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

10:30—Homework

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

Cheers~

Henry

The Coldest Football Game I’ve Ever Been To In My Life!!!

Okay, I know I’m probably gonna get laugh at for saying this, but I don’t care: The OSU vs. Wisconsin game was the coldest football game I’ve ever been to! I have to be fair though, the weather was terrific. Blue sky, tiny bit of cloud, mild wind, last but not least… 50-55 degrees… orz (that’s almost winter for Texans)

I’ve been to plenty of games back in Texas, both college football and NFL, and I’m accustomed to be in a 90-100 degrees environment (100+ if you’re in the sun) plus the heat from the 100,000 fans surrounding you. I’ve also been to the Rose Bowl twice in January and even then it didn’t feel nearly as cold as today. I ended up going home early in the 3rd quarter after we opened the quarter with a kick-off return and expanded the lead to 24 points. Here’s my excuses for having such pitiful endurance and lessons learned:

  1. Defense > Offense – our defense and special teams scored 3 TDs but that only came once every 30 minutes or so. I’m sort of the offense kind of guy. I like seeing big plays. GO LONG!!!
  2. Not much of a challenge – their QB looked pretty good, but still, I get bored easily, especially when the margin goes beyond two possessions
  3. Bring a bigger jacket!!! I felt really smart wearing a t-shirt and a light BR jacket (just for looks) and found out that our section has our backs to the sun. Never have I missed the sunshine so badly. LOL

I said the same thing on fb when I got home last night and almost immediately I got a couple responses saying “just you wait til the Iowa game in November”. Time to bring out my Columbia heavy-duty skiing coat. I’ll be ready!!!

GO BUCKS!!!

Interview Season

After today, the MAcc program is definitely in interview season. I had my first interview today, and I think it went pretty well. I have a couple more interviews scheduled this week, so I will definitely be busy! The Fisher program has been fantastic assisting me in setting up interviews as well as all the assistance program participants were given preparing for interviews. Fisher is really a recruiting hotbed, it has been extremely easy to make contact with recruiters.

The Fisher career fair was this past week, and was well attended by some of the biggest firms in the world, as well as the Big 4, and a good amount of regional accounting firms. This is a marked difference from my undergrad university, where our career fair included one government firm looking to possibly speak with accounting majors. I have really had a fantastic experience so far, and look forward to going to class every day.

The work has definitely picked up relatively quickly, but the group work is a lot more enjoyable, knowing everyone I work with is hardworking, as well as extremely capable and knowledgeable.

I promised I would include some of my significant others perspective, so here goes.

Sarah’s Say
Hi all! My name is Sarah Shepherd, and I am Kyle’s fiance 🙂 (It’s still fun to say it!) It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for almost a month, and that I’ve been working in my first big kid job for just as long. I started looking for work here  in April once Kyle and I had decided for sure about Ohio State, and it was not the most pleasant time of my life.

We moved from the DC area, where I was finding HR job after HR job that I was qualified for, to the Columbus market where I didn’t find an HR job I was qualified for for nearly 4 months. Luckily though, I found a position at DISH Network in Hilliard as an HR Associate. So far I’m loving it, and will include some Columbus job search tips in my next bit. Great to meet y’all!

Defragment your time!

It was 11:00pm at my apartment, with me sitting in front of the computer, watching my poor little PC went through the “defragmentation” process. Staring at the screen, while the screen probably was also staring at me, its tired owner, I suddenly wish “I were a computer”. Oh wait, I was too tired, what I actually meant was, I came up with a very bright idea—I should defragment my time!

A little more than two weeks after the first classes, my schedule already looks messy. A pretty lay-back first week brought me a horrible feeling, in return, when I looked at the “due items” on my second week timetable. Three group projects are due and one quiz is coming up, therefore all my off days were filled with group meetings. With lots of readings and other assignments, plus housekeeping stuff like opening accounts, paying bills, doing grocery shopping, and housework, I was really overwhelmed. The biggest problem is, where had my time gone?!

I did the math a little in my head and figured a large portion of my time was actually wasted on traveling back and forth among different places and being inefficient. Now the problem is resolved, or at least the situation is improved, with my defragmentation idea. So please allow me to proudly announce some tips for you:

1.Make or get a calendar planner. It has to show at least one current month and better if shows the days of the whole quarter so that you can see the big picture and do your game plan. It also has to be differentiated into hours every day so you can schedule in details.
2. Mark down all the “fixed items” in your planner such as classes, events that you must attend. Most importantly, highlight all the due days and exam days!

Now you are ready for the game. Every night before going to bed, list all the things you need to do. Fit the flexible items in time slots according to locations, estimated length of time, and priority. For instance, if you have a class on a certain day, you also need to deposit a check, drop by the grocery store, cook, do laundry, and read an 11-page article. You will first go to class, as that’s a “fixed item”. Then you will deposit the check since the bank is close to school. Get on a bus back home and start reading the article. If the grocery store and laundry place happen to near your house, then drop down the laundry after you get home, grocery shopping will follow. Done shopping, put clothes into dryer, then cook. Enjoy your dinner, do a little work-out pulling your laundry back afterward. Continue reading the article. When you get a little tired or bored, go fold your clothes or organize your wardrobe until you feel refreshed. Finish your reading.

Sounds good? I hope the idea helps! Be a good time manager!

Location, Location… Research

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first couple of weeks in the MAcc program thus far.  It has been extremely challenging with trying to do so much at once, but very rewarding at the same time.  One of my favorite parts of the program is the ability to take classes that interest you.  Outside of the required accounting class, I am currently taking a managerial negotiations class because negotiations interest me; a financial management class that I really enjoy; and finally, an interesting real estate class that focuses on the core principles of real estate.

In my past class on Thursday night (the class is held from 6-10), Professor Hudson challenged the common saying that real estate is all about location, location, location.  Instead, he said that it is now about location, location, and research.   While real estate research is very costly, it is also very, very useful considering that a good real estate decision can last a long time and the owner can reap the rewards of a wise decision for many years.  On the other hand, an unwise decision can be costly and hurt the owner for many years.

In making a decision, it is important to know the land cost, where the customers are, the access that a location has to roads/ interstates, growth potential, and competition in the area.  Our class is split up into groups (similar to all 4 of my classes) , and we are each given the opportunity to develop a very specific real estate project and present it to a jury of real estate professionals at the end of the class.

The opportunity to take such a wide variety of classes that interest me has been one of the many things that I have enjoyed up to this point.

Star Wars Theme!

I thought I was having a hard time with all this school stuff, and then I heard my husband trying to roll his r’s (practicing for “Elementary Russian I”); he sounds like Chewbacca. It’s pretty awesome, and amusing (but don’t tell him I said that, or he’ll stop making my morning coffee).

Of course, the exciting world of FASB Codification sometimes makes me feel like I should be in “Elementary English” (so I can’t laugh too hard at Chewie, or I’ll start crying). As I was looking through its online pages a couple of days ago, when I experienced a nagging feeling that I’d done all this before… and then I realized why: the Ohio Building Code, and construction specifications. So there you go mom and dad, don’t be scared for me, architecture can prepare you for accounting.

And finally, because I can’t tie all this together, I will list the fun things I learned this past week.

1. Sticking with the “soundtrack to my life” theme could save me about 30 minutes of time when coming up with a post title.

2. Fisher students have free access to Rosetta Stone software (I’m hoping I can learn some French).

3. Printing out eleven copies of your weekly schedule (made in iCal or Outlook) is better than buying an organizer (but I might be the only one who thinks that).

AMIS 824 – Corporate Finance

I love all 4 of my classes this quarter, but I want to bring your attention to this particular one – AMIS 824 Corporate Finance. This class is unique in many ways. To start off, in the introduction email Professor Dave Williams sent to the class, he specifically mentioned that we won’t be doing any journal entries, T-accounts, or cite FASB statements. But wait a second, I thought this is an accounting class??? (AMIS stands for Accounting & Management Information System)

Now that school’s been in session for about 2 weeks, I started to get a feel of what he means. Dave (he likes to be informal and prefers to be called by his first name instead of Professor Williams) usually starts the class by reading an article or two on the Wall Street Journal and discuss with the class the magnitude of the news and the effect/consequence/special meaning it has both to the accounting profession and the financial industry. Then we spend the remaining class period analyzing financial statements of various companies in a very fun and intuitive way. You might say, how is analyzing hundreds of pages of the 10-K fun?

Well, first of all we don’t look at the entire 10-K because Dave is environment-friendly and would like to save trees. Second, some day we look at just the income statement, another day we’ll look at the balance sheet followed by the statement of cash flow, or sometimes the combination of them. Then he’ll make the students think hard and fast what lies beneath the numbers. He asks questions like: why do you expect to see a high balance in the inventory account for so and so? What does it mean when you see cash outflows from PP&E every year? Is that a good thing or a bad thing and why? So far we’ve looked at the financial statements of Tootsie Roll, Hershey, GE, Southwest Airline, Whirlpool, Campbell’s Soup, 5/3 Bank, Amazon, J-Crew, American Eagle Outfitter, and Pacific Sun. Next week we’ll talk about revenue recognition and look at Microsoft’s financial statements. Microsoft!!! I’m getting excited just as I’m typing this.

Dave is ingenious in drawing the class’ attention. He tells jokes, makes fun of himself and sometimes his kids, and you can be sure that he’ll call you out (not to embarrass you, but all for good fun) if you say something silly without giving it some thought. He comes at you fast and furious and you better devote 120% of your attention to him if you don’t want to miss anything important (and the jokes). Starting this week I’m bringing a digital recorder to record the lecture so that I don’t have to take notes frantically. Lastly, I tried to imitate his style a little bit and be funny in front of the 211 students (I’m a TA) but so far to no avail.