Why The Ohio State University was the Right Choice for Me

As my time in college is coming to an end, I can only reflect on how deciding to attend The Ohio State University was the best decision that I have ever made.  Ohio State offered me the perfect combination of academics, athletics, and a social atmosphere.  While at Ohio State, my professors challenged me day in and day out to get outside of my comfort zone.  This allowed me to become a more knowledgeable and confident individual.  I am positive that I would not be headed off to work for the most valuable company in the world (Microsoft) without the skills I learned in my Fisher classes.

Every weekend at Ohio State, there are dozens of things to do.  Concerts, clubs, sports games, bars, or just hanging out with friends to name a few.  Having the city of Columbus at your doorstep offers the same opportunities any major city can provide  you.

Where else but Ohio State can you walk down the sidewalk and bump into Top 5 NFL draft picks each year? Or go to speeches from presidential candidates? Or be able to earn both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in four years? The opportunities here are endless.

If you are reading this, you are probably on the fence about whether you should come to Ohio State and be a part of our MAcc Program.  Remember, you can make a big school smaller, but you can’t make a small school bigger!  Why be a big fish in a little pond, when you can be a big fish in a big pond?

Thanks for following along all year and feel free to reach out for any advice or questions! Go Bucks!

Memories from the MAcc Class

It’s hard to believe that I’m sitting down writing my very last blog post of the year. I remember wondering in August how I could possibly have material to write about consistently throughout the year. Little did I know that the MAcc program is about way more than just completing 31 credit hours! I decided to reach out to some of my fellow classmates to learn about their favorite memories from their time in the MAcc program!

“I would say my favorite part has just been getting to meet so many people from all different backgrounds. Most of us probably would have never crossed paths without this program.” – Tyler Stacks, MAcc ’19

“Attending the Washington Campus during the Spring break was one of my best MAcc experiences. Through the unique learning opportunity from professionals in the accounting industry, I was able to equip myself with a well-rounded education that could not easily earn inside of the classroom as well as a strong rapport with my peers.” -Oscar Han, MAcc ’19

“My favorite memory of this year was probably the kickball tournament. We assembled a team of all our close friends and had so much fun! We ended up winning the tournament for a free lunch!” –Stephanie Saccogna, MAcc ‘19

“I had a lot of fun at Washington campus! I learned a lot of interesting views from the guest speakers and it broadened my perspective about the accounting profession. It gave me a chance to re-think my career plan for the future. Also, visiting the Capitol and alumni networking event was fun too!” -Min Kwon, MAcc ‘19

“The corn-hole event in fall was a great way to get to know my peers outside the classroom!” -Kelsey Kirkpatrick, MAcc Council President

Finally, I’ll end with mine:

My favorite memory from my time in the MAcc program has been my position as a GA in admissions. I have had the opportunity to coordinate and host prospective student visit days, where I have gotten to know students from all walks of life. It has helped me to better understand the various paths that students take that lead them to pursue a MAcc degree. The position has also helped me discover that my interests and strengths align closely with those necessary in recruiting, so I will be sure to get involved with campus recruiting when I start my career with Deloitte.

Some of the Graduate Programs Office GAs at Formal!

The End is Near

It is crazy to think my time here in the MAcc program is coming to an end. Over these past couple weeks, the MAcc Council and the Fisher Social Chair has put on some great events to help us through these last few weeks of class.

MAcc students at the food bank

In the beginning of April, the MAcc class has the option to attend MAcc Give Back, which is a volunteering event. The MAcc class was dividing into two groups with half going to the Franklin Park Conservatory and the other going to the Mid-Ohio Food Pantry. I was part of the group that went over to the food bank and it was a great experience getting to help out others. This is something the MAcc program participates in every year and something I believe is very important.

The Fisher Graduate Programs also put together a Graduate Appreciation Week with fun events, free food, and many prizes to help us grind through the rest of the semester. One of the events a kickball tournament with our professors. We all got teams together and invited a professor to play with us. Our MAcc team came out on top winning the tournament and winning a free lunch. Fisher puts on a lot of events for us to keep us engaged outside the classroom as well.

Also, last weekend the Fisher Social Chair put on a formal for all Fisher Graduate Students. It was held in downtown Columbus and there was food, drinks, and dancing. It was a lot of fun to be out with all the different programs and get all dressed up. We are all appreciative of the extra mile a lot of our social chairs and program coordinators go to for us. They make sure our time here is a lot more than just earning a degree.

April Activities: An Update!

I recently shared a post about all of the activities this April that Fisher had to offer for the graduate students and promised that I would return with an update, so here we are! 

MAcc Gives Back

A week ago, MAcc students and faculty split off into two groups to volunteer at the Franklin Park Conservatory and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. I went with the Franklin Park Conservatory group and had a great time bonding with my fellow MAcc classmates! We were assigned to clean up the children’s garden and get it ready for Spring. After spending a few hours working among the staff, we had an opportunity to walk through the conservatory and see all of the beautiful plant habitats. We also had time to go into the butterfly conservatory! After volunteering all morning, the groups from both locations came back to Gerlach Hall for lunch together. It was a great way to spend a Friday morning! I wish that we had more organized volunteering throughout the year because it was a great way to spend time together outside the classroom!

Fisher Formal

Elise (MHRM GA); Me, Julie & Matt (MAcc GAs) at Fisher Formal

Last Friday was Fisher Formal, and it did not disappoint! Fisher Formal is put on every spring by the MBA social committee and is offered to all Fisher graduate students. Included in our ticket price was a buffet of heavy hor devours, drinks, a photo booth, and a DJ all night! I went with a group of MAcc and MHRM students and had an absolute blast. The DJ played really good music and it was really fun getting to hang out with the MHRM and MBA students that I work with every day the Graduate Programs Office. The event is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me!

Fisher Kickball Tournament Champions

On March 30th, the Fisher College of Business hosted its first annual Graduate Student Kickball Tournament! Five teams of Fisher graduate students signed up to play in this tournament hosted at the ARC. I played on a team with other Master of Accounting students.

The tournament was competitive. In our first game, we beat a team of MBAs in extra innings.  The game was tense, with our team having to hold the MBAs to one run in the bottom of the extra inning or we would lose or play another inning.  Our championship game came against students from the MHRM program, where a few home runs propelled us to victory.

The MAcc Team Winning the Kickball Tournament

The tournament was especially fun because it gave us an opportunity to come together and meet students from other Fisher graduate programs.  Professors played in the kickball tournament too.  I was happy to hit a home run off of a professor I had for an HR class.  As the winning team, we won a catered lunch of our choosing!

The kickball tournament was another example of a fun opportunity outside of the business school that Fisher offers its graduate students.  Hopefully next year’s MAcc team can retain its title!

An April Full of MAcc Activities

Spring is finally here! In less than a month, I will become a proud alumna of the Ohio State MAcc program. April is the last month of classes and our program graduates May 5th with the rest of the Ohio State University. With only a few short weeks left, the MAcc program continues to host various activities for us to look forward to! Here are a few of the upcoming April activities that we have on our calendars.

Fisher Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Each spring, the Graduate Programs Office puts on a graduate student appreciation week. During the week, there are various raffles, discounts at local restaurants, giveaways, and more! This year, more than 10 restaurants and stores have donated coupons, gift cards, food, and other giveaways for the students. Each day of the week there is also an event to attend, whether it be donuts and coffee in the Graduate Student Lounge or a free Distillery tour in the evening. I will absolutely be taking advantage of the 25% off discount at local restaurants and entering into the raffles!

Graduate Student/Professor Kickball Tournament

To kick off graduate student appreciation week, my classmates and I participated in the graduate student/professor kickball tournament. We formed teams of about 10 students and each team reached out to their favorite professor to join their team. It was a great way to bond with the MAcc class and grow our faculty relationships.

MAcc Team Tournament Champs!

Fisher Formal

I definitely thought that my days of attending college formals ended when I graduated from undergrad. I was wrong! The Fisher Social Chairs club puts on a fabulous formal event in April for all the graduate programs combined. This event will be all the more fun because I have had the opportunity to make friends outside the MAcc program through my job as a graduate assistant.

MAcc Gives Back

Every year, the MAcc Council organizes an event for MAcc students, alumni, and faculty to volunteer at various local organizations. The event takes place on a Friday morning and gives the MAcc community a chance to connect with the Columbus community. I am looking forward to learning about the organization in which I will be volunteering for soon! Click here to read about a 2018 MAcc graduate’s experience!

MAcc Pre-commencement Ceremony

On the weekend of graduation, the MAcc program holds a ceremony and reception acknowledging the accomplishments of the MAcc class. This is an event that our close friends and family are encouraged to attend! Keynote speakers will be in attendance, as well as a chosen speaker from our program. It will be wonderful to have an intimate closing ceremony with the classmates I have gotten to know so well!

KPMG MADA Students Return

A perk to living in Columbus this summer while I continue to study for the CPA is the fact that the KPMG MADA students will be returning to campus. They all completed a winter internship in their respective KPMG offices and will be returning to complete their MAcc degrees during the summer semester. It will be valuable to have a support system of MAcc students to continue studying for the CPA and will be fun reuniting with the friends I made last semester!

Hopefully, I will be reporting back with memorable experiences from all the April activities that my fellow classmates and I have to look forward to!

 

Spring Break in Washington D.C.

The group of MAcc Students in D.C.

A new opportunity here is the MAcc program is being able to spend your spring break with your classmates in Washington D.C. The MAcc program offers you an opportunity to earn class credit while getting to learn about different career paths, have great networking opportunities, and explore the city. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience in D.C. and here is what she said:

Briefly describe what the Washington Campus opportunity is.

The Washington Campus is an opportunity for MAcc students to experience accounting topics through the lens of Washington DC. This includes learning about governmental accounting and hearing from speakers about the economic and political environment. We were also able to visit the White House, PCAOB, Capitol Hill, monuments, and museums.

What was your favorite event?

My favorite event was when we were able to visit Capitol Hill and sit on the house floor. Our tour guide was former US Representative Cliff Stearns. Many people do not have the opportunity to sit on the floor and listen to the arguments, but we were given access due to the class.

What was your favorite activity outside of the classroom?

My favorite event outside of the program was the night of the alumni event. The alumni event was a great way to network with professionals and peers in our industry over food and drinks. We were able to learn more about our future profession from people with years of experience. While there was a lot of time dedicated to learning and professional development, we were still able to enjoy the city. We also went to a karaoke bar, which allowed me to get to know my peers outside of the classroom. Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend.

Talking to a lot of my fellow classmates, the Washington Campus trip was one of the highlights of their time here in the MAcc program. It was a great learning opportunity and a fun time to explore a different city. It was definitely something everyone in the MAcc program should take advantage of.

March Madness

While Ohio State football is the main priority (at least for sports fandom) on campus, everyone becomes a basketball fan once March rolls around.  This year, the Buckeyes made the tournament as an 11-seed and upset a strong Iowa State team in the first round.  I watched the game with my friends at a campus bar and everybody was very excited.  Unfortunately, we lost our second game to a very good U of Houston team.

My favorite part of March Madness is the bracket.  This year, a bunch of MAcc students joined together to form a bracket pool.  I am currently in first place in the pool (humble brag), as I had a perfect “Sweet-16.”  If Gonzaga wins the tournament, I should be set to win bragging rights over my MAcc peers for eternity.

Watching sports often builds relationships.  The other night, the MAcc students headed to a local restaurant to watch the games and get some tasty appetizers.  This event us just one of many unofficial events that our program has hosted this  year.  We have also done a bar crawl, scooter tour, and had parties for various holidays, such as Halloween and Chinese New Year.

While academics are definitely the main focus of our program, it is important to be involved socially so that you can build friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime!

My First Experience in the Nut House

Now that football season has come and gone, I needed a new sport to go to cheer on the Buckeyes. This past week I experienced my first basketball game in the “Nut House” watching Ohio State beat a ranked Iowa team. It was a close game most of the way with Ohio State pulling ahead at the end. It was a big win for the team since they are currently on the bubble of making it into the March Madness tournament.

The atmosphere at the game was amazing. I was able to sit along the

View from the student section

sideline just a few rows back surrounded by other students. We were all on our feet the entire game cheering on the Buckeyes. I even caught a free t-shirt they were throwing out during the game. I grew up playing basketball and went to all the games in undergrad so it was a lot of fun to experience a game while at OSU. I would add going to a basketball game as a must while at Ohio State.

Basketball games are played at the Schottenstein Center, which is right off campus close to the football stadium. Students can either purchase season tickets or just tickets for individual games. Basketball tickets go for a lot cheaper than football. I was able to get my ticket to the game for only $10. The students get great seats right behind the players and right in all of the action.

The Buckeyes started off the season ranked and have had a very up and down season so far. I am hoping that with a few more good wins they will get a bid into the NCAA Tournament. This year a few of the first and second round games of the NCAA March Madness Tournament will be played in Nationwide Area, which is downtown Columbus, so I’m hoping the Buckeyes make it and I can watch them right down the road in the tournament.

Taking on the CPA Exam

As you may know, there are four parts to the CPA exam, which you take independently of one another. The four parts in order of length from longest to shortest are Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), Audit & Attestation (AUD), and Business Environment Concepts (BEC). First semester, I focused on adjusting to a new school, new city, and a new job as a graduate assistant. I knew that I plenty of time to prepare for the CPA before starting work full-time next fall, so I decided that it would be in my best interest to wait until the second semester to begin my CPA studying. 

Application Process

Due to the extensive application and Notice to Schedule (NTS) process, I applied about 6-8 weeks before I planned to begin preparation. Every state has a unique process for applying; the NASBA website is a great resource to learn about the guidelines and application process for the state you are sitting for. Since I will be working in Chicago, I am sitting for the Illinois CPA exam. The current rules require me to apply through the Illinois Board of Examiners.  Due to the high volume of applications in November, it took about 6 weeks for me to receive my NTS. Once I received my NTS, I chose the two exams that I wanted to take first.

I chose to take my exams in the following order: AUD, REG, FAR, BEC. I chose this order because AUD and REG are middle size exams which I knew would be easiest to study for while in school. Once summer begins, I plan to study for FAR (the largest exam) since I will have unlimited time. I chose to take BEC last because it is the smallest test, therefore if I do not pass all four before I start work, it will not be too large of a beast to tackle while working full-time. Everyone chooses the order of tests differently. I have seen classmates manage to study for FAR during school; the order in which you choose to take your exams really is a personal preference!

Study Plan & Tips

I am currently taking four classes and working 10 hours per week, so my study plan is a slower pace than it will be this summer. I am at a rate of approximately 15-20 hours per week of CPA studying, which equates to a little over 1 chapter per week.

Some days I choose to stay home and study in the comfort of my apartment, but I also love to study at libraries around campus. My favorite study spot is Thompson Library on the Oval. It is always full of other Ohio State students studying, so it is a prime environment to be productive. Almost every day, a group of students in the MAcc program reserves a room in Gerlach Hall to study after class together. I studied often with my friends in the MAcc program as we began our final review before taking our first exams. Regardless of your study plan, it is best to always make time for fun! Balance is the best way to get through something like studying for the CPA. For example, a group of us play trivia every Thursday night, and we are in an intramural volleyball league on Sundays. Like I mentioned in my GMAT advice post, never burn yourself out!!

GA Intramural Volleyball team!

Takeaways

The biggest piece of advice that I have taken from all of my mentors has been to FINISH THE CPA EXAM BEFORE YOU START WORK! Your year in the MAcc program is a great cushion to take the exams while in a learning environment. So many of your classmates will also be studying for the CPA which makes the processes much more enjoyable.