LE’s home for Christmas Break

This was a busy weekend to say the least. OSU football occupied most of my Saturday, I didn’t get tickets, but the atmosphere was amazing, and the entire town was seemingly very excited! Today, Sarah and I found LE’s home for Christmas break. My parents decided this past summer that the winter trip was going to be in Austria, and I am not sure if LE would like the EU (Or more importantly, traveling to the EU) so we decided to find a family for her to stay with. We posted an ad on Craigslist, and got about 30 responses. After picking the most attractive half dozen, we got more info from them. We found a family in Gahanna, and Sarah and I took LE to visit today.

The family has two young kids, one 7, and one 4, as well as three dogs. They were very excited to meet LE, and LE loved meeting the dogs. We have decided to leave her with them, and they were excited to have her, this should make our time in Austria a bit easier. Sarah is excited because she found out the host family will be sending along updates via e-mail.

This past weekend, Sarah and I spent most of Sunday finding our new TV. We found a great deal for a 46′ flat screen from Best Buy. The TV was about $300 off, and it included a free Blue-Ray player, so we are pretty excited about that. Best Buy’s price actually beat Walmart’s price substantially, which is pretty surprising.

Accountancy Shanty (by Monty Python)

This past Thursday I participated in Accounting For Kids Day, and ended up spending a couple of hours playing a stock market simulation game with a group of fifth graders. It was fun to see all the different personalities – I realized that overachievers (and I’m using that term in a loving way) are most likely born, not made. One of the students spent her Wednesday evening preparing for the big day by talking to her mom about stocks and dividends – thinking about that puts a smile on my face. You go young lady!

I’m also looking forward to the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) information session scheduled for November 18th. I haven’t had a tax class yet, but I’m definitely thinking of signing up. Who knows, what I learn for VITA might help me do my own taxes.

On a side note, even though I live 1.5 miles from The ‘Shoe, I can hear the stadium crowd when I’m in my apartment. Sometimes when I mute the TV during halftime, I can hear the band. Pretty crazy. Maybe it’s the lack of hills and other barriers? I think this is the flattest city I’ve ever lived in (except for when I’m trying to bike to Fisher with a ginormous laptop strapped to my back).

Managerial Accounting: Kitchen Version

Expenses on food are the largest portion of my living cost besides rent. And the major account related to food is Inventory (raw material, work-in-process, and finished FOOD in Fridge). How to keep cost low, increase inventory turnover, while still maintaining your finished food’s quality become the main concern in the kitchen. Here are some tips followed by examples.

1. Refurbish leftovers.
Food22If you have some meat left from last meal or some leftovers from your doggie bag, mix them with fresh ingredients and create a new dish. Example: Roast chicken sandwich. I used the roast chicken left over from previous meal, and layered them with veggie and cheese on flat bread.

2. Diversify your products.
Example: Garden corn chowder. I figured I could never finish the milk I had in fridge before its expiration date. Coincidentally some fresh corns were on sale. This dish added delights to my day and also reduced the obsolete cost in production.

Food24Home 1883. Look at what you have in the fridge.
Many people like to stock up on-sale items in their fridge to lower their raw material unit cost, so do I. However, many times I found these goods deprecate faster than I can consume them. So based your production on what you have in the fridge, instead of on what is on the shelves in store. Example: Apple kiwi grape smoothie. I opened my fridge one day and saw the drying grapes. The kiwis were there for weeks and the bottle of ginger ale was occupying the space of my fridge. Simple enough I put all the peeled fruits and drink in the blender, adding an apple to increase the thickness.

4. Last but not least, Bento!
If you cook too much, just pack everything in your lunch box (a bento). It will save you time from running back and forth to grab lunch plus the food is totally homemade!Home 372

My New Habit

What new habit I could establish living a busy life in grad school, you might ask. Meetings! Taking four classes implies that I have four groups, one for each class, and a typical week can be like the one I just had.

Thursday evening, my first group meeting of the week as my simulation group decided to switch our regular meeting to Thursdays. We were told that the study room GE R237 was reserved for us. Our group members spent some time searching for that mystery Room 237, with R236 and R238 found but never was another room seen in between. As a result we had to compete with the P&G Case teams—they competed for the prize we competed for a room—and we managed to occupy a medium lecture room for our discussion. As the end of the simulation competition approaches, our company confronted increasing challenges. One night was not enough, and “let’s meet again on Friday morning”.

Friday, our simulation team stayed at the same spot for 6 hours until we finally felt the decision we made was reasonably reliable. We had some Chinese food together afterwards.

Saturday, meeting for the AMIS824 memo at Laura Anne’s place. Laura Anne’s cookies were great, and her hamster Beevo likes me. Working hard and being efficient, we were able enjoy the football games after our meeting.

Sunday, two in a row. Meeting my AMIS804 crew at 2pm, and we were done in half an hour, a new record! I stayed for another meeting with the FIN811 group. And there came the highlight of the week, we figured we were really ahead of time—the professor’s instruction for the case was not available yet. Meeting was canceled. Class dismissed.

Meeting with groups is no longer simply meeting for projects and homework. It has blend in with my daily life. It can be part of hanging out with friends, having dinner or sharing snacks, and even fun and games. Sometimes I even do it without a project base, like the one I mistakenly called for on Sunday. That’s why I said meeting with groups has become a habit of mine.

“The Fisher Experience”

After being a grad student for a little over a month at Fisher, I have realized that a big part of being a grad student at Fisher is the overall “experience” outside of the classroom.  I have sought every opportunity to network, get involved, and socialize over the past month that would possibly fit into my schedule.  Here is a really random list of some things I have done to enhance my experience @ Fisher:

* Play racquetball a couple times a week at the RPAC– At our initial grad student orientation (for all OSU students, not just Fisher) back in September, I met a first year nuclear engineering masters student that just moved to Columbus after 4 years in Gainesville (yes, straight from “the swamp”).  We talked about our goal of trying to stay in shape in grad school and decided that we should get on a regular workout schedule.  Over time, that has turned into extremely competitive racquetball matches that I always seem to lose, but it is a great way to stay in shape and learn about the experiences of another grad student in a different program @ OSU.

* Fisher “Event’s of the Week” (EOTW)—these are great socializing events put on by the “social chairs” at Fisher.  Last week, I attended a terrific Halloween party at “Mozaik,” a nice bar in the arena district.  There was a very large turnout and everyone seemed to have a great time!

* Events on “the hub”—the Fisher Hub is a listing of all events that Fisher grad students can participate in.  I have attended numerous events on the hub, with my two favorite being a lecture by the VP of Finance @ Google and a visit to Limited Brands (including a presentation by Les Wexner).

* Work conversions @ the Schott—this likely qualifies as the most random thing that I have done thus far.  To summarize, I have a good high school friend who is currently a senior @ OSU (I graduated from undergrad in 3 yrs., so all of my H.S. friends are now seniors) and he asked me if I wanted to work @ the Schott.  He told me that the hours were terrible (definitely true—last night I worked 11 pm to 3 am), but you are fairly compensated and the work is not bad.  Last night we converted the Schott from basketball to hockey.  It is pretty amazing how fast 30 people can completely alter the facility and have it prepared for hockey, basketball, concerts, and wrestling matches.

* And of course, last but not least, attend OSU football games.

Still Job Searching

Things have been going well. I am still in the midst of the job search, and have expanded my search to include government agencies, banks, and some other entities as well. The economy is definitely not making it easy to get things done. I feel like a couple years ago, a MAcc from OSU would be the equivalent of writing a ticket to whatever employer was wanted. With the economy the way it is, hiring is way down, and it has definitely had an effect.

This is just something I have to fight through. Like I said, I have opened my search, and I will make this happen.

Classes are going extremely well. I had a financial statements midterm on Thursday that went well, and just had my finance midterm Monday, and think I did extremely well on that. The group projects I have been working on have been fantastic. My group members continues to be amazing, and we are working together extremely well. I was taking a look at the calender yesterday, and it is ridiculous, there is only about a month left in the semester, then we get a month off!

Office Visits

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had numerous 2nd round interviews to help determine which firm/ company is the best fit for me.  These visits typically consist of a “prenight” event the night before and then a whole day of interviews/ presentations the next day for the office visit.  I enjoyed going on the first couple of office visits along with the presents they always give, the free meals, and meeting all of the current employees.  However, I have slowly grown tired of the loooong office visits that could easily be shortened to 1.5 – 2 hrs, but instead last 7 + hours.

At this point in the process, I’m tired of telling the same story about what makes me such a great leader, crafting great reasons why I want to work for X company or X public accounting firm, and hearing how great the people are at each firm/ company.  After so many interviews, I have stopped asking the general question that many people ask the person that interviews them— “what sets your company apart/ makes it unique from your competitors?”  I have realized that the odds are about 90% that the first response will be “the people are great here.”  After going through all of these office visits, I have decided to work for a firm where I feel that I fit, where I’m doing work that interest me, and where and of course… where the people are great!

Up, Down and Touch the Ground

Don’t let your schedule fool you: If your weekend is looking promising, you’re probably forgetting a few commitments.

My husband Geoff and I have started a little tradition. I tend to stress over schoolwork, so anytime I get over a big(ish) hump (like a Pre-Macc module, or a midterm) we go out to celebrate (I love food). So far we haven’t been very adventurous, because we’ve found Mozart’s, and have had a really hard time straying away. Not only is this place convenient (next to Olentangy Village), it’s also delicious, relatively cheap (especially if you have a “buy 1, get 1 half off” coupon), and smells like pastries (yum). Breakfast items are a big comfort food for me, so I always go for the Tyrolean Special and a cup of hot tea (according to Geoff the coffee is amazing as well). In the end, it’s all about positive association: midterms are good because I get to eat.

Up-Down-Up
When I up, down, touch the ground
it puts me in the mood
Up, down, touch the ground
in the mood {smacks lips} for food

I am stout, round and I have found
speaking poundage-wise
I improve my appetite
when I exercise
(ripping sound)

Oh stuff and fluff
(ties his back together again)
That’s better
(reflection in the mirror talks back)
Thank you
Now, where was I?
(grumbling sound from stomach)

Oh, yes, I’m rumbly in my tumbly.
Time for something sweet
I am short, fat, and proud of that
and so with all my might
I up, down, up-down
to my appetite’s delight

While I up, down, touch the ground
I think of things to chew
(Mmm, like honey, milk, and chocolate)
With a hefty-happy appetite
I’m a hefty-happy Pooh.

With a hefty-happy appetite
he’s a hefty-happy Pooh.

Source: http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/updown.htm

Winter Quarter Overloaded

Last Wednesday I was able to put together my class schedule for the winter quarter. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. AMIS 803 (5) – MW 830-1018
  2. AMIS 866 (1~4) – MW 1030-1218
  3. AMIS 822 (5) – MW 130-318
  4. AMIS 894.40 (2) T 1030-1218
  5. BUSFIN 849 (4) – T 130-430

At first glance I was thinking, woot no classes on Thursdays and Fridays. Then I realized if I add up the numbers in parenthesis, which represent the number of credits for the course, I’m looking at somewhere between 17 and 20 credit hours!!! Not only is this schedule suicidal, if you go to Buckeye Link and look up the professors teaching the classes, the combo of Arya + Dan-O will easily destroy me, not to mention the AMIS 211 lab that I have to lead.

So one of them has to go. I’m determined to take 803 and 849 (hmmm… didn’t I just say these two will probably make my life miserable? lol). I really do need more assurance and auditing so 822 will likely stay. Lastly, 894.40 (BPM) is sort of interesting after attending the presentation by the Google VP because I can relate my consulting days to the importance of having a COE (Center of Excellence). So my only choice is down to 866, which fortunately is also offered in spring.

So what do you guys think? Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Why is it that Fisher offers so many classes I want to take in the same quarter?  Now I’m kind of jealous at the MBAs… grrrr

One Down, A Lot More to Go

October 29th, 2009, 1:15pm, Room 355, greetings flying in the room were mostly “are you ready”. A significant number of people were holding a piece of romantic light purple paper. Purple was Dave’s daughter’s favorite color and was therefore designated the color for the pre-assigned mid-term reading.

1:30pm, the AMIS 824 mid-term started. Very intensive, as expected. I tried hard to calm myself down without slowing down on the questions. I had no clue how to finish all the sections correctly and on time, and that article on the romantic light purple paper was killing me, romantically, with something that I love, logic and numbers. I read the article carefully before the exam, trying to follow everything in the report. Almost automatically, my brain assumed that everything mentioned in it was correct and I would be tested based on the information provided in the article, because that’s what exams usually do. Half correct. We were asked to criticize the article. The requirement crashed with my brain’s pre-assumption and thus shorted the thinking. Using Dave’s word selection, that was called a “tragedy”.

I reread the article when waiting for the COTA bus (yea, COTA is always part of daily life). After being told to criticize it, the article seemed a lot more problematic to me. Very ironic. I remembered what was discussed in class, remembered the formulas, remembered the financial statement formats, but I forgot that I am in grad school! I am supposed to always examine and criticize what was told before agreeing with it.

My MBA classmates told me it is going to be okay. They took another course with Dave last quarter and the final was even more “painful” than this one (oh, well). I am not going to examine these statements because they are friends’ comforting words. Is it going to be okay? I don’t know. The only thing I know is—one mid-term down, a lot more to go, more than just exams, way more.