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.

Saturday at Paninis

Yesterday, Sarah and I were invited to go watch Football at Paninis, a local bar/grill. We went to watch the Buckeyes, and the Texas/OU game. Quite a fun time, with a lot of MAccers in attendance, as well as a few significant others, and a couple of OSU Law students as well. The food at Paninis is great. They serve paninis (big surprise) but these things are different than panini I have ever seen before. They are piled high with meat/cheese/cole slaw or whatever else you ordered, and are absolutely monstrous, just huge! Sarah and I had a lot of fun watching the game and meeting a few new people, it was definitely a bummer the way the Buckeyes game ended. Only consolation is that if we win out, I still think we win the Big Ten, and go to a BCS bowl game. Sarah has some things she would like to say, so here goes!

Hi Everyone!

I just have a few words of advice for any significant other considering coming to Ohio.

1. Make sure you have a George Foreman grill. It will allow you to make the aforementioned paninis for…500% cheaper. Seriously. George is my new best friend.
2. Buy an OSU jersey. If you’re like me and you don’t know a single person in Ohio, you will with one of these! I’m still struggling with the whole talking to strangers thing, (so many people are shocked to find I am less outgoing and sociable than Kyle) so details to come.
3. Don’t be afraid to try a new hairstyle. If you’re like me, the idea of letting anyone but your trusted hometown stylist handle your locks terrifies you. Therefore, I am a HUGE proponent of trying a new style–it’s called grow it out (or buy clippers…but that’s a whole new ballgame.)
4. Find a new hobby or focus in your life. We got a puppy, and she helps take away the lonely 🙂 You could try knitting, studying for a certification (also a new hobby of mine), picking up a new sport, or pet sitting/volunteering (if you’re volunteer pet-sitting…let Kyle and me know [only kidding, you will need to submit your social security number so we can run a background to get your hands on L.E. dog without parental supervision])

That’s all folks–George is calling my name! So until next time, bye y’all!

I need to know.

Today I submitted another request for an interview through FisherConnect, and filled out a more comprehensive application on the company’s website. Interestingly enough, the latter part of the process involved what I consider to have been an IQ test. The first time I took one of these wasn’t a particularly fun experience, partially because the test was super official, and mostly because it was administered in a language I hadn’t quite learned. The second time I took one, I did it for fun, online, and with the help of a very smart classmate. We pretended to be an eight year old boy. Not surprisingly, the results for the second attempt were much better than for the first.

So, where am I headed with this? Well, I like to see my results, that’s how I get over my mistakes. But in this case, I might never, ever know…ever! So tonight, instead of waking up at 4:30am thinking about EPS ratios and bond amortization, I will probably wake up with images of incomplete geometric shape sequences, trying to figure out what the missing piece looks like. I am pretty sure this can’t be considered an improvement.

Getting Productive

The quarter is definitely in full swing, and it is taking a full effort from me to keep up with everything. Just this past week (Wednesday really) I got fully into school mode, and I am now seemingly going from 9am to 9pm. I find I am most productive when I wake up early, get over to campus, and start taking care of things.

Whether that is reading, working on a group project, or filling out yet another candidate profile on a company website, there are plenty of things to do!

I am still waiting to hear back from the three companies I interviewed with this morning, hopefully it will be soon!

Some of the projects I am currently working on are pretty awesome though. My finance project includes taking Ford and analyzing the results of what would have happened had they implemented different dividend plans back in 2000 when Ford was sitting on ~10billion in cash. Pretty interesting stuff!

My “Neo-Com”

The past week marked a significant change in my “daily duty”—I now have a neo-com to take care of. Confused? Let me restate it this way, I am now managing a new company!!

If you are taking Business Management and Logistics 880, you should know what I am talking about. The whole class was divided into six groups, each of which would operate a new company producing “set-top boxes”. Although the companies are just competing in a simulated system, the intra-industrial competition is keen and resembles the real world.

I had participated in simulation operation before but this system is more complicated. My last simulation experience focused on cost management, financial management and budgeting, while this one, since it’s for Logistic management, weights more on supply chain management and forecasting.

My teammates from the MBLE program are more confident than I am in handling all the supply chain stuff. They usually come up with the definition of one concept in seconds, when I am still flipping through my manual. However, this provides me great opportunity to learn from my teammates, from key terms to management philosophy. On the other hand, I am proud being the only MAcc student in my group. I can help pulling my dizzy teammate out from the sea of numbers in spreadsheet. I am holding the compass that point to the numbers in financial statements my colleagues search for. I also amazed my teammates by doing calculations in my head before the results showed up in my teammate’s calculator. =). ….Yea, MAcc people are great!

Okay, so first decision was settled and monthly reports were out! Our company performed very well (I am trying to be generic about the results since those are our top secret!). I will keep my hard work on “neo-com sitting” and hopefully this still-a-little-shaky baby will make its parents proud after six months!

My Busy Schedule

One of the main reasons for choosing to come to Fisher was to have the opportunity to take advantage of everything that both the city of Columbus and OSU have to offer.  Therefore, I tried to align my schedule as best as possible to have free time to participate in all of the opportunities presented to Fisher students.

My class schedule seems relatively easy at first glance—3 classes running from 1:30- 8:00 pm on Monday and Wednesday, with a night class on Thursday from 6-10. However, with all of the team meetings, interviews, prenights (social networking events generally held the night before the interviews), homework, preparing for interviews, traveling to offices for second interviews, and more interviews; that has left me with very little time outside of the 6 hours of sleep that I prefer every night.  A sampling of my schedule looks like this:

8:00–rise & shine (get ready for a long day)

9:00—head to school (5 minute commute, 20 minutes to find a parking space)

9:30—A group meeting (4 classes + 4 groups= lots of group meetings)

10:30—Interview (30- 45 minutes seems to be standard for on-campus interviews)

11:30—Interview #2 (Yes, it is common to have 2 interviews a day)

12:30—Lunch (Packed and kept in my locker… generally eat in business lounge)

1:30—Professional Research in Accounting

3:30—Business Negotiations

5:30— Supper (Also packed and kept in my locker… generally eat in business lounge)

6:00—Financial Management II

8:00—workout at the RPAC

10:00—arrive home


1:00—prepare for the next day’s interview(s)

2:00—lights out

Cheer for the Bucks in Block-O

This was my third time in the Shoe—the Ohio State University’s football stadium. The first time I was there, summer, no one was in the stadium. I had a nice bird view from the deck and got wonderful pictures. The second time I was there, MAcc orientation, I was invited to attend a social in the prestige Huntington Club. I enjoyed the private tour to the VIP suites and ESPN boxes, and “starred” on the 40 yard line. Saturday came the third visit to the Shoe. I stood in the front section of Block-O almost the whole game, cheering for our great Buckeye athletes beating the “unbeaten-back-then” Wisconsin.

Me at the game with the Ohio State Marching Band in the back!

Block-O refers to the two seating sections right behind the two field goals in the Shoe. Audience in these two sections, most of whom students, are to lead the cheering and to create excitement for the whole stadium. We generated waves, and did the “O-H-I-O” “merry-go-around” (I gave it this name), a lot of jumping, dancing, cheering, and “booing” (Wisconsin, of course). The 96 yard return by Ray Small to a touchdown started right in front of me. I also touched Brutus Buckeye, our mascot, who was lifted by the Block-O audience and sent to the upper Block-O section!! A bonus was, free Ohio State T-shirts were thrown to us once a while through the game!

Great thanks to Scott, my MAcc classmate, for the tickets!

Before you go, here are some tips for watching live game in the stadium. Eat beforehand as you will consume tons of energy. Drink enough water so that you don’t dry out, but drink just enough because there is way too much you can’t miss in the game.

Bicycle Race

This past week I was on a roll! I prepared for, and took my very first graduate school quiz (not counting the Pre-MAcc), went to my first Friday Accounting Research Workshop (never again….just kidding! I do recommend it: nothing compares to observing professors in their natural habitat), worked out my schedule for winter quarter (I can’t believe registration windows will start opening in a week), had dinner at Ichiban (good, but they don’t have sushi yet), and FINALLY left enough room in my stomach for two dessert pastries from Mozart’s (seemed like a good idea at the time, but definitely didn’t feel too good afterward).

The weather has been wonderful (Henry :p), cool and crisp.  I love autumn.  The Olentangy River Trail is da bomb at this time of the year, so I’m definitely tempted to take out the bicycle, and go riding, instead of doing homework (bad, bad, bad).

First real exercise since July…

Yesterday I went for a jog at the Fred Beekman Park for a little over 4 miles (well, I ran 2 and walked 2). That was my first real exercise in almost 3 months! The day was perfect although the temperature was a little chilly. Nevertheless, my body was tired after the run because how out-of-shape I’ve been since moving to Columbus, but my mind was refreshed and I was ready to study for 824 and put together my 804 report!

As Manru said in her previous post, life has been extremely busy (and crazy) since week 2 of school. I am willing to bet that this is the case for everyone in the Fisher graduate programs, because we’re just that good. LOL! So on top of Manru’s time management tips, I’d like to add one personal touch and that is, give yourself a minimum of an hour or two a week and get away from the books and reports. Because as you approach that threshold where you start losing focus and motivation, if you’re like me then you’ll find yourself surfing on facebook or slickdeals or simply idling when you could be recharging yourself outside!

Here are some of my suggestions for a temporary escape from school work:

  1. Exercise – Fred Beekman Park, RPAC, ARC, or the gym downstairs at your apartment complex
  2. Columbus Zoo – you can get cheap tickets at the student union
  3. Visit German Village, Amish Country, etc
  4. Sleep – this one is particularly precious these days… when all else fail to interest you, take a huge nap!
  5. Last but not least, come read our blogs and see what suggestions or stories we have for you. heheh okay just kidding…

Relax! Chances are you’ll be in a group with 3-5 people so I’m sure you can lean on your team for a couple hours. However, I will not be held liable if your group decides to take a field trip to the zoo and somehow miss your project/report deadline… XD