Posts filed under 'MAcc'

MAcc Applied Talk with Joseph A. Alutto

Joseph A. Alutto, Interim President who served as the university’s executive vice president and provost for more than five years and dean of Fisher College of Business for 16 years, shared his experience and advice on leadership with our MAcc students.

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“There is more to life than work and a career”

Joseph A. Alutto pointed this out at the very beginning of his speech before he talked about other leadership topics. He advised us to find out  ’what really means for you’, either at work or in life. He showed different attitudes towards work and life for different time periods by recalling his journey of work. At the early stage of his career, work was always the priority. However, at this point of time, family overrides work. For us, who are going to start a brand-new career path, may not be able to get a good balance between work and life, but what we can do is to figure out what really mean for ourselves, either career achievement or family relationship, and approach it step by step. We should work toward what we are expecting, not what others are hoping.

“Thick skin” 

This is another interesting concept that Alutto mentioned during the speech. I understand this concept in a few aspects: first, we need to develop a thick skin to face failures and learn from them. Second, we need to develop a thick skin to push changes in the organization. Third, we need to develop a thick skin to deal with complaints among team members and “accept the reality that you will often be the only ‘adult’ in the room”.  Alutto mentioned this concept several times through his speech and concluded that “develop a thick skin, know ‘who you  are’ and make it your brand”. I consider this is the key to leadership. How you brand yourself affects how you are going to stand out from the crowd.

Alutto highlighted other key insights, including:

“Skill development and performance have greater career value than title, position or compensation.”

“Always surround yourself with people who complement your skills, interests and perspectives but who duplicate your values.”

“Focus on alternative paths to goals and not just on goals themselves.”

“Do what you believe is best.”

Leadership is a process that one’s reputation is built. There are a lot of things we need to learn before reaching the stage of leadership, and there are also many things we can do to step toward it.  Go Buckeyes!

 

 


The Stages of Semester No. 2 – MAcc

 

The first semester of grad school in the MAcc program at OSU leads directly into the last. It’s a whirlwind where, just when you’ve settled into the rhythm, you remember you only have 3 or 4 months until graduation. Frightening moments from senior year flash back every once and a while and you feel the need to grab the closest paper bag and breath into it.

The collective class will realize some truths as the final semester begins. You’ve settled down faster than you did as freshmen, entering graduate school is not like starting the first year of a bachelors program. You have people who you genuinely like seeing casually and would be willing to vouch for professionally. You have a good idea of when professors are in their office, how to find them if they aren’t, and how late they’re willing to respond to e-mail.

Some less poignant things you may have learned include:  the best and worst times to find a parking space (including what time the ROTC students leave so you can snag that spot right up front), which restaurants within walking distance have the best specials on Tuesdays, you have gained an excellent understanding of the underground tunnels which protect you from the frigid weather that sometimes decides to overcome the city, why it is or is not a good idea to jump into Mirror Lake, and which chairs are bolted to the floor in the classrooms and by now you have probably stopped trying to push them in.

You know what is expected of you now. You know which events you have to go to and which events you really should go to (which is as many as possible because they’re all awesome). You know that you will be an excellent alumnus and you secretly hope that you’ll get invited back for alumni events. The MAcc program is something that you’re proud that you will complete and, if it wasn’t already, it has for you become an experience which has allowed you to develop a deeper understanding of your craft, lasting relationships with truly fantastic people and the idea of the program has ceased to be simply a program or degree and has become so much more.


First Semester Lessons Learned

First semester of the MAcc program was a wild whirlwind of experience gained, learning fast on my feet, and figuring out how to be an efficient and effective grad student. Here are my tips on how to be more successful in grad school.

Fall term 1, if you are searching for a job, that will be your life. You may look at your schedule and think, this is not so bad. It is. Before I started Dr. Dave Williams told me that the job search is like taking another class. As someone who was not used to the level of intense work required by the MAcc program, I would say it is like taking two extra classes. Job fairs, information sessions, and interviews will eat up the time you would have used to study, run errands, or just generally have a life.

But!- It gets better. Thrive a little while you survive by having a non-computer oriented hobby that is easy to start and stop when you have free time, like reading, crosswords, painting, knitting, or exercising. These can bust stress and remind you that there is a life outside of case studies and upper level math.

Stay at school and study during breaks – Whenever possible, do not use 2-3 hour breaks between classes at lunchtime to run errands. There is something about being surrounded by other people studying that makes starting and continuing your own homework easier. Having classmates around also means you can ask questions- and when appropriate, commiserate- about assignments.

Keep up – This is much easier said than done, especially in times like Fall term 2 when my combination of classes required about 10 hand-in assignments due the second week of classes. If you fall behind in your reading or understanding, do not use that as an excuse to not do the reading for current classes. Picking up later in the class is better than never getting current, but it is extremely taxing to keep up with classes and trying to catch up at the same time, and you will not be able to learn everything you have missed.

Don’t be afraid to take MBA classes- I took Advertising and Leading and Managing Change last Fall and absolutely loved them. Business classes are a great opportunity to learn interesting non-accounting topics and meet people outside of the MAcc program.

Finally, if you are not a morning person and have to take an early class, try to arrange a break afterwards that is long enough for you to go home and take a nap afterwards. Like my other tips, it will give you a little more peace of mind.


MAcc Autumn Reception

Last week the MAcc class gathered together for the Autumn Reception at the faculty club to celebrate the successful end of the first semester of the program. The evening started with appetizers and cocktails, and then we were treated to a dinner consisting of salad, pasta, potatoes, chicken, and a slew of other dishes. With finals being the week before, my diet mainly consisted of pizza rolls and coffee so it was a welcome change of pace to get some “real” food in my system.

After dinner Delanie Britton, graduate of the MAcc class of 2013, spoke to us about how the program helped shape her career and shared some life advice from her perspective as a recent graduate. I thought it was a great learning experience and it was very cool to see how alumni of the program feel the connection to come back on occasions like this.

MAcc Class of 2014

Finally, to wrap up the ceremony several faculty shared their thoughts on how the first semester went. Professor Anil Arya stood out in my mind, not only because of the advice he shared, but because I didn’t realize that accounting teachers could be so funny! It was a great end to the night and put everyone in a very light mood as we headed out on winter break.

 With that, I hope you all have a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!


My First Half Marathon!

Columbus in October is a pretty exciting time. Not only are the leaves changing color and the holidays near, it is a time where over 18,000 people gather together to run at least 13.1 miles before lunch. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon just completed its 12th annual run; however, for me, this would be my start.

So, you might ask, why in the world did I want to spend my morning running 13.1 miles around downtown Columbus and through different suburbs (click here for the course 

map)? Well, to be brief, essentially my mom. My mom, about three years ago, decided to pick up running as her new form of exercise and I thought she was crazy. She was not a runner in high school or college, but at the old age of 25 (she may or may not be lying about this) she decided it was time to change her exercise ways and find a new outlet. So, slowly, she would increase her walking to running as her goal was to complete a half marathon by the following year. Well, not only did she complete her first half marathon in less than a year, she then went on and signed herself up for another one, and another one, and another one after that.

My mom is what led me to pick up running myself, as it is a fantastic form of exercise and I know I can get a fantastic workout from it. I cannot tell you what great motivation my mom was in initially starting, as I could barely go over two miles without feeling like I was going to die. It takes time, but I now cannot fathom going even a couple days without this routine in my life. My mom then wondered why I wouldn’t sign myself up for a half marathon (as she completed about 6 already) and I told her there’s no way I could run that much.

Well, finally, after two years of running consistently, my mom forced me to run this half marathon with her and a couple of my siblings. Looking back, I cannot thank her enough as seeing that finish line was such an exhilarating experience for me. I am now signed up for another half in May and hopefully my family will run it with me. Oh, and the best part? I beat my brother (whose doesn’t train) by a couple minutes.

Could not have done this without my family!


Winter at OSU or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Snow

This is a special blog post. What follows is meant for those of you who will be coming from sunny places and know little to nothing of winter in Ohio.

Snow has finally reached Columbus, much to the joy or dismay of the students, faculty and staff.  The relative beauty of such an occurrence seems to be directly correlated to a few factors. The love one has of snow can, most often, be extrapolated based on the  amount of time one spends scraping ice off of their windshield. Another factor to consider in our little study is the number of winters such a student has spent in similar conditions. Experience can limit error and reduce stress but so can a few helpful hints from a seasoned veteran of the frozen onslaught of the fluffy white stuff.

From someone who grew up in Ohio and who has spent the past 4 years living in the snowiest county in Ohio (which is NOT near Columbus so don’t worry too much) here are a few tips to conquer winter in Ohio.

CAR

1) Own an ice scraper and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR. 

I would actually recommend that you have 2 scrapers. This way if you are not alone you can make your travel companion help you. Additional helpful gadgets are the keychain ice scraper and the extendable ice scraper (A must have for the SUV, Truck or Van driver). The only time you should use a credit card or drivers license to clean a window is under extreme duress.

2) De-Icer Liquid and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR

There is a spray you can buy which helps to de-ice your windshield and it is an AMAZING emergency tool. You can also purchase windshield wiper fluid which contains de-icer. Both are cheap and can become EXTREMELY helpful.

3) Start your car early AND TURN ON THE HEAT

Start your car before you need to leave and allow yourself some extra time to clean your car so you are not late for class. If you’re going to scrape off your car, start the engine, turn the defroster (the setting that looks like bacon in a little square) on full blast all the way to the warmest setting. This will help to a) warm up your car so when you get in it isn’t freezing and b) loosen the ice on your windshield.

GEAR

1) Boots and Socks - Invest in some rubber or winter boots and nice thick socks. Alpaca and wool are good options and there are many places which produce these locally!

2) Coat and Hoodie - For the coat I would suggest wool or something that makes you look like the Michelin Man. Whatever you choose make sure that the wind can’t get through. For the hoodie, go for an OSU hoodie, the OSU Bookstore has some GREAT cold weather selections.

3) Gloves, Scarf and the Fluffiest Hat You Can Find  - I’d stick to Scarlet or Grey! You’re going to want them when you sit through the OSU-Michigan game! 

HOUSE

1) Shovel - get a snow shovel, this may also be used to dig out your car or in a particularly frustrating moment, remove snow from your car.

2)Melting Salt - If you have a sidewalk, driveway or porch this is helpful and can get some of the ice off of your walkway.

The most important thing about this preparation is that each of these items or actions allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of winter in Ohio. The snow is beautiful, making a snowman in the oval is tons of fun and if you’re daring enough to jump into mirror lake before the OSU/Michigan game, you’re going to want a nice warm coat to put on once you’re done. Those who have never spent a winter in snowy weather say it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen. Seeing winter through they eyes of my classmates from warmer climates is like seeing snow for the first time all over again.  Winter is not impossible, it’s not even all that hard. Winter in Ohio just take a bit of forethought to make it successful. Snow can be beautiful and seeing it upon waking up can become a joy rather than a burden, as long as you let it!

 


The Job Offer

This is it.. After 19 (NINETEEN!) years of school, countless late nights spent making flash cards and studying, student organization meetings, volunteering, internships, meet and greets, pre-nights,  first and second round interviews, all while trying to balance some kind of college social life, the moment you (and of course your parents!) have been waiting for.. The Big Job offer!

I recently completed my career search by signing an offer with JPMorgan Chase as an Audit Analyst. While the interviewing process can be stressful at times, in the end, when you finally receive offers and can weigh different options, it is all worth it. It is such a great feeling of accomplishment when you know that all the hard work you put in during your academic career finally pays off!

For more information on how the Fisher Career Services office can help you in your job search click here


Making the Most of the Spring Semester!

Course selection can seem like a daunting process at first due to the variety of electives available within Fisher. To make this process slightly less stressful, the MAcc program hosted an electives information session a few weeks before it was time to register for Spring courses. During this session, several professors spoke for a few minutes about their electives that would be offered during the Spring term. They discussed the course components as well as some of the topics that would be covered and then opened up the floor for questions from students. This informal session really helped me gain a better understanding of what courses were being offered within Fisher’s accounting department and I was able to narrow down my selections to the courses I was most interested in taking. However, I have also asked students in the MBA and MHRM programs for their recommendations on elective courses that I should enroll in from other academic departments. Asking my peers from within the MAcc program for elective recommendations was also a great idea because I was able to get a feel for some of some of the accounting electives from the perspective of a MAcc student as opposed to that of the professor. Utilizing the available resources really simplified the process of deciding which electives to take and will hopefully allow me to make the most of my last semester within the MAcc program.

MAcc Students in AMIS 7510 – Assurance Services and Information Quality


Visiting Fisher – MAcc

I had several choices when choosing a MAcc program. The programs were good but in retrospect not quite as good as Fisher. Of the three programs I applied for, and was accepted to, I visited two. When it came down to it, each school was equally affordable and relocating would be an equal hassle. My decision was purely based on the quality of the school and the fit of the program. My visit to Fisher made that decision for me.

A visit to Fisher is planned so that you get a taste of what the program will be like. You meet professors, students and you can sit in on a class. The resources available in the career management office are like a god-send for someone who comes from a small private college in the middle of nowhere with a two person department. With on-campus interviews and easy scheduling, the idea of job hunting while in school did not seem so frightening. The tiered seating classrooms and meeting rooms with large flat screens for group work were impressive. The facilities were perfectly conducive to a learning environment in which I felt I could flourish.

While the resources that Fisher offered were excellent, it was the indescribable feeling of fitting in that was present while on campus. I showed up to my campus visit early. Classes were in process and it was still early in October and winter’s chill hadn’t set in yet. I sat outside of Fisher Hall after buying a cup of coffee from the Rohr Café and I could see myself walking between buildings. I didn’t feel as much like a stranger in a strange land, campus felt familiar.

When it came to the actual visit, my host was amazing. The student ambassador who led me around Fisher left no stone un-turned. She answered every question I asked and even the ones that I didn’t. For me, that visit was my decision. I decided that, if I got in, I would choose OSU.  I haven’t for one moment regretted that decision. If you have the opportunity to visit campus, do it. Visiting campus is the best way to know if Fisher is right for you.


Have a global mind-set

Ken Bouyer, E&Y Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting, gave our MAcc students a lecture about how to work in a diverse environment with a global mind-set. As a global candidate myself, I cannot agree more on this idea. During my two-years studying in America, I have learned how to be open-minded and embrace the differences.

Most people have certain mind-sets, which are  influenced by the cultures they have been brought up in. It is not easy to change that mind-set in a short time. It is even possible that one can never change his or her mind-set through their whole lives if they do not get exposed to different environments and cultures. Therefore, in my opinion, the most efficient way to open one’s mind is to explore foreign countries, like traveling outside of your home country instead of just sitting in front of TV. Watching TV, reading books and newspapers can help you get a general idea of foreign counties and cultures, but it also can lead to some misconceptions.  The learning you will get from TV and books is really different from the experiences from field trips. If you get the opportunity to going abroad, do not let it go.


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