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.
Whether it is a new years resolution or trying to rid your self of your extra holiday indulgences, there are a plethora of places to exercise on or near campus. And the best news, all options listed below are available to students at no extra cost!
Recreational and Physical Activity Center
The RPAC is located at the center of OSU’s Main Campus (about 4 blocks south of the Fisher College of Business). After opening in 2007, the RPAC was one of the nation’s largest exercise faculties. Offering gymnasiums, racquetball courts, squash courts, putting greens, exercise classes, a full aquatics center, machine and free weights, and plenty of cardio equipment, the RPAC is more than likely to offer any form of exercise your heart desires!
There are three Jessie Owens (JO for short) located on campus: South, North, and West. Jessie Owens North is located just behind Gerlach Hall, where most graduate business courses are offered. All of the Jessie Owens facilities offer a smaller selection than the RPAC consisting of cardio machines, machine and free weights, and a couple of basketball courts!
Adventure Recreation Center
The ARC is arguably the most unique of all of the activity centers. The ARC sports a rock climbing wall, indoor turf soccer fields, basketball courts, as well as cardio and weight lifting equipment.
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!