My favorite Ohio State on-campus fitness classes

Getting back to school after the winter break can be unexciting. However, I have found joy attending different group fitness classes last semester, and they are the motivation for me to get back to campus and restart my workout routine after a long break. Below are my three current favorites and those that I highly recommend.

Barre or Barre Bootcamp or Cycle+Barre

Barre class setup. Each bar is shared among 4 people, so barre class can be filled very quickly.

Barre is definitely my favorite workout method, since I want to tone my body by using small weights with lots of reps. I also hate cardio so barre fits my preference perfectly. Barre bootcamp is a bit more intense than the regular barre. Cycle+Barre is a combination of both where we do cycling for the first half hour, and barre for the second half.

STRONG by Zumba

STRONG by Zumba is also a pretty popular class.

This is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. I do this once or twice a week for cardio, because it is so much more fun since the music is drafted and reversed engineer to match every move, so you’re always in sync with the music while sweating. This is the class I would recommend as the first class for newcomers.

Hip Hop Fitness

Another type of cardio classes that I look forward to every Friday. I have to admit that I have no dancing skills, so the first few classes was a struggle as I tried to tell my body to follow the dance moves. However, it’s easy to learn these moves quickly, and once you have the general idea of what to do, your body will just move naturally to the beat of your favorite hip hop songs.

Group fitness classes like these start as early as 6:15am and end as late as 9pm. These classes are held both at our biggest gym, the Recreational & Professional Activity Center (RPAC), and the North Recreation Center (which is a 3-minute-walk from Fisher!). There are so many choices to choose from so everyone will be able to pick their favorites. I wasn’t a fan of barre since I came to OSU, but after just 2 or 3 classes I was hooked. I highly recommend these to anyone, especially since they’re free for students!

My best and saddest moment of this semester

It’s still quite surreal for me sitting here, back from being in Houston for my winter break knowing that I have made it through half of the program! I still remember my struggle when moving in August, adjusting to the new environment (especially the weather), and getting to know all of the people in the program, and here we are about to start our last semester after a phenomenal autumn/first semester. There are many moments that I would always cherish when I leave this program, but two of them are the best and saddest during the past few months.

My best experience is definitely my first time at the Shoe, when we beat Michigan State! Coming from a Division III liberal arts college, I’ve never experienced being in a stadium with that number of people. The atmosphere is just so different and so much more exciting compared to watching the games on the screen. It was a great opportunity for many of us in the program to bond together outside of class as well.

Our first Big 10 home game against Michigan State

On the other hand, my saddest moment was the end-of-semester reception in early December where we celebrated the end of all fall classes and, at the same time, saying goodbyes to students in the KPMG MADA program as they head out for their internships in the Spring semester. Having working with and getting to know many of them personally, I’ll definitely miss seeing them around and being in the same classes with them. It’s also weird to know that I may not be able to see some of them after all as they would come back to campus for summer term after we graduate at the end of spring semester.

During winter break, I was able to relax, recharge myself after a very fast-paced semester, and enjoy my time away from classes. Now that spring semester has started, I’m ready to head into the home stretch. Stay tuned!

Three Things I Learned in Business School Was …

It’s hard to believe that our first semester of the MAcc program is over and we’re now starting a new one. It seems like we were all going to our first classes only a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve survived that LOOONG drive back home to Wisconsin – and then back to Columbus … here are some of my reflections on my first semester in the MAcc program. Hopefully they can be useful to some of you readers out there.

Leverage Each Other’s Strengths

The MAcc program places a ton of emphasis on group work to prepare students for future careers because that’s how the actual working world will be. As I worked through the seemingly endless group projects with my team members, I noticed that so often each group member would really excel at one particular component of the project. People come into this program with a diverse set of backgrounds, and if you happen to have someone who’s a rock-star on your group project, don’t be afraid to lean into their ability. Everyone brings their own experience to the table.

 

Stay Organized!

After four years of making fun of all of my friends who did this in undergrad, I finally did the unthinkable and started religiously maintaining a Google Calendar for everything I have going on each week. From classes to recruiting events, group project meetings to dinners with friends, this turned out to be a real lifesaver. I found that keeping everything neatly scheduled let me stress less about having to remember everything. Know yourself and your style, but always be ready to adapt like I did with my calendar.

 

Have Fun

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Being in Columbus for my MAcc has been rewarding academically, but all of the awesome entertainment along the way has helped me to take a breather from the grind. College football is the best sport in the world (biased opinion) and Ohio State is the best team in the world (not a biased opinion, straight facts). There are a ton of cool spots to explore in Columbus and I can’t wait to come back and keep on finding new things to enjoy.

Home for the Holidays

What a semester! As I spend time at home over the holiday season, I’ve gotten a chance to really reflect on my time at Ohio State in the MAcc program and all that I’m thankful for. While I’ve been home for break, I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family, which has been really nice for me after a semester of living in a single apartment.

Sadly, however, being a part of my family means taking cheesy Christmas card pictures for my mom and dad, a tradition that my brothers and I have suffered through since we’ve been born. This year, the photo was Chicago jersey-themed, as evidenced by the above picture. While the only time my brothers and I might be smiling during the ordeal is while the actual picture is being taken, it makes me laugh each year as my parents drag us three into the backyard while we complain about how cheesy the photograph is the entire time. No matter how long I’m away from my family, it’s good to see that nothing’s changed- as my parents continue their cheesy Christmas card tradition, and my brothers continue the tradition of whining and complaining while taking the photo.

One semester down and one more to go. Weird to think I’ll be graduating in less than five months from now. In the meantime, I hope everyone’s holiday season is a good one. Can’t wait to get back to campus and finish up strong!

 

MAcc Fall Reception

As a way to celebrate the end of our semester, the Fisher MAcc program hosted a MAcc Fall reception for us the Friday after our last classes, and it was a very festive event! The MAcc Fall reception at the Faculty Club consisted of a cocktail hour, dinner, and speeches. This event was an excellent opportunity to bring students, faculty and staff together one last time before the holiday break! I even had the chance to mingle with one of my professors from undergrad.

I enjoyed the cocktail hour of the event because it was a great opportunity to mingle and say hi to all of my classmates, some of whom I may not have seen recently and will not see for a while. It was bittersweet time to say bye to all the students who are a part of the KPMG program and will be heading off to their internships next semester. Some of us had gotten very close over the semester and will miss their presence in the program. (They’ll be back at Ohio State in summer semester 2020.)

After the cocktail hour, we enjoyed a dinner buffet and listened to Dr. Zach give a speech that had us all laughing as he wove some of his classic jokes that he had told throughout the semester. Additionally, we had a guest speaker who was a prior OSU MAcc student. It was really neat to listen to her advice about how to handle the MAcc and post-grad life as she was in our exact shoes, just two years ago.

After the reception, to continue celebrating being halfway done with the Masters program, we all headed over to one of our friend’s apartment to hang out and relax. Then after a while, we all decided to go and explore the nightlife in downtown Columbus to say goodbye one final time. I wish all the KPMG students the best of luck with their internships, and we will all truly miss them next semester!

Final Presentations

As the semester at Ohio State comes to a close, I had to give final presentations in many of my classes, discussing and explaining research that many of my teams had compiled over the course of the semester. However, I definitely had my most unique experience in my Business of College Sports class, in which I had to dress up as Jim Harbaugh for a recruiting pitch. (One of the Fisher MAcc program’s unique features is that up to half of your total credits can be in areas outside of accounting. The college wants its students to be well rounded in areas that complement knowledge and skills in accounting.)

As many of you might know, Jim Harbaugh is the head coach of Michigan football, Ohio State’s biggest rival. In a team with Celine (one of our MAcc graduate ambassadors) and five others, we got to present our recruiting pitch as a business idea to Gene Smith, the Ohio State athletics director. The experience was a little frightening- getting up in front of a world-renowned college AD and pitching him a business idea- but we made sure it was interactive and even got a few laughs along the way! Celine acted as the recruit I was giving my recruiting pitch to, and she played the role of “Justine Fields”, a highly-touted quarterback prospect out of Georgia. Needless to say, Justine Fields ended up choosing to go to Ohio State instead of Michigan in our recruiting simulation. Who would have thought?

My two current favorite off-campus study spots

Recently, I decided to explore some local coffee shops with a friend, Christina, in the MAcc program as I didn’t want to head for Starbucks constantly. Columbus is filled with some phenomenal coffee shops that are excellent study spots for Fisher graduate students. Below are my two of my current favorites near campus.

1. Stauf’s Coffee Roaster on Grandview

Some of Stauf’s food options

This location is pretty closed to campus, and it was very packed on the Sunday morning that we went! However, there is plenty of space inside the shop, so finding a table is pretty easy. Parking is spacious as well, and the prices are similar to those at Starbucks. There is a lot of food options too. I like to study with noise in the background, so this is a great option, and the food is there to feed us for however long we want to stay.

2. The Roosevelt Coffeehouse on Long St

I personally prefer this place more as the aesthetic is much nicer!

However, it is a bit farther away from campus as it’s in downtown, and parking can be a bit hard during peak hours. They have fewer tables compared to Stauf’s, so it may be hard to get one during busy hours. I like to come here when I need to get some serious work done, as it tends to be more quiet and calming inside, compared to the hectic atmosphere at Stauf’s.

That is my quick review of the two places. Columbus has a lot to offer Fisher graduate students, including a lot of coffee shops to choose from 🙂 I’m hoping to explore more local establishments during spring semester and to blog more about newly discovered favorites. Stay tuned!

 

 

Go Bucks! … My last home game :(

As many of you may know, Ohio State is a sports school, and we dominate in almost every division 1 sport you can think of. One in particular that brings a lot of attention to our school is… FOOTBALL. Ohio State is currently sitting as the number 1 ranked collegiate team in the nation, but this is not an unusual thing for Ohio State football. OSU is consistently a top 10 football team year in and year out in the recent past.


Ever since my freshman year of college here at Ohio State, I have gone to every single home football game to support the bucks. I love looking forward to Saturdays in the magical Shoe. The Shoe is our football stadium that seats 100,000+ fans every game. Being in the stadium is electric … every fan is decked out in red and is cheering at the top of their lungs to help root the Buckeyes to a victory.


If you attend Ohio State, you should try and go to at least one game while you are here because it is an experience like no other. I recently just attended my last home game as a student, and I can say I am still very emotional about it. On November 23rd, the Bucks played Penn State. It was supposed to be a massive game for us, but just like the rest of the teams, Penn State fell victim to an OSU win. Every fan in the stadium cheered the bucks on to a great victory, and at the end of the game, we even got to rush the field to celebrate a big win!

 

KPMG Masters of Accounting & Data Analytics

I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Kaufman Ortiz, the campus ambassador for the KPMG Masters of Accounting and Data Analytics (MADA) program here at the Ohio State University (OSU). After his studies at the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez, he is thrilled to be here at OSU as a MADA participant. Here are a few questions I ran by him to learn more about what this program is all about.

What is MADA?

MADA helps move KPMG professionals into the data age by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed in an increasingly technology-driven world. The MADA class of 2020 has 135 students (110 in audit and 25 in tax) receive full-ride scholarships and stipends to attend one of nine participating masters programs throughout the country in exchange for a three year commitment to the firm. The number of students in the program increases every year. A few of the other schools in the program include Villanova University, University of Mississippi, Virginia Tech, and the University of Georgia.

Ohio State is one of the founders of the program, and has 25 sponsored students this year. MADA participants take a full schedule in the fall, participate in a paid busy season internship, and return to campus in the summer to wrap up their Master in Accounting.

We take many of the same classes as the other OSU Master of Accounting students. However, the MADA students focus their electives on data-driven courses.

What is the application process for this program?

The application process is rigorous and consists of several interviews and taking the GMAT. Applicants are considered holistically. Additionally, MADA students apply and must be accepted to the MAcc programs they will be placed into separately through the school’s process. The process from initial application to acceptance of the offer takes around 6 months. If you’re interested in learning more about the program and its application process, click here.

How has MADA impacted your professional development?

This program has opened my eyes to data analysis tools like R, Python, SQL, and Tableau. Firsthand experience with all of these tools in my classes is very valuable. I think the biggest thing has been learning to think about things through the context of big data. As an accounting professional in the data age, the opportunity to adopt that mindset and be able to apply it in our future audit engagements is an invaluable skill for my future career at KPMG.

VITA Info Session and My Past Experience

The Fisher MAcc Council recently held an info session regarding the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for current MAcc students as well as undergraduate accounting students interested in participating in this year’s tax filing season. If you are not familiar, the VITA program is organized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offer free tax return services for low-income individuals and households. Volunteers must train before participating, and often work for a few hours a week at a designated site depending on one’s availability. The site that OSU students would be working at is about 5 minutes of driving from campus, and we would work on either Friday or Saturday, for either 5 or 10 weeks, from mid-January to the end of March next year.

Olivia and Madie, members of the MAcc Council, presented to students about the VITA program

I participated in the program for the first time my junior year during my undergraduate studies and my experience was absolutely enjoyable/rewarding. (I couldn’t do it during my senior year since I had a conflict with my internship.) However, I really hope I would be able to join yearly from now on, since the experience of interacting with people from different backgrounds and being able to apply what I have learned in class in real life to help others is so fulfilling. Although my career interest is audit, I’m very obsessed with taxes. In fact, I registered for all four tax classes offered next semester. Solving a tax problem, such as filing a tax return, is like solving a puzzle to me. I’m given all the facts about a person’s financial circumstances, and now have to piece them together to complete their returns so that I can help them not only comply with the law, but also in most cases optimize their refunds since we all love to get some cash back when submitting our returns, and if the cash is a big check that is even better. Not to mention the free snacks and food, as well as the welcoming atmosphere, especially from the site supervisor, as she appreciated all volunteers who took time to come and help.

With that, I’m definitely looking forwards to rejoining the program this spring!