This session a group of MAcc students (myself included) decided to form an Intramural Co-Ed Basketball Team. Since The Ohio State University is a large university there is a huge number of intramural sports offered for several different groups of people. We were able to enter a co-ed graduate, professional, and faculty league for basketball that plays on Tuesday evenings.
Through three games, The Embezzlers are sporting a powerful 3-0 record entering the second half of the season. With two more games before the beginning of the playoffs, we are hopeful for a high playoff seed and maybe even a championship.
All joking aside, playing intramural basketball has been a terrific addition to my MAcc experience. It has provided an opportunity for me to interact with my friends in the MAcc program in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with accounting or schoolwork. More importantly, the exercise serves as a healthy outlet of stress from classes or looming finals!
Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of The Embezzlers!
If I haven’t learned anything else from the MAcc program so far, I have learned two things: 1. MAcc students get a lot of free Panera and 2. The professors here love getting to know their students.
Recently I attended something called “The MAcc Meet & Greet Breakfast.” This is a casual gathering where a small group of MAcc students are invited to attend breakfast with MAcc faculty. Only about 10 students are invited at a time and there were 5 faculty members at the breakfast I attended. I think this event is an excellent example of what a personal level of attention students in the MAcc program here at Fisher receive. The faculty truly want to get to know you and are genuinely concerned about what is going on in the students’ lives – as far as classes, jobs after graduation, hobbies, spring break plans, etc.
Many students are invited to a MAcc Breakfast session during first semester, and this is a nice way for students to get to know professors even if they had not them in class yet. Since I went during second semester, I already knew the professors from having them in class, but breakfast was a fantastic way to catch up and get to know these professors in a context outside of class.
Coming from a small undergraduate school, I can truly say that the MAcc program here at Fisher offers the unique personal connections and attention one would typically get at a smaller university, but still has so many of the benefits and opportunities that come with attending such a large university with so many resources!
This past week Susan Blasik-Miller from the law firm Freund, Freeze & Arnold came to talk to our class. As a lawyer, most of her daily work is spent either training doctors how to avoid malpractice suits or defending them in court. However, unlike many of our other speakers, she chose not to talk about her work. Instead, Mrs. Blasik-Miller talked about things she has learned over her career that she wished someone had told her in college.
Some of her main points were:
Email vs. Personal Communication:
While it is often times easier to just simply send emails to a colleague, it is very beneficial to pick up the phone or stop by their office. By having live or face-to-face communication, you will be able to develop strong connections and strengthen your personal network.
Remember Who Owns Your Work Computer:
What you do or what you send from your work computer can probably be recovered by the IT department of your company. Never post anything from your work computer that you wouldn’t want your boss to see!
Own your Mistakes:
When you do something wrong, own up to it. It is much better for you to admit your mistake to your boss rather than having your boss find the mistake later on when it cannot be fixed. Be open with your communication and don’t try and cover anything up.
Find a Mentor:
Having someone who is experienced in the work you will be pursuing to bounce questions and ideas off of will help maximize your talent. These relationships develop over time so do not fret if you don’t have a mentor within the first 6 months of work.
Mrs. Blasik-Miller touched on many other topics related to career development. It was a terrific experience receiving advice from someone so successful!
One of the many great aspects of the MAcc Program (and Ohio State in general) is the abundance of fascinating speakers that are brought in to present to us. We have something called the “MAcc Speakers Series” and this goes on throughout the entire year. We have several speakers from all different professional and personal backgrounds come in to present on a topic of their choosing, and we also get to ask them questions. Recently, we had a speaker who has an extensive background in law. She also happened to be a current MAcc student’s mom!
For Susan’s presentation, she chose to share some of the insights and knowledge she has acquired throughout the years of being a lawyer, an employer, and a mother. Here are some of the things she shared with us:
- Email vs. Personal Communication: There are many positive and negative aspects that come with email and constant communication. She stressed the importance of building relationships, and how this is difficult to do from email communication alone. Also, never deliver bad news over email or ask for special consideration over email.
- Remember who owns your business computer: Susan shared horror stories of people losing jobs, being sued, and suffering severe embarrassment from things they have done on their business computers. Overall, it is best to keep emails free of jokes or innuendos and to not use your business computer for something that you wouldn’t want others to see.
- Own mistakes: We should always admit to our mistakes. Although we might get punished for admitting our mistakes, companies have professional liability insurance in case mistakes happen. The insurance no longer applies if we try to cover up our mistakes, and thus it is important to never try and cover anything up.
- Don’t isolate yourself: Get your work done, but also build relationships within the firm and try to meet as many people as possible. This could include doing things such as joining work intramural teams, volunteering, and going to other social events with coworkers.
- Find a mentor: It is important to find a mentor at any stage in your career. You are never too old to have a mentor!
- Broaden your horizons: Join organizations that you are interested in joining. You never know what people you may meet that will one day be future clients or a future contact for a business opportunity or favor.
I really enjoyed Susan’s presentation and she shared some very good things to think about as we begin our future careers. I also like that many of the speakers, such as Susan, do not have a background in accounting, but they are still able to share very relevant and interesting topics with us.
The other week I wrote a blog post about my Graduate Assistantship (GA) position of being a graduate student ambassador for the MAcc program. This week I will write about being a Teaching Assistant, the other GA position offered. To do this I interviewed two current students in the MAcc Program, Jeremy Cranmer and Kevin Slone, who are both TA’s.
1.What classes do you teach?
- Jeremy: ACCMIS 2200 – Intro to Accounting 1 (Financial Statements) and ACCMIS 2300 – Intro Accounting 2 (Managerial).
- Kevin: 2200 Intro to Accounting 1 Lab, 2300 Intro to Accounting 2, and an online version of 2200 Lab to the 4 OSU regional campuses.
2. How many classes are you required to teach each session?
- Jeremy: 3 semester long classes.
- Kevin: 6 classes for the entire year.
3. How long does it typically take for you to prepare for a class?
- Jeremy: 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Kevin: It generally takes me about an hour to familiarize myself with the problems we are covering in class and know how to work the solutions cold.
4. How long are the classes you teach?
- Jeremy: 1 hour 20 minutes, but the classes often end early.
- Kevin: 1 hour 20 minutes, but I generally get done 10-15 minutes early depending on student participation.
5. What goes on in a typical class you teach?
- Jeremy: We get a sheet of problems before class so we can prepare. Then during class we walk through those problems on the board with the students and attempt to get the students to participate.
- Kevin: In a typical class we have 3 long story problems. Generally, I start class by going through the first problem on the board leading the students through the solution. The next two problems the students usually get 10-15 minutes to work in groups while I walk around and check on their progress. Then I’ll walk through the problem on the board. The students typically do not have many questions, about 5 during a class and they’re generally very simple.
6. What additional duties do you have besides teaching?
- Jeremy: We also proctor the exams for ACCMIS 2200 and ACCMIS 2300 at night. We get to sit there and work on homework during this time. We also help grade the exams.
- Kevin: Proctor exams, grade exams, and occasionally handle the intro email account. We proctor exams about 3-4 times per semester. Each TA usually grades about 80 exams. 1 out of every 4 weeks I handle the email account where students ask homework questions.
7. Would you recommend this position to a prospective MAcc student?
- Jeremy: I would recommend it because it’s a good refresher for our harder MAcc courses and really helps with fears of public speaking if you’re like me and hate it. You get used to standing up there quickly.
- Kevin: I would highly highly highly recommend accepting this position if it is offered to you. You will be scared at the idea of standing in front of a room of kids and having to explain your way through basic accounting, but you will get over that fear within the first 2 weeks. You will instantly notice the improvement in your public speaking and presentation abilities. I was a timid public speaker coming into the program and now have no problem being the lead speaker for a team project presentation in class. It will deeply enhance your knowledge of basic accounting because as you prepare for your classes, you will try to anticipate student questions and then re-affirm to yourself the reasoning behind why we do things in accounting. It will also refresh your basic knowledge and help you in your path to becoming a CPA. You’ll find that the job is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of working the problems. I enjoy it.
8. Additional comments?
- Kevin: The supervisor, Marc Smith, is a very fun supervisor for which to work. He always buys decent food for all meetings, gets to know you very well personally, and will always stand behind your decisions in any disputes with students. You are expected to spend about 10 hours per week in your GA duties. Sometimes it ends up being more and sometimes less. It will keep you busy and is definitely a good investment of your time.
One great benefit of the Fisher MAcc Program is the ability to take elective courses in the business school outside of the Accounting Curriculum. This provides students the opportunity to take courses offered to Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM), as well as Specialized Master of Finance (SMF) students.
This session I am enrolled in a Master of Human Resource Management course titled International Ethics that is taught by Professor David Freel. Professor Freel has a wide set of experiences from being a trial lawyer as well as traveling to Europe to help companies and governments solve ethical disputes. Throughout his career, Professor Freel has met several influential people abroad. Because of these connections, a component of our International Ethics course includes hearing from various professionals involved in compliance related roles abroad.
This past week the class was able to have Drago Kos speak to us over skype. Drago Kos is the current Bribery Chairman for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED). In his presentation to the class, he discussed his daily responsibilities, recent projects he has been working on, as well as how we can continue to improve economic fairness through the banishment of bribes and other forms of corruption.
I am looking forward to an exciting session of classes and learning more about ethical practices overseas!
As a graduate ambassador for the MAcc program here at Fisher, I often get a lot of questions from prospective students about financial aid. Aside from fellowships, merit-based scholarships, and scholarships from external organizations, there are also several Graduate Assistantships (GA’s) given out to students in the MAcc program.
In this post I will describe what having a GA position is like for me (a graduate ambassador). In my next post I will discuss what other MAcc students, who are Teaching Assistants, say their GA position is like.
All admitted applicants to the MAcc program are considered for a GA position. Applicants do not have to complete any additional essays or interviews in order to receive a GA position. These positions are merit-based and provide a 50% fee and tuition waiver in addition to a monthly stipend. Students with a GA position typically work about 10 hours a week.
For my position, I work in the Graduate Programs Office in Gerlach Hall. This is very convenient because it is the same building as all of my classes so I can work directly before or after class. I work about 10 hours a week and this is typically split into several hours a day about 3 days a week. The nice thing about being a graduate ambassador is the flexibility of this position. The hours I work are set based on my class schedule, and if there is an important speaker/career related event/etc. I would usually be able to attend these events and make up my hours at another time.
On a typical day, I come into work and set up at a desk in the Graduate Programs Office. Most of the time I am answering emails/phone calls from students interested in applying for the MAcc program. I also sometimes have prospective students who already attend Ohio State for their undergraduate degree come in and ask me questions about the MAcc program in person.
Another aspect of my position is assisting with prospective students visiting campus. After communicating with a prospective student interested in coming to campus, I setup and plan their visit to Fisher. The day of the actual visit usually involves taking the prospective student to one of my classes, meeting with faculty/staff, eating lunch with the prospective student and another current MAcc student, and going on a tour of Fisher/campus.
For many students in the MAcc program here at Fisher, this semester is the last semester of schooling they will have in their life (with the exception of PhD students and students who may return to school after working). This brings on a certain degree of finality and sentimentalism.
For myself, being a BSBA/MAcc crossover student, this semester is not only the closing of my masters of accounting degree, but also of my undergraduate degree. Realizing that I have already attended my last Football game as a student, scheduled for the last time, and had my last Christmas break, I have decided that I am going to milk my final semester for all that it is worth.
In order to achieve this in my final semester, I am taking majorly elective classes that have peaked my interest, I will become more involved in Fisher community activities (such as food truck Friday), and plan on attending as many campus events as possible (such as basketball games and concerts) prior to moving on into the working-world . I am excited to share these experiences with all of you as a close the book on what has been an exceptional college experience!
During the winter break, people travel around or go back to their hometown to celebrate Christmas with their families. However, if you are still in Columbus, you can still find some interesting places to go and experience some local life here. One thing you cannot miss during your study at Columbus is watching a show at the Ohio Theatre, a performing arts center located at 39 E. State Street in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Theatre is known as the “Official Theatre of the State of Ohio” and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
After my seven-day trip to San Francisco after our finals, I came back to Columbus on Christmas Eve. Well, a very useful tip is that you definitely want to store some food in your refrigerator or ask someone to kindly buy you some food if you plan to arrive home late on Chistmas Eve, since almost every store and restaurant is closed on Christmas. To celebrate Christmas, I bought tickets at Ticketmaster for The Nutcracker, a traditional Christmas-season ballet show, performed by BalletMet on Dec. 26, 2015 at the Ohio Theatre. The adventure with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Sweets is wonderful, especially with the score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (op. 71) played by the Columbus Symphony, conducted by Luis Biava. Many parents brought their children to this show and surely those young kids enjoyed it a lot!
As one of the nice traditions in the MAcc program, students and faculty have the chance to sit at a round table and enjoy breakfast together. These gatherings provide a lovely way for students to get to know the MAcc professors. And it is always enjoyable to hear some funny stories and jokes from our professors.
So last time, when I was invited to the breakfast, I was so excited. Professor Stephanie Lewis, Arya, Tzachi Zach and Rebecca Zurek and some other classmates were there. The breakfast is quite relaxing, starting from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. If students happen to have class at 8:30, they could still come, grab some food and enjoy a short talk with others before class. It is quite pleasant to start a day like this. We covered a lot of casual topics, such as weather, games, and culture. You can’t really imagine how funny it was to hear Professor Tzachi Zach actually say Chinese words such as 猴子 (monkey) and 猫头鹰 (owl) in such an authentic way. I was totally surprised. I hope this MAcc tradition continues.