we all know at heart–“Time and change will surely show”. Yes, they surely will.

My OSU marching band bear at the Long Walk on Oval

Graduation Celebration for the Fisher MBA Class of 2010

This weekend the Fisher MBA class of 2010 graduated. It was a grand celebration. Everywhere there were happy smiling people. On the Thursday night before graduation, there was the graduate crawl. During the “crawl,” graduate students hop from one pub to the other meeting and talking with everybody. They wore white t-shirts, so that everybody could write on them and wish them luck in their transition into the professional world. It was great fun!

Then on Sunday, graduate students gathered at the stadium for the commencement. It was a great sight!


They worked hard for 2 years to reach this special moment!

Best of luck to the graduate students of Fisher and OSU in their journeys into the professional world. I am sure they will make this world a better place to live each and every day.

Happy Graduation!

I can’t believe that I am done with this school year! It seems so fast time has passed. There were too many things to be commemorated in the spring quarter, but the one that is composed of happiness and reluctance to let go must be the Fisher commencement.

Fisher Graduation Ceremony Brochure
Fisher Graduation Ceremony Brochure

There are three Taiwanese students going to graduate in 2010—Miao-Chi, Kevin and Sherri. Oh, I will certainly miss them so much. I still remember the first time I met them—last year I had the on-campus interview, and they were so kind to have dinner with me. Because of their kind hospitality, I understood more about the MBA program, the housing and the campus life at Fisher. And you are right—that is part of the reasons why I choose Fisher 🙂 After I joined the program, they never stop helping us. I asked them so many questions. Although I also have lots of American friends, sometimes they are able understand more about the difficulties that an international student is confronted with: the job searching problems, culture differences, driving…etc. Most importantly, it was such a cordial greeting meeting someone from the same home country in USA.

I also want to send my best regarding to my mentor—Michael Hrostoski! As a 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Polish/German/Irish, he kindly got involved in the international connection program and mentored me through the academic year. He even pick me up in the airport and held a welcome party for my roommate and me 🙂 It was a pity that because of our busy schedule, we only had one chance to have lunch together, but we’ll certainly keep in touch! I would like to congrats him for getting a full time offer from J & J, and wish him success in his future endeavor.

David, Mike, Tandy, Kangsub

I volunteered in the graduation ceremony and it was a wonderful experience. I haven’t realize how many Fisher 2nd year MBAs that I have not yet had chance to talk to until I was in the backstage helping graduates wearing hoods and tassels. Fortunately I met and chatted with them probably the last time. I also realized that I have to participate in more events at Fisher—or I will not have any honor codes in the ceremony! :p

I had dinner with Kevin and Mio-Chi in the evening. Kevin will be back to Taiwan tomorrow, and bon voyage for Kevin!

rear: Tandy, Kai / front: Kevin, Miao-Chi, Sharon
rear: Tandy, Kai / front: Kevin, Miao-Chi, Sharon

Heartfelt congratulations to all Fisher MBA 2010!



Dizzy! I’m so dizzy!

I haven’t posted as regularly as I would have liked, so this entry is going to be somewhat disjointed. May and June have been busy months, filled with some great experiences. The most exciting of these was finally landing a job! Oh what a long journey it’s been. At the end of fall quarter one of my friends had introduced me to KPMG’s Columbus recruiter who, from that point on, kept me abreast of entry-level audit openings. In March I received an e-mail about an opportunity in Chicago, so I promptly filled out the necessary application form and sent it off. April was relatively quiet, but May brought with it a phone interview that was the start of something wonderful. A week later I flew out to Chicago, and a day after that I received an oral offer. I still get butterflies when I think about my journey to get to this point – I am exactly where I want to be. The mock interviews, resume reviews, coaching from Fisher and KPMG staff, help from some awesome MAcc-ers and oodles of persistence really paid off. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So, what to write about next… A few weeks ago Geoff and I had the opportunity to attend a Columbus Crew game at a hefty discount (again, thanks to a fellow MAcc student). The atmosphere was great and the opponent – LA Galaxy – was formidable. The Crew lost, but we had a great time sitting on the shaded side of the stadium, eating our Dippin’ Dots (I wonder if they’ll ever stop referring to it as “the ice cream of the future”). At halftime, right before the sun had started to set, a plane flew over the stadium and dropped three skydivers right onto the field. Awesome! The entire experience was a nice warm-up for the excitement of the World Cup.

The MAcc graduation ceremony was held on Friday. My parents were not able to attend, but it was great to have my husband there and to see so many families make their way here from all over the world to support the graduates. I cannot believe how quickly this year passed.

Saturday I met up with an incoming student who holds an undergraduate degree in architecture. We went to lunch at Mozart’s, walked around the Fisher campus, and took a trip to the Student Union. I can’t wait to hear how he does next year.