Posts filed under 'MAcc'



MAcc Does Ohio Stadium

It was a week of firsts. The first days of orientation, the first time meeting my future classmates, and the first time actually stepping foot on the field of Ohio Stadium. Although this will be my fourth year here at Ohio State, I have never actually been on the field before and it was such a neat experience.

Actually on the field of Ohio Stadium for the first time!

The entire current MAcc class and faculty, as well as many accounting professionals were invited to attend the MAcc reception at the Ohio Stadium the day before classes began. Not only did we enjoy food and beverages in a massive press box, we also partook in an official tour of the stadium! The tour opened with our friendly tour guide taking us to a radio press box as he gave details of just how much security goes into the production for a home football game. Some of you, including me, had no idea the production that goes into making sure our game days are as safe as possible (including FBI agents, trained dogs, snipers, and airport-like security). These people are trained to make sure on game day, all you have to worry about is which tailgate to attend! After the press box, we took the elevator down to the field and it was such an exhilarating experience being on the field. I am shocked that in all of my time here at Ohio State, I’ve never had the opportunity to be on the field and I think my peers from other schools had such a similar feeling! A great start to the year!

Fellow MAcc students on the field with me!


Why I chose Fisher

When I was initially applying to Master in Accounting programs, the Fisher College of Business was actually not at the top of my list. However, my attitude quickly shifted when I came to visit a friend at Ohio State last Fall. Since Fisher’s accounting program was highly ranked, I decided to visit the school since I was already in town.  Visiting the school changed my mind in an instant!

When I got to Gerlach Hall, Steve (a previous MAcc blogger) met up with me and provided valuable insights from a student’s perspective. During my tour, I got to talk to Professor Tzachi Zach who was friendly enough to stop and chat for a while. I also met Professor Ayra who is the head of the MAcc program and Robert Chabot who is Director of Admissions. Professor Ayra, was honest and direct about the program, stating that the program would not prepare you for the CPA and that it was more about taking courses the student believed would make them better. Robert shared his personal stories from the past and additional stories about students similar to me. He also was helpful in trying to provide contact information for previous students that had a similar background as myself.

The open culture and friendly feel of Fisher impressed me so much that it went from not being considered to being my top choice in accounting schools. I ended up choosing to attend Fisher because of my visit, the sincere and caring faculty, and because of the flexibility the program gives in allowing me to take both accounting and MBA courses.

My first visit to Fisher.


OSU Commencement and Closing Thoughts

As much as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Ohio State as a student, Spring Commencement was celebrated on Sunday, May 5.  Over 8,000 graduates were packed onto the field in Ohio Stadium, and I was surrounded by my MAcc classmates as we listened to President Obama, OSU President E. Gordon Gee, and many others encourage us to dream big and change the world.   OSU graduates were fortunate to have a sitting president speak at our commencement, and I’ll share my favorite message from our keynote speaker:

The point is, if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble, you will screw up, you will fall down.  But it will make you stronger, and you’ll get it right the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that.  And that is not only true for your personal pursuits, but it’s also true for the broader causes that you believe in as well. 

There were so many wonderful moments of graduation:  walking across the field to receive my diplomas as the victory bells chimed from the stadium, meeting my friends’ families after the ceremony, and plenty of hugs from my proud parents and sister.  Of course, we had to stop by Fisher after commencement, where many business student graduates were gathered to take pictures and say their goodbyes.

I’m going to miss this place!

As I write my last blog post for My Fisher Grad Life, I’m not sure there’s a better way to leave than by closing with the words of “Carmen Ohio,” the alma mater of the school of which I am now a proud member of a group of over 500,000 living alumni.  So, here goes…

Oh! Come let’s sing Ohio’s praise, 
And songs to Alma Mater raise; 
While our hearts rebounding thrill, 
With joy which death alone can still. 
Summer’s heat and Winter’s cold, 
The season pass, the years will roll; 
Time and change will surely show 
How firm thy friendship — O hi o.

Some great friends I’ve been lucky enough to spend my last four years with at Fisher!


Fisher MAcc Graduation Ceremony 2013

It’s hard to believe my eighty classmates and I have completed our Master of Accounting degree from the Fisher College of Business!  On Friday, May 3, we gathered at the Ohio Union with faculty, family and friends, to celebrate our success in this program.  The evening was complete with a reception where I was able to meet the families of many of my close MAcc friends and chat with faculty members one last time before the summer.  A formal ceremony followed with touching remarks from our director, Professor Arya, and many others.  Several students were also recognized for different successes in the program, including the top ten percent of students based on academic performance, the top performers on our MAcc exit exam, and the members of MAcc Council.

One recognition that was particularly special was the E&Y Award for Excellence in Teaching.  This year’s winner was Professor Zach, our instructor for the academic research course in the program.  I had the pleasure of having Professor Zach as an instructor for my first accounting class as an undergraduate as well, and I was so happy to see him recognized for the fantastic job he does in encouraging students in research and academic development.  For all of the future MAcc students who will take his research class, you’re in for quite the experience!

Professor Zach, this year’s MAcc Professor of the Year, and me at the MAcc reception!

Awards, speeches, and other formalities aside, this celebration was a great way to end the program.  I can’t begin to describe how amazing my final year was at Ohio State because of my decision to pursue my MAcc degree.  There are too many people who made the year special to name them all, so to all of the incredible faculty and classmates – thanks for an unforgettable year!  I will miss this group…

The graduates of the MAcc Class of 2013


OSU Sites to See Before Graduation

It’s not too late to see some of the best spots on OSU campus!  Here are some of my favorites from undergrad and this past year in the Fisher MAcc:

Orton Hall

I love hearing the chimes of the Orton Tower bells when I’m walking along the Oval on campus.  If you’re lucky, you can hear them playing “Carmen Ohio,” our school’s alma mater.  One of my favorite memories from my time here as an undergrad was walking across the Oval back to my dorm on South Campus with my sister one winter evening.  It had just snowed, so there was a foot or two on the ground.  We proceeded to drop our backpacks and make snow angels in the fresh snow when “Carmen Ohio” started playing on the bells.  I’ll never forget times like that when I felt so happy to be a Buckeye!

For anyone interested, you can actually climb the Orton Bell Tower next Wednesday, May 1, from 6-9 PM, as part of OSU Commencement Week!

The beautiful Orton Hall (photo courtesy of Ohio State)

Ohio Stadium

I can’t think of any fall quarter or semester here at Ohio State without recalling some incredible football games in the ‘Shoe.  I walked across the field at convocation to start off my freshman year at Ohio State, and I cannot believe it’s already next Sunday when I’ll be crossing the field again, this time as a graduate.  This is definitely a must-see on any tour of campus, and I highly suggest taking photos outside the ‘Shoe on graduation day!

The ‘Shoe at night (photo courtesy of Ohio State)

Mirror Lake

This area of campus is special to me, because South Campus was my home as a freshman.  I crossed the South Oval and saw the fountains of Mirror Lake every day walking to class.  Although the most memorable time at Mirror Lake for many students is the Mirror Lake jump before the Michigan game, it’s definitely still a great place to check out on any spring day.

Thompson Library

Any tour of campus is incomplete without stopping into Thompson Library to see the giant book stacks and take a trip to the 11th floor Reading Room.  The 11th floor offers 360-degree views of campus and downtown Columbus.  But be careful – this is a quiet study room, so you might get glares from students trying to study during finals week if you’re too loud!

Thompson Library on a spring day (photo courtesy of Ohio State)

There are plenty more special spots for OSU students.  That’s one of my favorite things about being part of such a huge campus:  50,000 students all love something different about this university.  You can actually take a “Things You Never Got To See” Tour during Commencement Week as well to check out some of the more popular buildings.  For all of you graduates – don’t leave campus without at least taking a stroll through the Oval and soaking up some sun with your fellow Buckeyes before taking off and starting your new careers!


The final stretch!

Hello readers,

I know it has been quite awhile since my last post-it has been a busy last few weeks of school as we prepare for the final stretch before Spring Commencement. As the MAcc students wind down what may be our last stint of higher education, we have participated in some fun community service events, serving the city of Columbus and the local Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus. Earlier this month, our program held an entire day of service through what is known as MAcc gives back. On this day, MAcc students had the pleasure of volunteering their time and energy to various charities and local organizations around the city. Each student volunteer ranked the top three volunteer sites s/he was most interested in participating in. Such sites ranged from The Franklin Park Conservatory, United Way, and local food pantries. I had the luxury of assisting the Franklin Park Conservatory in preparing the campus community garden for the spring bloom. The conservatory is a beautiful 80+ acre site containing huge garden areas, indoor nature exhibits, and featured art work. I had no idea that such a beautiful park was nestled right in the middle of the city!

A snap shot of the Orchid Exhibit at the Conservatory

 

Me raking some leaves near the community garden

 

In addition to MAcc gives back, several MAcc students participated in the 10th annual Fisher 5K event. This run/walk benefits the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus, with 100% of the proceeds donated to the cause. The race consists of a course in and around Ohio State’s campus, ending with yummy snacks compliments of Panera Bread. While it was a bit colder than I would have preferred, the race was an excellent start to a Sunday morning, knowing that I was able to give back to this great city. It is hard to believe my time here at Fisher is coming to a close. It has been an excellent year and I know I will be back somehow, whether it be through a visit to the professors, speaking to the entering class, or simply getting together with other MAcc students. Until next time when I give a graduation recap!

 

 


VITA 2013: Another Year of Success!

It’s hard to believe, but another year of VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – is complete!  After over 1,000 volunteer hours put in by Fisher students at both the Godman Guild and OSU Law Extension Center, 275 income tax returns were filed for residents around Columbus, Ohio.  These returns generated around $425,000 in refunds for these individuals and families, which is an average of about $1,500 per return.  VITA was a fantastic learning experience from both a tax technical skills standpoint, as well as a client relationship-building standpoint.

MAcc student Ly Pham answers a taxpayer’s questions at Godman Guild.

For many student volunteers, VITA is particularly challenging in unexpected ways.  Sure, each student completes training and learns how to navigate the tax software and recognize common tax credits and deductions for our clients.  However, it can often be difficult to explain tax concepts to our clients.  Establishing trust with a client can be difficult in any situation, but it is particularly challenging for some of our clients to put their trust in a 22 or 23-year-old student.  I was happy to see all of our student volunteers express patience and kindness with all taxpayers, making sure their questions were answered and asking site managers for help whenever needed.

MAcc and undergraduate students volunteered over a period of six weeks to assist Columbus residents in preparing their income tax returns.

For those of you who are prospective students or will be starting the MAcc program in August, I highly recommend participating in VITA.  You don’t have to be going into tax after graduation; we had plenty of future auditors and corporate accountants help us out this year.  VITA is simply a great way to get to know your classmates better and spend some time serving the greater Columbus community.


MAcc Gives Back 2013!

Fisher MAcc students, faculty and staff came together on Friday, April 5, to serve the greater Columbus community.  Groups visited the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, Lutheran Social Services Westside Pantry, Franklin Park Conservatory, and Whetstone Park to participate in various service activities.  My group helped clean, organize and stock shelves at the westside pantry for the morning.  It’s always very humbling to see the need of Columbus residents so close to campus, but it’s also encouraging to see how many organizations are operating with the well-being of community in mind.

MAcc students and staff volunteer at the LSS Westside Pantry

The famous OSU football coach Woody Hayes once said, “You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward.”  I hope that all of us are able to continue paying it forward by serving whatever communities we’ll be a part of after graduation.  I’m lucky to be joining an accounting firm that places community service among its top priorities, and I’m thankful to be part of a college that does the same!


Entrepreneurship at Fisher

 

One of the greatest benefits of attending Fisher College of Business is the chance to join a culture rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit. As an entrepreneur and start-up junkie this was a critical factor in my decision to continue my education at Ohio State. Columbus and OSU offer unprecedented resources and opportunities for budding “starters” such as the business builders club, start-up weekend, TechColumbus, and the Deloitte Entrepreneurship Competition. Moreover, Fisher’s Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization course was named one of the 10 best entrepreneurship courses in the nation by Inc. magazine. The course builds business around emerging technologies developed at The Ohio State University and other research institutions that have not found commercial uses.” And so, for this blog post, I thought I would share one of my current start-up projects and how Fisher College of Business and Ohio State have helped me along the way.

Columbus Start-Up Weekend

It all started during my internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers this past summer in Columbus. Believe it or not, I met the lead recruiter for our region on my first day at Ohio State – a bond that ultimately led to my internship and eventual job offer in Chicago. Anyways, one of my co-interns from Indiana University participated in Project Belize, a week long experience offered by PwC to teach underprivileged children in Belize basic financial literacy skills. When he told me about the program I was impassioned and began to seek out state-side opportunities that were similar. What I found was a financial literacy education landscape dominated by conflicting programming and mediocre performance. In fact, one study by the Jump$tart Coalition suggested that current efforts had made essentially no impact in student financial literacy over the past 10 years. That was when I realized I had to do something – to use my creative nature and knowledge from business school to make an impact. The result was the founding of Centsay, a start-up non-profit focused on providing universal access to financial literacy education.

Project Belize (PwC) – Our Initial Inspiration

Our journey – from that first brainstorming session to implementing our business model – has been an amazing adventure (and we’re still right in the thick of it), but I can with certainty say that we couldn’t have possibly accomplished everything that we have in the past 5 months without the support network and resources available via Ohio State and Columbus. To highlight a few:

  1. Being enrolled in a business school with integrating programming has allowed me to meet MAcc, MBA, MHR, SMF, and undergraduate students. These different student bodies offer unique perspectives and strengths and weaknesses. Being able to connect with all of them facilitated the construction of our core team and ability to quickly locate short-term specialists to help us overcome short-term obstacles.
  2. Professors in Fisher have been an invaluable resource for vetting ideas, strategies, and plans. They have been able to provide our team with advice about areas where we lack expertise and guidance when we encounter issues that we have no experience with.
  3. University leadership and staff have had an open door policy with regards to making our venture a success. Whether we are looking for space to work on projects or introductions to potential partners or donors Ohio State has always gone above and beyond what any of our team members expected.

Ohio State has the unique attribute of giving its students not only the skills, but also the confidence to succeed. While our venture is still in-process, we know we can count on our school for continued support!


After The MAcc: Accounting Policy with the FASB

 

When most people think about what a career in accounting entails they typically picture auditing financial statements or filing tax returns. To be sure, assurance and tax services make up a huge component of the industry and are fantastic opportunities for development and long-term success.  However, there are many other exciting ways to leverage the unique skill set developed during a Master’s of Accounting program. In this blog post I would like to describe one such opportunity, which I will be pursuing after graduation.

This past October I received an email from the accounting department at the Fisher College of Business asking if I would accept a nomination on behalf of the university for a fellowship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Post-graduate Technical Assistants (the formal title of the position) serve, “one-year terms, during which they become highly involved with the accounting standards-setting process and come to have an in-depth understanding of the roles played by preparers, auditors, and users of financial information.” The prospect of becoming directly involved with accounting policy and working alongside some of the top accounting minds in the world sounded like an amazing opportunity so I enthusiastically accepted the nomination. Over the course of the next six months I went through a rigorous recruitment process including obtaining a substantial letter of recommendation from the accounting department, traveling to Norwalk, CT for a final interview with the Financial Accounting Foundation, and ultimately receiving a phone call at the start of spring break letting me know that I had been selected as one of six PTAs!

Downtown Norwalk

As a PTA I will work on major agenda projects as well as short-term practice and implementation issues. According to the FASB, my roles will include, “analyzing written submissions received on documents issued for public comment, reviewing and analyzing published research, preparing memorandums on technical issues for Board members’ information, drafting due process documents, and evaluating accounting proposals of other organizations.” Additionally, I will, “attend and occasionally participate in public Board, task force, and other meetings pertinent to my projects.” Current projects at the Board include accounting for financial instruments, revenue recognition, leases, and many more.

Attending & Participating in Board Meetings

The experience I will gain through my time at the FASB will be truly invaluable and provide me with a unique skill set moving forward. It allows me to apply my accounting knowledge in an unconventional way, which aligns well with my personality, strengths, and long-term goals. I am thrilled to see what the next year has in store for me and am grateful to have attended a university that gave me the education and support needed to identify & realize this opportunity.

Fisher Campus

 


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