The PreMAcc Seminar

Forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but I can’t remember if I mentioned my undergrad degree in my last post. So here it is again, I graduated  from the University of Texas with a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering.

So how much accounting training did I have before deciding to switch career to accounting? nada~ I took 2 intro accounting classes at a local community college and that’s it. I did take 6 calculus classes in undergrad but that probably doesn’t make too much of a difference, does it? To close up the gap and be able to catch up to the rest of my peers, fortunately there’s this summer intensive accounting bootcamp called PreMAcc and I’m here to share with you what we went through in just 6 weeks.

The seminar is divided into 3 modules: Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, and Auditing.

Financial Accounting

In a nutshell, 3 quarters worth of intermediate accounting packed into 13 days including 2 Saturdays. Sounds scary and crazy at first, but you come out of it knowing more accounting than you ever did. Some notable topics that really opened my eyes were: Revenue Recognition, Time Value of Money, Debts, Statement of Cashflow, etc. Make sure you learn these concepts well, because they will keep coming back not only in your future accounting classes, but also finance classes. Having seen these concepts once makes it so much easier to grasp the advanced topics and if you fear that you might be getting rusty, fear not, the rigorous schedule of PreMAcc have long carved the concepts in your memory. They will come back very quickly!

Cost Accounting

So you’ve been through the toughest module and everything from here on out is all downhills. You learn about different costing methods, CVP, Decision Making, Master Budget, Capital Budgeting, etc. Here you get a taste of private accounting, in other words, what managers see inside a company that enable them to make decisions and evaluate different strategies. This module was only half as long as the first one and lasted 7 days. This module is fun because you get to turn the table around and gain an understanding of why some managers do certain things.

Auditing

Before this module I had no idea what auditors do. All I know is back when I was still working in IT consulting, whenever there’s auditors on site we’d have to be really careful of what we say and sometimes we even stop our development because of Sarbane-Oxley. I’ve also heard “horror” stories from friends who are/were doing auditing in public accounting about their 60-70 hours weeks and how much they hate their “busy work”. All that’s changed after going through this module. We started by learning why there is the need of the profession “auditing” in the first place. Then we went about how an auditor should understand the risks his/her client’s particular business is exposed to, how to plan the audit to evaluate the internal controls and assess the chances that the client’s financial statements might be misstated due to error or fraud, and last but not least, the liabilities auditors are facing and proper documentations.

Having completed the PreMAcc both boosted my confidence and sharpened my accounting skills so I’m ready for the real deal. Feel free to drop me any questions if you think you’re going to take the PreMAcc. I can even give you a preview of the professors that you’re going to meet. All three of them are great, intelligent individuals who know the stuff inside out.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to my fellow PreMAccers: Chia-Lung, Ya-Ting, Bobby, Bennett, Dustin, Nadia (our fellow blogger), Yang Yang, Wei, Qi, Lisi, John, Peishan, Michael, and Stephen. Good Job Guys!!!

Why Fisher?

After graduating this past spring from The University of Findlay (small private university in Northwest Ohio), I had a very difficult decision to make about where I wanted my career path to go.  To complicate things, I accepted an offer to work full-time as a cost accountant at Guardian Automotive Industries well before considering the MAcc program which made choosing between the opportunities I was later presented with all that much harder to choose between.

After randomly deciding to take the GMAT based on a recommendation from a friend; I decided to apply to the MAcc programs at Ohio State and that school up north after it was recommended by a professor at UF (as a die-hard Buckeye fan who has never lived outside of Ohio, I’m still shocked that I considered attending that school up north so heavily).  After being accepted at each institution, I visited each school and felt much more comfortable with the environment, weather, people, parking situation, location… and of course the sports teams at Ohio State.  The administration at Fisher showed me that they were genuinely concerned about every student and I felt very comfortable with the atmosphere.

After graduation, I knew that I would have a difficult decision between staying at Guardian and going back to school.  During my short time at Guardian, I was exposed to a wide variety of accounting tasks and learned a lot about what it takes to be a successful cost account.  After a great deal of deliberation, I ultimately chose to go back to school based on the countless opportunities and resources that I will have access to at Fisher.

I’m looking forward to a great year in the MAcc program!

The soundtrack to my life contains…

In my undergrad days my mind would invariably play “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen as a tribute to every classmate who announced an upcoming departure from the architecture program, or simply stopped showing up for class. It seemed sad at first, but then I too became a “drop-out” (though I did actually graduate with a BSArch), and now I’m feeling pretty good about my decision.

My path to where I am today isn’t exactly something I’d describe as straight and simple: I was born in the Republic of Moldova back when it had a slightly different name and was still part of the USSR, moved to the suburbs of Pittsburgh when I was eleven, moved again to study architecture at the University of Cincinnati, got married, interned at two local architecture firms while working on my degree, took a year off after graduation, reassessed my situation, and, finally, dragged my husband with me to Columbus after I found out about my acceptance to Fisher.

Since the move I have been busy preparing for the first day of classes. I participated in the six-week Pre-MAcc program to complete some pre-requisite work which would have taken much more time and money to fulfill through quarter-long courses at UC. I also finally learned how to ride a bicycle, because the Olentangy River Trail runs right past my apartment, and provides a very fun and convenient way for getting to campus (it’s going to be even more fun once my knee heals, and the memories of washing skid marks off my teeth and picking gravel from under my skin go away). Tomorrow I’ll be attending the MAcc Bootcamp event, and the day after that school is finally back in session. Yay?!

Moving to Columbus

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Kyle Ward-Dahl. I decided back in January that I would be attending the Fisher College of Business to earn my Masters of Accounting. Since then, the time has seemingly flown by. I graduated from Christopher Newport University (a small liberal arts school in the Virginia Beach area) and then lived and worked (mostly worked it seemed) in Northern Virginia/DC all summer.

My fiancee Sarah and I moved to the Columbus area Friday the 11th. Sarah will be joining me on this adventure. She found a great job in HR with Dish Network. For those of you with significant others, even though the Ohio job market is tough, it CAN be done. Hopefully her working can help pay for pizzas on those late nights studying 🙂

Sarah and I decided we wanted to go to the USC game, so we bought tickets from a scalper (not the cheapest way to do it) and headed to the game. There is just something special about big-time college football. OSU fans set a new Ohio Stadium attendance record that night, and boy was it loud. That game was awesome, even though the ending wasn’t what we were hoping for.

We moved into our duplex just north of campus, and spent literally the entire weekend finding furniture for our place.  Kitchen table/chairs, mattress, dressers etc. Most of the stuff we found either on Craigslist, or got really good deals on, which we were both excited about. I am currently searching for a bike, as campus is a little far to walk. Orientation started early Tuesday the 14th, and a wrap up of that will follow in my next post.

Cheers

Back to School

This title can mean 2 things:

1) Our break will end officially in two days.  I am eager to take on my classes, at the same time, I am also anxious about the career fair the following Tuesday and all the interviews thereafter (fingers crossed, pick me pick me).

2) I finished my undergraduate five years ago and worked in the IT consulting industry for about four years. Toward the end of that career I was dragging my feet to work every morning and thus began searching for a new direction. After a series of events, I decided that I need more formal education, particularly in accounting, in order to succeed in the business world. Therefore, I’m going “back to school”.

At the beginning of the application process I was confronted by a hard decision: MBA or MAcc? I ended up picking MAcc (for reasons that I’ll save for another topic) and I applied to a number of schools, namely Texas, USC, Vanderbilt, Indiana, and of course, Ohio State. I received admissions from several of them, but this time it was a rather easy decision. OSU’s innovative MAcc program itself and the people I was in contact with totally won me over. I expect many of you prospective students be in touch with Rob, and you’ll see what I mean.

Buckeye Checklist

Yay it’s Saturday! I am a football fan and every football fan knows how lovely Saturdays are in autumn. Switching channels, watching highlights in half-time reports, sharing opinions with friends, and cheering for my favorite team (it’s now 31 to nothing Ohio State at Toledo), how can I ask for more?

Since the game is getting slower as Ohio State is having a big lead, I would like to take time to share something with all the buckeyes and potential buckeyes. You may not be a football fan and you don’t have to know the difference between “touchdown” and “safety”, but there is something you have to do as a proud buckeye—love the school and appreciate her history and traditions. Here’s a checklist:

  • Know the year the school was established—Ohio State University in 1870, Fisher College of Business in 1916.
  • Get an Ohio State T-shirt—you can wear it to a ball game and wear it to any extra-curricular events to show your school pride.
  • Watch at least one football game at the Shoe (the stadium)—I am working on this.
  • Know how to sing the Ohio State fight songs, especially Carmen Ohio.

Carmen Ohio is sung after every home game, “win or lose”. Attached below are the lyrics of Carmen Ohio. Usually only the first verse is sung. Please refer to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmen_Ohio for more information about Carmen Ohio.

Carmen Ohio
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 or Winter’s cold,
The seasons pass, the years will roll;
Time and change will surely show
How firm thy friendship O-hi-o.

These jolly days of priceless worth,
By far the gladest days of earth,
Soon will pass and we not know,
How dearly we love O-hi-o.
We should strive to keep the name,
Of fair repute and spotless fame,
So, in college halls we’ll grow,
To love thee better, O-hi-o.

Tho’ age may dim our mem’ry’s store,
We’ll think of happy days of yore,
True to friend and frank to foe,
As sturdy sons of O-hi-o.
If on seas of care we roll,
‘Neath blackened sky, o’er barren shoal,
Tho’ts of thee bid darkness go,
Dear Alma Mater O-hi-o.

(And don’t forget the “O-H(I)-O” gesture at end of the song)
Note: The lyrics are quoted from the Ohio State University News Room website:
http://www.osu.edu/news/history.php You can find more fight songs on the website too.

Last but not least, know why our colors are Scarlet and Gray. If you have not had the answer, check out my next update. Hint: The answer can be found in the Thompson Library.

Scores update: Ohio State won the game against Toledo 38 to nothing, final score. Go Bucks!

Got a Taste of the Nation’s Largest Single-Campus University

Since most of other people would probably write about the orientation in their first blogs, I would like to talk about my experience AFTER the orientation first. I got a taste of the huge campus of Ohio State. Yesterday afternoon, I walked on and around the Oval and visited the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library (the main library of the university). I did not use the word “explored” because there was no way one can touch all the details of the two places in an afternoon. I doubt a whole day is enough, either.

It was the geocaching game in orientation the day before that initiated my trip. The MAcc class was divided into teams of six and the teams competed with each other to collect stickers from various locations, using a handy GPS. I had driven through the campus several times before, but didn’t realize until the game how large the campus is and how many places I had missed. So there I walked. I was first stunned by the library, the most transparent I’ve ever seen—glass ceilings, crystal-clear windows in the reading room, the two-story see-through reception hall, and the most distinctive, the glass-shielded stack shelf area that looks like a giant glass cube “floating” in the middle of the library building.

Front view of the Thompson LibraryLibrary

Walked out from the library, the breeze at the Oval was soft and refreshing. Watching squirrels chasing one another, digging holes and chewing nuts; spotting dogs with tennis or frisbee in their mouth; enjoying being embraced by the greens…I found myself got lost in the Oval (too bad). Is it because I love the geocaching game so much that I was given a chance to do it again?!

After trying different directions and walking a long distance, I managed to locate a bus-stop and arrived home safe and sound.  The blissful feeling from my “exploration” was hurt a bit by the Google map, indicating the campus area I reached was barely one tenth of the whole campus.   I won’t post the pictures of the Oval, because that was how I underestimated the Oval’s size.  Come check it out and feel it yourself.  Don’t imagine the size of a football field, that’s not even close.  Think about multiple ones!

But I do want to share the joy of winning the geocaching game, oh yeah, we won! Here’s the prize—a scarlet Fisher mug! Go Team One, we are the best!

The prize for winning the Geocaching game!

Welcome from Graduate Programs Office!

Welcome! If you’ve stumbled across this blog, you’re about to get some firsthand insights on what it’s really like to be a graduate student in the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Fisher graduate students come from all over with many different backgrounds and unique perspectives on life in general. If you’re looking for posts by students in a certain program (e.g. MAcc, MBA, etc.), please click on the appropriate link across the top of this page.

Come back to My Fisher Grad Life throughout the school year – you’ll have a direct glimpse on life at Fisher as a graduate student!

Buckeyes