MAcc Council Fall Fun Event

MAcc Council is a student-run organization which helps students to improve their skills such as time management, communication skills, and event plannings. The Council also works closely with the MAcc program advisor to invite company executives to give presentations to MAcc students as well as help MAcc students to build their professional network.

But there’s also a fun side to the Council! Last week, Council organized a fall event for all MAcc students to take a break from busy school work and go to the Lynd Fruit Farm.

The weather that day was super nice, it was a good way to release all the stress from school work or job searching. The farm has corn mazes, apple picking, a market, and other interesting diversions.

From left to right: Taylor Holden, Dzung Vu, and Courtney Privette. All are MAcc students Class of 2018. (photo credit: Yilin Hao)
Marqus Moye, current MAcc student, Class of 2018 (photo credit: Yilin Hao)
From left to right: Dianru Nie and Jasmine Wei, MAcc students, Class of 2018 (photo credit: Dzung Vu)

The corn mazes were the most fun. There was one designed for kids and one for adults. The latter was pretty big and in order to succeed, we had to collect the stamps that were hidden in the corn maze. The paper that Dzung and I are holding (see below) is the proof that we got all the stamps!

It was definitely a good way to do exercise if you are as lazy as I am.

From left to right: Dzung Vu, Caitlin Duke, Dianru Nie, Jasmine Wei, and Kalen Hess. All current MAcc students, Class of 2018 (photo credit: Yilin Hao)

Looking forward to the next MAcc Council event!

Enjoying Life at OSU

College, especially time in a graduate program, can be a lot of work and consume substantial time out of your day. However, it’s important to keep on enjoying your life and do things that make you happy. Below, I have listed a few things that help keep me sane:

  1. Watching Sports

Coming to Ohio State, you have plenty of opportunity to watch sports, especially if you love college football. Ohio State has, and will continue to have, one of the best college football teams in the country. Most recently, the Buckeyes came off a huge victory over #2-ranked Penn State (they are not our rival, even though Penn State fans may argue otherwise). The Buckeyes were down 18 points late in the second half and came back for the defeat.

Image result for ohio state football penn state
J.T. Barrett – Ohio State quarterback
  1. Playing Intramurals

OSU has a lot of opportunity for students to stay in shape and have fun. Not only do we have world-class recreation facilities, but we have a large intramural presence. We have anything from intramural baseball to intramural inner tube water polo! Personally, I make sure to participate in at least one intramural team each semester.

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My intramural soccer team after winning our first playoff game. That’s me in the back row on the right!
  1. Getting Involved at Ohio State

Get involved, get involved and get involved! Being involved on campus is not only a great way to develop as a professional, but allows you to expand your network and create lifelong memories. Personally, I am the president of my student organization MUNDO. MUNDO is very near and dear to my heart. Moreover, joining as a new member was single-handedly the best decision I made during these past four years. I would highly suggest that you get involved in something you’re passionate about while at Ohio State!

MUNDO
MUNDO – Multi-cultural Understanding through Non-traditional Discovery Opportunities
  1. Making Friends

Being in the Midwest, people are very personable and always willing to include you in their activities. This is one of the main reasons I chose to stay in Ohio for college. Everyone here is so friendly and there is never a dull moment while at Ohio State!

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A few accounting students with Professor Zach at a baseball game

Fall Break Adventures

MAcc students happily celebrated OSU’s fall break (which was also the end of the first session) in various ways. Break took place from Thursday to Sunday. Some classmates traverse the country, but a few fellow MAcc students and I stayed in Columbus during the break and enjoyed activities both on-campus and off. We were able to try new foods and explore the area. Then, we worked the calories off at the Recreational and Physical Activity Center (RPAC). This gym has everything you could imagine and just outside the gym, there are sand volleyball courts and soccer fields. It’s even better with nice, crisp fall weather.

Two classmates and I traveled to Cedar Point. Cedar Point fans describe it as the roller coaster capital of the world. What makes the park even neater is that much of it is surrounded by water from Lake Erie. At the top of many roller coasters, if you look down or out into the horizon, you will just see continuous water. During October, Cedar Point also has many Halloween decorations and haunted houses that you can visit in addition to the roller coasters. It’s approximately a two-hour drive from Ohio State University to Cedar Point, but during the drive you’re able to see some beauty of Ohio terrain. Overall, it was a great fall break that allowed me to relax and also get some adrenaline pumping for the next session.

Pictured: Rachel, Mike and Liam All MAcc students

First Quarter Comes to a Close

The first seven weeks have flown by in the MAcc program, and finals are now upon us! For those who don’t know the structure of the MAcc program curriculum, this blog will hopefully help you understand it more. The program is broken up into four seven-week quarters (two quarters per semester). During the first two quarters, you will take your 10 credit-hour core classes that are required. However, the remaining 21 credits required to graduate are all electives (five credit hours must be accounting electives and three credit hours must be non-accounting). This structure gives you, the student, the ability to take classes that interest you! You have access to almost any course you can imagine.

When I first realized four quarters meant four sets of finals, I may have freaked out a little bit, but now that I have gone through the process of taking finals, I can assure you there is no need to stress. One benefit of having finals after only seven weeks of class is that all of the material is still very fresh and new in your memory. The professors prepare you and really want to see you succeed in the program. Throughout the year, if you struggle or have any questions, the professors are always available in their offices to help you. I’m happy so say I’ve completed 25% of the MAcc program at this point!

 Hey, My Friends: You Did Great!

This is my fifth year studying in the U.S., so I am more used to living on my own than most students who are here for their first time studying abroad. As I recall my first year in the States, I think about the hardest experience and it wasn’t studying for exams; it was celebrating the holidays and festivals by myself.

In China, people use both the solar calendar, the calendar that the U.S uses, and the lunar calendar, the one that most of the Chinese festivals are based on.

The most recent festival was the Mid-Autumn Festival which was on October 4th (the solar calendar date). The Mid-Autumn Festival is very similar to the Thanksgiving Festival here in the States that all the family members are expected to attend. For this festival, we eat mooncakes and of course, share life stories.

In order to celebrate the festival here and relax from the busy school work, I drove my friends to a local Asian grocery store to buy some mooncakes. The first thing that we noticed was a well-packaged mooncake gift box. The logo name on the box was very appealing. It was named “COME BACK HOME.”

A strange mix of emotion came to us when we saw the box. It was hard to describe the feeling at that moment. On one hand, we were heavy with stress from our different course assignments, projects, and notes to get us ready for the coming exams– and submitting tons of resumes and crossing fingers to get first-round interviews. On the other hand, we saw these bright, golden characters–COME BACK HOME– that reminded us of how far away we are from our families. Just like the needle that bursts a balloon, some of my friends could not hold back their tears.

But I celebrate their journey and all the hard work they’ve done to succeed in this new country. And I want them to know: hey, my dear friends, you did great!

 

How to earn your BSBA and MACC in four years at Ohio State

One of the best opportunities that Ohio State has to offer is the BSBA/MAcc program. What is that, you may ask? Well, the BSBA/MAcc program is exactly as it sounds. You are both an undergraduate and graduate student at the same time; several students and I are are currently fourth-year students enrolled simultaneously in the Masters of Accounting program and undergraduate accounting program at Ohio State. Therefore, once we graduate in May,  we will receive two separate degrees: a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree.

I highly recommend this experience. You need to meet a few criteria to join the program:

  1. You MUST be an Ohio State undergraduate student studying accounting.
  2. By the end of your junior or third year, you must have earned 120 credit hours.
  3. Your GPA must be 3.5 or above.
  4. Once the above criteria is met, you must complete an application during the fall or spring semester of your junior year and apply (be sure to take the GMAT as well).

Also, you do not need to be 100% done with your undergraduate accounting degree before you start in the MAcc. There are a number of undergraduate accounting courses that can be taken as equivalents in the MAcc. This allows maximum flexibility in completing other undergraduate courses and requirements. Here are some examples of course substitutions:

BSBA/MAcc Course Substitutions

I know that I have provided a lot of information, but if you have any questions about my experiences, the BSBA/MAcc program, or life in general, please feel free to reach out and I would love to chat. Overall, my classmates and I have had a great experience so far in the combined program and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested!

A Balancing Act

This week will mark the end of first-quarter classes. It is hard to believe that I’m already 25% done with the MAcc program. With only three exams standing between me and a long-awaited trip home, I admit that I am exhausted. I can’t wait to see my family and my pets.

My favorite stress-reliever, Daisy. I can’t believe I live six hours away from her!

Graduate school is no joke. Between classes and job-hunting, it’s been the craziest seven weeks of my life. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to stay sane at times. So, for your enjoyment, here are my top five strategies for surviving the stress of graduate school:

  1. Yoga and Meditation – There are tons of opportunities around Columbus to do yoga. The RPAC offers free classes to students, and there are studios all over the city. I’ve even seen some in the metro parks. I personally like to pull up a 10-minute yoga video in my apartment when I get too deep into a finance case and need to take a breath. It helps me recharge, and I’m much more productive after the short break.
  2. Exercise – While I haven’t been exercising as much as I should, it is a favorite stress reducer among my class. People play basketball, go to spin class, and are even starting intramural teams. An hour spent exercising is much better than an hour spent stressing. Let’s face it: most of us would probably use that time to watch TV anyway, so it’s not like we’re losing valuable study time. If you don’t feel like you have time to walk to the RPAC, there is a smaller gym near Fisher called NorthRec.
  3. Cooking – One of my favorite stress-reducing activities is cooking. Every Sunday, I cook several large dishes to eat throughout the week. Just last week I tried a new turkey and sweet potato skillet recipe. (My fire alarm and I got to have some bonding time when I didn’t keep a close enough eye on the sweet potatoes.) The graduate student lounge has a fridge and several microwaves, so it’s easy to save some money and pack my lunch. Knowing I have lunch and dinner made for the week and won’t have to go through a drive-thru helps me feel more in control. The one week I forgot to meal prep, I got so sick of fast food– which only added to my stress.
  4. Treat Yourself – Like most college students, I am on a limited budget. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself occasionally. When I was grocery shopping this weekend, I bought the prettiest (cheap) bouquet of sunflowers. Now, when I sit in my living room studying for exams, I can look up and see my favorite flowers. For some people, treating yourself can mean taking a day off from studying. I have an early Sunday morning hike planned in a few weeks to do just that. For others, it might be buying a pint of ice cream. Just keep in mind, the point here is to reduce stress. Overspending will not aid in that endeavor.

    Sunflowers: $3.99
    Smiling every time I see them: Priceless
  5. Turn off the Screens – Finally, I’ve found that turning off my TV, closing my computer, and leaving my phone in another room helps tremendously. I try to turn off all of my screens a few times a week and pick up whatever book I’m reading for pleasure. This helps me take a step back from whatever is stressful (emails, homework, etc) and exist in my own space for an hour.

The MAcc program goes by quickly. There’s always something you need to be working on, and it’s easy to forget that you need to come out on the other side with your sanity intact. In order to manage my stress this semester, I’ve had to reframe that time as a necessary part of my schedule. Graduate school is meant to help you grow as a professional AND an individual. All of the case studies don’t mean anything if you’re having a nervous breakdown every week. Especially if you’re going into public accounting with the dreaded busy seasons, the stress management techniques you develop now will follow you into your career. You might as well figure out what works for you now when the stakes are relatively low.

Jobs Vs. Grades? You can have BOTH

One of my favorite parts of the MAcc program is its unique program structure. It squeezes so much knowledge into nine months and allows the time to meet recruiters and find a full-time position. Keep reading for some helpful tips!

MAcc follows a semester system which means we have 15 weeks for each semester excluding the finals week and a three-week Christmas in between the two semesters. The interesting part of the MAcc program and some other business-related specialized graduate programs is that within each semester, we have two separate sessions. The idea is that these sessions allow the students to have breadth (choosing from many subjects) and some subjects don’t necessarily require a full semester.

In the MAcc program, most of our courses are case-based and group-based which means you need to invest a lot of time with your group members to come up with a final product. Make sure you can manage time wisely, but leave some time for yourself to relax and search for jobs.

You’ll need it– because recruiting season for accounting starts in the fall. Most of the companies accept resumes in early and mid-September, then start the first round interviews in the late September and second round interviews in mid-October. To prepare yourself, I HIGHLY recommend taking four courses in your first session and five courses in the second session in the fall semester. That way, you’ll have more time to prepare for the interviews and informational sessions held mostly in the first session. Otherwise, you may end up with three interviews and five final exams– all happening in the same week.

It’s FOOTBALL SEASON!

It’s once again my favorite sport season: FOOTBALL SEASON! I went to my first Ohio State football game against the University of Oklahoma and despite the loss, it was a great time. This game was at night, which was perfect considering the warm weather Columbus has had in September.  I knew before I moved to Ohio State that I would attend as many football games as possible and I’m so glad I bought the full season ticket package! The culture and school spirit is something I can’t describe in words. Even casually strolling around campus before or after the game, you will see masses of people in red clothing walking around just excited to be here. For the very first game, I was able to spend the day with some fellow MAcc students, one Law Student, and one Master of Business Logistics Engineering student all from OSU. It’s great to be able to be around other students in different programs who all share one love: OSU football.

Then, this past week, I went to the UNLV game and had two friends from my undergraduate program come up to join me. The game was a great experience as usual, but I was also happy to see them and show them life here at OSU. During the UNLV game halftime show, the marching band performed with OSU’s Alumni Marching Band. The field was covered with people comprising one large marching band, and at the end of the performance, there were four sets of Script Ohio performed on the field. If you have never seen the Script Ohio, I highly recommend checking it out! For me, the experience was made even better by seeing see so many people perform the Script at one time! Overall, I would highly recommend attending an OSU football game at least once while in Ohio.

My friends, Casey and Hailey, visiting for the UNLV game

In Search of Bison

Since coming to Columbus in July, I’ve made it my mission to not be a hermit. In fact, I have an internet favorites folder entitled, “Don’t Be A Hermit.” Inside are links about volunteer opportunities, restaurants, and many of the city parks. This week was super busy, full of assignments and job interviews. In the midst of all of this, I started to really miss the hiking back home in Tennessee. So, to my trusty favorites folder I went.

Columbus has an awesome network of Metro Parks. This weekend, some friends from the MAcc program and I drove 20 minutes west of campus to check out Battelle Darby Creek. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much since everything out here is so flat. But, as we pulled into the parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised. The park is beautiful. There are ACTUAL prairies there, which is insanely cool for someone who has only seen a prairie in classic western TV shows.

Who knew prairies existed outside of the “Western Channel”?
Turtle friend

One of the reasons we chose this park is because it has a herd of bison that can be seen from various overlooks. Supposedly. We could not see them from the nature center overlook. Or the trail. Or really from anywhere. Not to be defeated, we decided to walk along the trails, take some selfies, and try not to get too sunburned.

We found a bison pasture, but where are the bison?
This trail is really nice for running and biking.
We found this little guy in the woods.

Slightly disappointed at the lack of bison, we started to drive out of the park. At the last minute, we caught a glimpse of the herd. A successful trip after all. And as an added bonus, the game was in full swing when we got back, so traffic around campus was minimal. Score!

We finally found the bison herd!

Overall, I would give the park a 9 of out 10 stars. The nature center and trails were super accessible and the hike we took was beautiful. The park also has some more difficult trails that I can’t wait to try next time. To be honest, the only reason I can’t rate it a 10/10 is because there are no mountains. Turns out my rating system is completely rigged. Sorry.

What a great way to spend the day!

In our next episode of “Don’t Be A Hermit,” perhaps there will be an art museum, brunch, or a soccer game. Who knows?