The Art of Negotiating

MLHR802: Managerial Negotiations, taught by Professor Dumas has provided me with a wealth of negotiating knowledge.  A majority of the class is taught through simulations of negotiations.  We started with very simple distributive negotiations with only one issue and have since advanced onto very complex integrative negotiations with multiple parties.

A distributive negotiation is known as a win/ lose scenario in which there is a fixed amount of value and when one side gains, the other side loses.  An integrative negotiation is one in which more value can be created in the negotiation through a variety of techniques.

Last night was our midterm exam, which included everything we have learned so far.  One of the key points was the importance of planning for a negotiation.  This includes setting a target point (the point at which you would prefer to conclude negotiations), a resistance point (the lowest you will accept as a seller and the highest you will pay as a buyer), determining an opening strategy, determining what your BATNA is (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement… essentially your back-up plan), determining your opponent’s BATNA, and what your sources of power are (what leverage you have in the negotiations).

Thus far I have really enjoyed the class and am looking forward to acquiring more negotiating skills in the 2nd half of the quarter.

Tay the Pennant!

It’s finally here! The stress and lack of sleep have finally built up enough momentum to force me into spoonerisms.

Anyway, this past Tuesday I received a license for Rosetta Stone. In order to keep it, I need to complete about five hours of work by October 31st, so I’m happy I went with the beginner-level software. The few things I retained from high school French class have been more than enough, and it’s nice to have a refresher course, but I can’t wait to see what “advanced” looks like. I know I won’t be able to get away with going through each lesson only once, like I have been doing, so it’s probably going to turn into 100’s of hours of work.

Speaking of doing lots of work for free, Shalabh Gupta has volunteered to be my guest this week, so without further ado:

ShalabhCherish the Mix of the Community

I am from the beautiful country of India and came to US for school three years ago. It was a big move for me and I faced an extended struggle to adjust to the new environment and culture. But I made a lot of quality friends quickly who helped me in my transition. I am very grateful to them for their time and efforts and making me a part of their life (I am not naming anyone here since they would come back to kick me for being grateful and everything despite the lifelong friendship we have developed).

Fisher is essentially a global community, as is the so called ‘real-world’ or the ‘world out there.’ You encounter people from all over the world, which provides a tremendous opportunity to learn about different cultures. People from different backgrounds bring different perspectives, and everybody stands to gain from that. It can only happen if you appreciate the diversity in the community and give everyone a chance. People not from US stay within their own ethnic group a lot of time. I have also felt that Americans do not mingle with students from abroad as much as they could (no fingers pointed at anyone, it can be hard for anyone), though it is not the case in Fisher (I am referring to my non-Fisher experiences here). If you restrict yourself in this aspect, you are missing out big time.

My experiences at Fisher in this context, so far, have been amazing to say the least. Everyone is more than willing to lend a helping hand at the slightest indication. My friends have been taking me around and telling me a lot of things they believe might be new to me. I also have been trying to spread around the Indian culture to the best of my abilities. I have committed to my friends towards a home-cooked Indian dinner (just haven’t been able to find the time that works for the whole group due to our different schedules) and I have also taken a couple of them to an Indian festival celebration in Dublin.

I am trying to ensure that I learn as much as I can about the American culture since that was a major reason why I came to the US and also spread the Indian culture in US beyond what people encountered in Slumdog Millionaire. ‘GO BUCKS’ and ‘JAI HO’, living the best of both worlds.

Working Hard, and staying busy

This past weekend was busy to say the least. I met with my AMIS 804 (accounting research) group at 10am on Friday, then headed home to catch up on reading. I then spent ~4 hours reading about finance and financial reporting, and then decided to take the dog for a walk. We wound up going a few miles, and it was definitely nice being outside.

Friday night, Sarah and I decided to head to The Ugly Tuna Saloona, a local bar/restaurant. We had a gift card, purchased from Restaurant.com for 25$. We got the gift card on sale, so it only cost us $3 dollars. The only condition to the gift cards is you have to spend $35, and you have to tip 18% and pay tax on the full amount. We got to the Ugly Tuna, and wound up ordering three appetizers, and a few drinks. After finishing, we had to order a dessert to get us up to the $35 mark. We got our bill, and the total, for three appetizers, drinks, and dessert, was $17.70, tax and tip included. Quite the deal for a night out. Ugly Tuna was awesome, with a great atmosphere, and reasonable prices, I highly recommend checking it out.
Restaurant.com currently has another promotion available, knocking 80% off the price of gift cards, so a $25 dollar gift card is $2 dollars. I have already bought a few more, definitely a great way to have a nice cheap night out!

BRIO Tuscan Grille

Lately I’ve been pigging out a lot and this weekend was no exception. We tried out a new Italian place this time called BRIO Tuscan Grille. This is a new one for Tiffany and I, since we don’t have BRIO in Texas. For starters, in addition to the bread, we got some Calamari Fritto Misto or simply fried calamari dripped in some really yummy mayonnaise (I’m guessing) sauce.

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Then, for the main course, I had my eyes set on the Garganelli Carbonara the moment I opened the menu because I have really low resistance for white sauce mixed with bacon and extra cheese. However, Tiffany beat me to it and picked this one so I had to improvise. After requesting extra time twice with our waiter, I decided to settle for some Lasagna Bolognese Al Forno. And man this lasagna turned out to be a big food coma inducer.

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We were kind of shocked when the waiter brought the entrees over. 1) They were gi-normous, and 2) they weigh like a ton. My lasagna weighed at least 20lbs and when I joked with the waiter why he didn’t say anything when we placed the order, he goes “well you look like you can eat a lot”. LOL. gee thanks~ Nevertheless, we initiated contact with the food and put up a fight. I threw in the towel with about 1/3 left and I was ready to take a nap at that point because of all the cheese and pasta. Tiffany couldn’t pull it off either so we had 2 to-go boxes with us on the way home. As for the rest of the day I was sort of half-asleep and half-awake and reading the FASB Codification certainly didn’t help. So I told my laptop to go hibernate and I grabbed a blanket and also made up some Zz’s that I missed in the past couple of weeks.

One last note, you can get gift cards for these restaurants at the union for $15. The gift cards are good for $25 so it’s quite a bargain. You can only get them once per quarter so go get them while they last!!!

Ride Smart: for All Commuters

“Why every time I left home early I ended up getting a much later bus!!!!!! Watched a 2minute-early bus left, waited 14min for a 5min-late bus, and waved goodbye to the third bus when it passed the one I was on…because mine was wasting lots of time unloading and picking up people due to its late arrival. That’s equal to missing 2 buses!! >_< ”

This was what I put on my facebook on last Thursday. As stated, the public transportation in Columbus can sometimes cause big problems, though it waives the amount of time and money for parking on Campus. So smart bus riders like you, you, and you should learn from my experience—plan well and never risk rushing out home in last minute.

For the planning part, I found Google Map the most useful. The “Get Direction” function on Google Map provides all the available methods to commute among different locations in the Columbus. The length of time of your trip is estimated so that you can plan accordingly. If you are taking the COTA bus (COTA=Central Ohio Transit Authority), you can also look up schedules for all the bus lines on the COTA website (see the link below), but you need to know the bus line you are taking and the stop’s name where you get on the bus (you can find them on Google Map). Nevertheless, always keep in mind that all the time listed are just “advised”.
http://infoweb.cota.com/hiwire?.a=iScheduleLookup

Moved from New York City to Columbus, I think the public transportation system in Columbus is more than acceptable, compared to those in NYC (oh well). Plan ahead, and always give it a little buffer time is the key.

Note: I have to add this in!!! One more reminder, many of the COTA buses are not available on Sunday evening!!!! And a silly bus rider as I am (again), just figured I missed the last bus the came at 7:16pm and I have to walk home tonight. =(

Autumn is here… love the seasons!!!

This may sound weird, but back in the days in Houston we really just have 2 seasons: Summer and Winter. Plus the majority of the time I would be in t-shirts and shorts. Winter usually lasts about 3 months at the most, and you can get by pretty easily just by throwing a jacket on. Therefore, you can see that the first real autumn for Tiffany and I are quite exciting, and apparently, we have no idea what a real winter is like. XD

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Instead of remembering autumn as the season that I always spend lots of time plowing leaves in the front yard, I’m really enjoying the colors and the scenery at Fred Beekman Park. So what would a real winter look like? I can’t wait to take more pictures!!!

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Some more pictures while I was jogging. heheh =)

Echoes from Fisher MAcc, 2010 – Shalabh Gupta

This week I will like to introduce you to one of the brightest minds in the MAcc programme. He is Shalabh Gupta. He has an undergraduate degree in accounting from Illinois State University. He is an amazing cook and loves dancing to bollywood movie songs.

Over to you, Shalabh.

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Enjoying the Indian Culture in Uncle Sam’s land

Most of the students at Fisher say that almost all of their time is spent studying. While this is true, there are a lot of other things to explore in the city of Columbus, the only thing required is time management and a will to experience new things. I have been fortunate enough to get a few opportunities already in the short span of a month to enjoy the amazing Indian culture.salabh2
There are a lot of things you can do. There are plenty of Indian temples in the area that one can drive too. I have personally been able to go to a Gurudwara (a Sikh Temple) and a Jain Temple. Besides that, I was also able to celebrate Navratri (a festival where you dance the two beautiful dance forms of ‘Dandiya’ and ‘Garba’) with some friends in Dublin. I had no idea before coming to OSU that this area would be so diverse with so many opportunities providing variety of experiences.
I am trying to get out once in a while exploring other opportunities that Columbus has to provide. MAcc is a nine-month program which does not give me a lot of time. However, I am trying to make the most of it. Within a month I have done quite a bit, so I am sure that if I organize myself and try to make some time for such things I can get a lot out of this city.
It is turning out to be a great experience and I advice everyone to comes to Fisher to take some time to get out and get to know the city you are in. If anyone needs more information about some of the things mentioned above, get in touch with the Indian Students Association at OSU (http://isa.org.ohio-state.edu).

Highly Recommend

I’ve got to put these thoughts down before I get my quiz back from the AMIS 824 class this afternoon.

Random thoughts have been coming into mind since I started preparing for last Thursday’s quiz. When I took out my notes, I realized the pages had been quietly stacked up. It was only three weeks after the quarter began! Exactly as Henry mentioned in his blog before, this class is so intensive, where I usually have five to seven pages of notes for each session.

Interesting enough, however, I couldn’t help laughing when I studied for the quiz. Dave’s (the professor) smart jokes kept popping up as I moved from topics to topics. His straight-forward and funny teaching style has marked the important concepts and theories in my mind (This is great. Saved me a lot of time on trying to remember what has been taught). Flashed back to all the previous class sessions in 824, I really think I enjoyed the class though I always struggled to put down as much as I could on notes while still keeping up with where Dave was heading into. I also like the way Dave guided us to think. Short but to-the-point questions were thrown to us during each class—“what does this mean”, “What happened in the world on their balance sheet date”, “are these really as good as they sound”, etc. I still remember when he asked the limitation of a company’s 12-31-2008 financial statement. Instead of pointing his answer out, he asked “who was the President on that date, and who is now” and “which bowl game did Ohio State play after that date”. (The answer is “timing matters”, FYI) Dave always urged us to think outside of the box and avoid “hugging” the printed data too much. In his class, I always wish I could have read more books, more newspapers, watched more movies, and paid more attentions on everything in the world.

So, taking AMIS 824 is very similar to watching football games at home, in my opinion. The game is intensive, but that’s what makes the game enjoyable. Knowing more about various things and being able to answer the trivia questions (like those usually pop up on the screen during a game) definitely add more fun to the experience.

And, the reason why I have to put these thoughts down before I get the quiz back is that, I don’t want the score of my quiz negatively affect my words here. Hopefully not!

PS: Here’s the credit to Henry’s previous entry about AMIS 824. Check it out for more information! =)
https://fisher.osu.edu/blogs/gradlife/2009/10/02/amis-824-corporate-finance/

The Columbus Zoo

This week I’ll let my lovely wife, Tiffany, share her experience at the zoo with everyone.

Tiffany: The Columbus Zoo is a fun place for the whole family to spend a half day.  The zoo is clean and we like how the zoo is designed so we won’t miss any attractions.

The Halloween decorations are all over the zoo. You can see pumpkins everywhere. The zoo is a good place for picnic and there are also many outdoor eating areas. We arrived at the zoo at noon and noticed that not all the food court and food stands are open. I guess it’s because it’s a weekday.

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My three favorite places in the zoo are the aquarium, the kangaroos, and the baby elephant areas. At the Aquarium, there is a huge fish tank with hundreds of colored fish. It’s easy to stay there for an hour watching beautiful fish and tank decorations, and watch every kid hunting for Dory (one of nemo’s good friends). We like the kangaroo area because we get the chance to be in close contacts with these wild animals. For example, the fences are so low that the kangaroos can jump over easily.

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Instead of buying general admission for $12 ($11 on the website), you can buy tickets from the Ohio Union located in the Ohio Stadium for $5. Parking is an extra $5 and you can pay for parking on the Columbus zoo website to save time at the tollbooth.

If you want to beat the crowd, go during the weekdays. However, some attractions are weekends only such as pony ride (for children), boat ride, and the penguin area.  So you may want to check the zoo website to see the show schedule and what attractions are open on the weekends.

Take advantage of the nice weather while you still can. Our next stop is probably the German Village or the Amish Towns. See ya~

Deloitte Tax Competition

This past weekend, I competed in my first ever ‘tax competition’ at the Deloitte office in downtown Columbus.  Along with graduate and undergraduate teams from Dayton and an undergraduate team for OSU, I competed at the office on the OSU graduate team.  As part of the national competition, we were presented with a case and then asked to answer a wide variety of tax questions related to the case and site our sources.

The terrific folks at Deloitte who put the event on hosted a meal at Latitude 41 (great restaurant in downtown Columbus) this past Friday.  It was a great opportunity for all of the competitors to network with current Deloitte employees and learn more about public accounting.

My team of four included Scott Krahn, Dan Packard, and Shalabh Gupta (all current MAcc students).  The four of us were recruited by tax professor Raabe based on the fact that we had all completed two undergraduate tax courses.  Needless to say, I think our main downfall is that all of our tax courses were several years ago and few of us had a great recollection of the material.  We spent some time in the weeks leading up to the event preparing for the competition, but it was very difficult for the four of us to cover everything that could possibly be thrown at us on the day of the competition.  We will receive our results in the coming weeks and I will provide an update on the result.