Of course we all want to go to grad school to learn cool new stuff and further develop our skills, however I think the main goal for many of us this year is to get a job. That was my main goal at least.. (sorry professors if you’re reading this).
The recruiting process starts up in full swing right when school starts, and maybe even the week of orientation. There are events hosted on and off campus all the time by the Big 4 as well as many other public accounting firms. It can definitely seem overwhelming, but I’m going to offer a few tips I picked up along the way.
Be yourself! Talk to as many people as you can and really try to find out where the best fit is for you. I know it can be intimidating at times going up to people you’ve never met and asking them all kinds of questions, but that’s what they’re there for! I can honestly say that everybody I met during the recruiting process was so nice and helpful.
Practice Interviewing! The office of career management is there to help and they have some amazing resources. I was able to schedule a mock-interview with Steve Singer, the MAcc director of career management, and it helped a ton. Most of the interviews are behavioral based, and I had never done one before, so meeting with Steve really helped me to figure out what I needed to work on and to be more comfortable with the whole process.
Have Confidence in Yourself! I think that this is a big one for many people. I would say 99% of the students in my MAcc program are very humble and don’t like to brag about themselves. The reality is, we are at one of the top MAcc programs in the country at one of the most well known business schools. We have already accomplished so much, and it’s okay to talk about your accomplishments! Employers are looking for you to talk about times and situations you have worked hard and succeeded so don’t be afraid to have confidence in yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Good luck!
One great thing about being in the MAcc program is that we have so many amazing opportunities to do community service and help others using our own knowledge. One community service event we do every year is helping young students learn more about how to manage their budgets. It is called FETCH!
FETCH! stands for Financial Education Teaches Children Healthy Habits. It is offered through The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. It is a fun, interactive board game that teaches children in 5th and 6th grade about the importance of budgeting, saving and spending. I am very lucky to take part in the program this year.
We went to an elementary school near German Village. Students were very excited about the game and were very energetic. We spent some time to explain the rules and then the game started! We let them make their own decisions on how to spend their money first, and then we had little discussions. Volunteers, like me, led the discussions and helped students come up with strategies on how to avoid the future risk. It was so much fun teaching them how to make investments but at the same time save them some money in case of an emergency. I really enjoyed taking a break from all the group assignments and midterms. I love talking to them about what accountants do and who they are. It was a great experience!
It’s hard to believe, but my first semester of the MAcc program here at Fisher is winding down. Unfortunately there is one thing in the way before everyone can go home for break and enjoy time with friends and family – final exams. I thought it would be helpful to give a brief overview of what types of final assignments/tests I have so those interested in the MAcc program can get a better idea of what to expect when finals come around.
Professional Research in Accounting: This is one of the four required accounting courses. Throughout this class we have been learning how to do accounting research using several different sources and then had to use this research to complete group research papers. For our final assignment, each student was presented with several paragraphs of information about a company and we have to use accounting research tools to answer several accounting-related questions about the company. This assignment is to be completed outside of class and individually.
Tax Accounting 2: This is an elective accounting course. During this class we have learned about the federal income tax treatment of business corporations and partnerships. Throughout the class, most of our assignments have involved reading the textbook and completing practice problems to obtain a better understanding of the material. We have an in-class final exam that covers all of the material we have learned throughout the 7 week course.
Assurance Services and Information Quality: This is an elective accounting course. In this class, we have been focusing on the role of assurance services in enhancing the quality of information for financial decision making. We have completed numerous group case assignments throughout the 7 week course. A portion of the final exam is an individual take-home assignment, and the other portion is an in-class final exam.
The Business of College Sports: This is an elective non-accounting course. Throughout this class we have learned about the OSU athletic program from a wide variety of speakers as well as taking tours of several athletic facilities. A couple of weeks ago we took an individual final exam in class that covered all of the material from throughout the semester. In addition to the final exam, the class is split into teams, and each team is required to do a 20-30 minute presentation on a topic of their choosing related to college sports.
Negotiations: This is an elective non-accounting course. During the semester, we have developed our skills to become more effective negotiators. Much of the class has been spent getting to actually negotiate with our classmates. Most of our assignments have involved preparing for in-class negotiations and completing assigned readings. For our final exam, we have an in-class exam covering the topics we have learned throughout the semester. We also have a group paper due that we must complete with our teammates from a negotiation that took place over 3 different class days.
The Ohio State MAcc program is unique in the fact that the university operates on a semester schedule, yet the MAcc program offers half-semester 7-week session classes. This means that when students enroll in classes, they will enroll in the next two 7-week session’s courses! While this quick rotation through classes keeps MAcc students refreshed on course topics, it can complicate how students schedule for their final semester schedule.
Your first half year in the Ohio State MAcc program is fairly structured as each student is required to 3 of the 4 required core course in the first two sessions. This simplicity, combined with terrific guidance from the MAcc advising staff, makes scheduling for the first two sessions a breeze (even though students are not even on campus yet).
It is the second half-year scheduling where things become a little more complicated. Normally, second semester scheduling windows open sometime before Halloween; this means that students have had roughly 10 weeks to get acclimated to the MAcc program and its courses prior to having to select your courses for your final semester!
While this might seem stressful, it is actually a very exciting time. Since there are so many elective course offerings, the Graduate Programs Office hosts a lunch where professors of second semester courses come and talk about their course topics and expectations. The purpose of the lunch is to help students choose which classes would be best for them. Aside from attending this lunch, there are other keys to take away the stress of scheduling that I have learned by finalizing my schedule.
The keys to take away the stress of scheduling are:
Make sure you have met all of the program requirements
Talk to professors to gain more information about their classes
Make a primary and a backup schedule
As soon as your scheduling window opens, SCHEDULE! Classes are assigned on a first come-first serve basis based on when your scheduling window opens.
While you will have a lot of decisions to make regarding which courses to enroll in, take comfort in the fact that all the professors in the MAcc program are the very best that the Fisher College of Business has to offer. Any class you choose to take while in the MAcc program will be interesting, engaging, and fulfilling!
After months of waking up early for accounting classes and staying up late studying, what do Fisher students do with a day off? Wake up even earlier than usual to volunteer for Impact Day!
Fisher Impact Day gives students and staff the option of spending their Veterans Day holiday volunteering with local non-profit organizations – a chance that a pretty amazing number of students jumped at, given this was the first year. After meeting at the school for registration, shuttles took us to various locations around the city for our volunteer placements. I ended up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore East, breaking down and removing old wall shelving units and preparing the 2x4s for resale. So not only did I get to do some community service, I got to do so while making liberal use a sledgehammer – always a plus.
After a few hours we cleaned up and headed back to Fisher, where MAcc volunteers were treated to a delicious Chinese lunch while we discussed our various projects. Apparently one of the assignments was at a rabbit rescue and consisted of playing with rabbits all day… Something to keep in mind for next year.
I think it would be helpful for students considering the MAcc program at Ohio State to know that there are not only fellowships, graduate assistantships, and scholarships from Ohio State, but there are also opportunities to receive scholarship money from external organizations.
After applying to Ohio State, I was made aware of the scholarships available through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA offers a number of different scholarships for aspiring CPAs who are attending undergraduate or graduate school to one day pursue a career in accounting. These scholarships are all part of a program called “The AICPA Legacy Scholars Program“. This program not only provides financial assistance, but also teaches leadership skills and allows students to network with other aspiring accountants and accounting professionals.
The four scholarships offered are:
AICPA/Accountemps Scholarship Award: This is a $10,000 scholarship awarded to 4 students
AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students: This is a $1,000-$5,000 scholarship awarded to 80 students
AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship Award: This is a $5,000 scholarship awarded to 5 students
AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship Award: This is a $3,000 scholarship awarded to 15 students
Recipients of any of these scholarships must perform at least 8 hours of community service per semester to advocate for the CPA/Accounting profession. I recently completed a service event to meet this 8 hour requirement where I went back to my undergraduate institution and presented to the accounting club. I prepared a PowerPoint presentation that included information about the accounting profession, what the AICPA is, information about the CPA exam, and some general career and graduate school advice. I chose to complete my event at my undergraduate school because I thought it would benefit students at a small liberal arts school to learn more about the accounting profession, and having just graduated last year, I felt like any additional advice relating to my future career/graduate school I could have received would have been helpful.
If you are a current undergraduate student who is either going to still be an undergraduate student or a graduate student next year, you should definitely check out the AICPA’s website to see if you meet the qualifications for any of these scholarships!
A couple of Fridays ago, the MAcc Council and Fisher College of Business hosted its first “Food Truck Friday.” One thing a visitor to Columbus will quickly learn is that Columbus is chalk full of unique restaurants. Food Truck Friday is a terrific opportunity for students and faculty alike to try some of the most unique ethnic food around, all without even having to get in a car! During this past “Food Truck Friday” four food vendors parked outside the doors of Gerlach Hall at lunchtime. The four food trucks were:
Fall in Ohio is a beautiful time of the year. Recently, a large group of students in the MAcc program took a trip to Circle S Farms, a pumpkin farm in Grove City, Ohio about 30 minutes south of Ohio State’s campus, to enjoy the fall weather and the the activities offered this time of year. This event was organized by the Fisher College of Business MAcc Council.
This trip was a great opportunity to bond with many of my fellow students in a non-academic setting. When we first got to the farm, we started by walking around the petting zoo. We then broke up into small groups to explore the sunflower maze and corn maze. Luckily nobody got lost in the mazes! Next, we went into a barn called “the fun barn.” This was a big barn completely filled with hay and several slides. It was pretty hilarious to watch my 22 year old+ classmates tumble down the slides into piles of hay. After playing around in the hay for awhile we decided we worked up an appetite and went to claim our homemade donut and juice. Finally, we took a hayride out to the pumpkin patch. We sat in big wooden wagons on seats made out of hay that were being pulled by a tractor. Since we didn’t go on this trip until the very end of October, the actual pumpkin selection was a little scarce, but all of us managed to find a pumpkin we liked and got to take it back home with us.
I really enjoyed getting to spend time with many of my classmates while going somewhere new. The close-knit relationship that the MAcc students have with each other is definitely one of my favorite aspects about the program!
Throughout the year-long MAcc program, students are required to complete 4 core accounting courses. One of these four courses, Management and Control, is completed in the first session of first semester and is taught by Professor Anil Arya. Professor Arya not only teaches this course in the MAcc program but is also the Academic Director of the MAcc program. It is evident how much the students appreciate and enjoy Professor Arya. Every morning I walked into class at 8:30 AM and Professor Arya would have a different rock band blasting from his Spotify account. He also always made it clear that all of the MAcc students were welcome to come to his office at any time (even before 6:00 AM since this is when he gets to campus) to ask homework questions, express any school/career concerns, or just chat about anything that comes to mind. This week, I went to Professor Arya’s office to ask him a few questions so I could learn a little more about him and share it in this post.
Years teaching at OSU: 24 years. Professor Arya made sure to tell me that he began teaching at Ohio State back when he had “a full set of nice flowing hair” in contrast to his “less flowing hair” now.
Years teaching for the MAcc program: Since the program has started. Professor Arya has been the head of the program for the last several years. Prior to this, Professor Arya taught undergraduate accounting students for both the traditional accounting program as well as the honors accounting program.
Years teaching at other schools: Professor Arya has only taught at Ohio State. He has given about 75 lectures at other schools but has only been a professor here.
Favorite things about teaching at OSU: Professor Arya was very adamant that his favorite 3 things about the MAcc program here are 1. The students 2. His colleagues 3. The support the program receives.
Regarding the students, Professor Arya commented on how much he loves being able to actually teach a course in the MAcc program where he is able to interact with the students. He said that he used to be much more focused on doing research, but he has now realized that it is much more fulfilling to do research and teach. He loves how he has the freedom to do research and then share some of his findings and new ideas with the students.
In terms of his colleagues, Professor Arya explained how this program has extremely genuine and hard working professors. He thinks it is fantastic that the faculty teaching in the MAcc program come from a wide variety of backgrounds, whether that is primarily an academic background or a background of professional accounting experience. He truly believes that every faculty member would be happy to help his or her students in anyway possible.
Professor Arya couldn’t say enough about how appreciative he is of the support the MAcc program receives. This spans from people such as the Dean of the business school, Anil Makhija, to the extremely dedicated staff members, such as Rob Chabot, the director of recruiting and admissions. Professor Arya raved about how much all of the faculty and staff genuinely love their jobs and how this is a huge contributing factor to the success of the MAcc program. Professor Arya also mentioned the immense support from employers recruiting MAcc students, especially the Big 4 accounting firms.
Other comments: Professor Arya told me that he often tells people when they ask him what he does for a living that he has never had a job. He often forgets what he does is technically “a job” because he enjoys what he does so much. He also said that while this program is very successful, there is always still room for improvement. It is important to contiunally to make changes such as adding new elective course options and bringing in new faculty to teach courses. Ultimately, Professor Arya’s goal is to make the MAcc program better, focus on teaching, and for his students and himself to have a good time while doing serious things. Professor Arya believes that learning is serious, and therefore a little stress is good, but students should also have fun.
Another great aspect of being part of The Ohio State Masters of Accounting (MAcc) Program is being able to take part in the EY MAcc Speaker Series. Over the course of the program, the speaker series invites roughly ten influential individuals in both academic and professional communities to come and speak to MAcc students during lunch time (another great aspect is that lunch is provided for you!)
Professor James Hill
This past week we had Professor James Hill from the Management Sciences department at the Fisher College of Business come and speak to our class about product complexity. Professor Hill specifically spoke about product complexity in the yogurt market with companies like Chobani Yogurt. He discussed the operational strains an organization like Chobani experiences when they must produce 350 variations of one product! Another main discussion was on how the increase in the number of flavors of yogurts availible on the shelfs of grocery stores is changing the risk of food related illnesses. His presentation was rounded out as he showed the students a specific production model that he was able to create through research at a local production plant that would increase efficiency of the plant.
All in all, the MAcc speaker series is designed to be a way to expose students to other areas of academia or professional enviornments that might not be directly adressed through coursework in a fun and interactive enviornment!