Welcome to the MAcc Program

We started out the MAcc program with a week-long orientation to introduce us to the program and meet all of our classmates. We got to hear from professors and MAcc alum about what to expect from our upcoming year. We also got to hear about all the career services offered and even had a networking reception. I think everyone would agree that the highlight of our week was when we went to Summit Vision. Summit Vision is a high ropes course that specializes in teamwork. There we did various team building exercises both on and off the ground. It was a great way to get to know some of our classmates!

MAcc students on the high ropes course at Summit Vision

The following week, we hit the ground running in our classes. The class structure here in the MAcc program is a little different than most. Instead of two long semesters (one in the fall and one in the spring) we have four smaller seven-week semesters (two in the fall and two in the spring). So we started classes in August and come October we take our finals and start all new classes. During the first two seven-week semesters we have two required courses, then the rest of the classes we take for the whole program are elective-based classes. The MAcc curriculum gives us a lot of freedom to take the classes that are interesting to us. Also with the shorter semesters it allows us to take a lot more classes than traditional semesters do.

The first week of classes was also Welcome Week here at Ohio State. There were various events put on by Ohio State and Fisher College of Business to welcome you and help you get involved during your time here. They even put on a free Miguel concert for all students! The first weeks here I have also been able to explore Columbus and see how amazing it is. There is always something going on, including a Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert that a fellow MAcc student and I were able to get cheap tickets to!

First Impressions, First Challenges, First Action Steps

Hello there! My name is Mai Erana Salmeron and I am a first-year MHRM student at Fisher College of Business. I want to start by telling you about my background, especially how and why I am here today. Then I would love to share, as my title expresses, the first impressions, challenges, and action steps I am embracing as I start my year as a graduate student at Fisher.

A little bit about me

I was born in Mexico City, but moved to Chile shortly after, then to Venezuela, back to Mexico City, and finally to Ohio! My family has been in Columbus for some time now; I actually went to high school around here. I left for undergrad in Boston and came back for graduate school. (Fun fact: I moved to Columbus for the very first time on July 6th, and on that date exactly seven years later, I moved back permanently for grad school. Meant to be? I think so!)

I have an undergrad degree in hospitality administration, which is a result of my love for taking care of others, and the tremendous impact gathering people around the table served to help me adapt to various cultures growing up. Most of my work experience has been in the Food and Beverage industry, but it’s through those opportunities that I recognized a tremendous need for employee development and talent management. I had some great “lightbulb moments” as I like to call them that made me realize how much I like human resources and how this had to be the next step in my career.

Graduation from Boston University
Some of my work at a local golf club in Columbus

So why OSU? I think it took me to get out of Columbus to realize how much I love it! There is nothing more welcoming than this beautiful, vibrant city with a great balance of city and suburban life. There is so much to do, so many places to eat at, and so much community involvement to experience. Being part of this city means you are a Buckeye in some way or another, so I truly looked forward to moving back and being a part of it all again. Fisher is an even more exciting part of this decision. As I looked for HR programs, I couldn’t find anything that compared! The school has phenomenal rankings, opportunities, and most importantly, people who demonstrated they wanted to invest in me as much as I wanted to invest in them.

Columbus heads into the fall:)
Ohio High School D1 Golf State Championship at OSU Gray
Columbus Zoo lights!

First impressions

If I had to describe how Fisher makes me feel after the first few weeks of classes I would use the words capable and dynamic. Even before we got to campus, the staff and faculty were engaging with the students. We had prep modules, books, and other interactive plans that helped me become a part of the culture at Fisher; these also allowed me to see that I have what it takes to succeed in this career. I am unbelievably grateful for all the ways in which Fisher guides its students to take small, yet meaningful steps to prepare for class, career fairs, networking opportunities, and most importantly learn about yourself. There is never a dull moment at this school; there is always some organization providing involvement opportunities, or a chance to connect with the staff, alumni, and professors.

First challenges

Being told all the steps involved in becoming a competitive business student is terrifying, and quite frankly, you can feel overwhelmed. So far, I have had to learn to pause and think of all the things that I have done, career wise, and ask myself why they mean something to me. I have learned that it is invaluable to be patient with myself to process all these expectations, so I can figure out what to work on that will truly help me grow. I have had to get out of my comfort zone and just jump in, as I learn to solve problems whenever they arise. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it has also been truly rewarding.

First action steps

These are a few pieces of advice I have heard in my time at Fisher thus far. I would encourage you to keep them in mind because they can help you be very successful and enjoy the program to the fullest. I also think they are helping me stay accountable and motivated🙂

  • Be present
  • Prepare
  • Be a life-time learner
  • Take on leadership fearlessly
  • Be kind to yourself

Getting Oriented

Meeting new people can be intimidating. Even for folks who have committed their careers to working directly with people every day as Human Resource professionals.

So how do you help 40+ strangers get acquainted with each other and become comfortable working together?

You bus them out to the woods and facilitate as they solve a series of challenges and push themselves out of their comfort zones. That’s right…

My group rocking our safety gear!

We did a ROPES COURSE!!

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of a good ropes courses. I was part of a scholarship program in undergrad and we did one every year to welcome in the new scholarship recipients while reestablishing communication and teamwork amongst the older members. It was something I looked forward to every year!

Shannon Hynes and I REALLY                 leaning into the challenge!

 

Likewise, this time around with Fisher did not disappoint. Not only did the ropes course help us get to know a few things about each other (from our names to a sneak peek at our leadership styles), it also gave us the chance to begin creating bonds based on a shared experience that was both mentality and physically challenging. 

We also had the opportunity to debrief with the course facilitators to gain their “behind the scenes” perspective on the course and how it can be utilized to mitigate some of the difficult issues that arise in a workplace environment. From an HR perspective, it was exciting to see how something as unconventional as a ropes course could be the key to solving problems such as a lack of effective communication and conflict within a team.

I won’t spoil the all of the lessons for you should you end up completing a course yourself, but I will say that I left this experience with an even greater respect for—and trust in—my MHRM cohort.

It also reminded me how important it is to accept assistance from each other, be vulnerable, and lean into feeling uncomfortable at times. We are in this together and I can not wait to see what the future holds!

 

Power to my core team!

At Fisher, incoming MBA students are assigned to a core team that will tackle projects together. As the year comes to a close, this is a huge shout-out to my amazing core team a.k.a. Team 9! Neethi, Adam, Sangyoun (Shin) and Andrew have made the core team adventure a valuable experience from the start!

Beginning with team announcements during pre-term and into our first team-building exercises, we took time to get to know each other and have fun. During pre-term, before classes began for the semester, we had the chance to compete in a mini-case competition and take on a ropes course! Not only did we win the case across the teams presenting in our room– we also won the photo contest from the ropes course (see one of the winners below)! We spent these challenges taking time to get to know each other’s backgrounds and not taking things too seriously, resulting in effective teamwork and great times!

Throughout the year, we have worked hard to keep each other in mind outside of class projects… from having birthday celebrations to venting about the internship search to sharing favorite snacks. Most importantly, we are all very lucky to have Neethi who brings delicious snacks for our group meetings and Shin who brings some of his favorite snacks from Korea (see below).

Overall, we stay motivated, but have fun while we’re working on assignments together! This semester, we’ve discovered the power of communication and working as a virtual team. With interviews ramping up, along with group projects, we have realized the power of working together remotely.

After things die down in a few weeks, we’re looking forward to a celebration together over Korean BBQ! From case analyses to marketing plans, we have found ourselves frustrated, giggling, sweating from spicy ramen snacks, and in deep concentration to meet deadlines among all of the other activities going on at school. It’s been a challenging and rewarding experience, and I wouldn’t trade my core team for another!

Core Team: An Integral Component of the Fisher MBA

As I reflect through the past five months of my Fisher MBA experience, one thing that kept me going through this rigorous and fast-paced program was my core team. Yes, you heard that right – ­my core team! Go, Team #3!

Fisher heavily emphasizes the concept of team. Just before you officially start your MBA, you go through a three-week pre-MBA term. At the end, you find out who’s on your core team, the team you will be working with throughout the first year of your program. Just to offer a glimpse of how a pre-MBA term looks, this is where you get to know about the program structure, professors, resources at Fisher and Ohio State. At the same time, you get to attend executive lunches, seminars, career roundtables, and speaker series.

The whole entering class is divided into teams of four to five, with people not only coming from different backgrounds but also from different parts of the world. The diverse nature and vivid experiences that every individual brings to a team make you appreciate the power of such a setting. We, as a core team, faced our first challenge on the very first day we got introduced to each other. As a part of Fisher Challenge, we had to present a case analysis on one of the budding organizations in Columbus and propose an innovative way to help increase the firm’s profits. This was the first group exercise with my team and to date, we’ve delivered on many such assignments. We ended our pre-MBA term with an experiential learning program with all core teams at a location little outside of Columbus (called “Summit Vision”). This was absolutely one of the experiences that I’ll add to my special memories from Fisher for the rest of my life.

A pic from Summit Vision (I am on the extreme left, along with rest of my team)

Over time, as I’ve progressed through the MBA program, these are the people who’ve become a big part of my Fisher family. It’s not just the assignments inside class, but the other experiences. Recently, we all planned a day out at the Columbus Zoo. It was definitely a stress-reliever after the end of our first term and simultaneously gave us the time to know each other better in a setting outside of the class.

A pic from the Columbus Zoo

Overall, working in a team setting has not only helped me in learning the art of coming together as a team to solve a problem but to also appreciate different leadership styles operating within the same team. It, in a true sense, gives you the flavor of how your post-MBA corporate life would be.

Welcome to Ohio State

Welcome week and orientation at Ohio State is a big thing for both undergraduates and graduate students. As a Master of Accounting student, we have a 4-day orientation prior to when most students come to campus. The orientation is a great way to learn more about the MAcc program, what careers are available– and to get to know your classmates better.

The highlight of my orientation week was when we (the MAcc students) had the opportunity to go to Summit Vision. For those of you who don’t know what Summit Vision is, it’s an outdoor team-building organization located on the outskirts of Columbus.

When we arrived, we were placed in groups of 12 students where we were tasked to traverse through the wilderness of Columbus and take part in a number of team-building activities. Of all the activities, the most exciting activity was the ropes course. Summit Vision has a massive ropes course that even includes zip-lining. My group decided to try the most challenging obstacle! This obstacle required a partner and me to climb 20 feet into the air where we each stood on separate round logs that were positioned in a “V” against one another. Then, my partner and I put our hands out and pushed against one another. As we pushed, we simultaneously took small steps away from the center of the “V”, where the two logs met. As we stepped further and further away from the center, and continued to push against one another, our bodies flattened out and eventually became parallel to the ground. It was an exhilarating feeling knowing you are seconds from falling (even though you are 100% safe) but the only thing keeping you from falling is your partner.

My team at Summit Vision preparing to climb the ropes course
Photo of the specific obstacle we were challenged by on the ropes course

Another great opportunity during Welcome Week is the Involvement Fair. The involvement fair is held annually on the Oval where (almost) every student organization at Ohio State promotes their organization to the whole student body. This year, unlike the first few, I was standing as the president at my booth promoting my student organization MUNDO. (Time for a shameless plug for MUNDO: if you love to travel and/or are interested in learning about cultures, you should check this organization out. It is for both undergrad and graduate students.)

Me at the involvement fair with my student org, MUNDO

Regardless of what interests you, Ohio State has plenty to offer for Welcome Week. It’s a great way for you to mix and mingle with your classmates and to get acquainted with the rest of the student body.

 

Study Abroad at Fisher–Orientation and Welcome week

Where to start?

I never imagined I would go this far, both academically speaking and geographically speaking. 15 years of education and 6239.79 miles (to be exact) of traveling, and now, I am here. Hello, FISHER! Hello, OHIO! Hello, AMERICA!

Look how long I travelled to get to Fisher! 6239.79 miles (10041.97 km) Isn’t that crazy?

The journey as an international student begins with a lot of help from the university. As an international student who did not attend THE Ohio State University for my undergrad degree, I attended two separate orientations. The first one was held by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the second one was held by our lovely MAcc program.

During the summer time, all international students receive many pre-arrival emails from OIA that contain a lot of useful information for international students such as housing information. They guide international students step-by-step on almost everything. Due to the large number of international students at OSU, all the international students had to register for a specific time to go through the immigration check-in. Based on the immigration check-in date, students would go to the corresponding OIA orientation slots.

OIA orientation information for the year 2017-2018

Students then were able to go to the Ohio Union to get their Buck IDs on the same day of check-in.

You are going to see Brutus a lot, especially during football season.
Ohio Union

The OIA orientation itself took about a day. We went through various workshops to make our adjustment to campus life (and life in the U.S.) easier. Also, to further help, there are some student organizations located on the first floor of the Union to help students set up their bank accounts, U.S phone numbers, and things like that.

The second orientation event for me was the MAcc orientation, which would focus on team-building activities, job-search related questions, and course-related questions. The length of the MAcc orientation may vary year to year, but believe me, you will not regret it (I enjoyed it a lot).

Of course, OSU is great in many aspects, but one thing that you should definitely check out is the D-Tix, the discount ticket service. There all kinds of events in Columbus– and D-Tix offers major discounts on tickets. OSU also offers some free concerts to its students. You just need your ID to pick up the tickets.

Here is my first (free) concert in my life: DJ ZEDD!

DJ ZEDD OSU Concert

I think I’m starting to get used to this new life and am ready for the challenges that are coming soon — the first one is finding a job. It’s “recruiting season”!

Hopefully, next time, I can share some good news on my blog.

GIPHY Studios Originals reaction hope good luck promise GIF

Hello from the (Other Side of the) Classroom!

Speak to any educator and they will tell you about the most important part of their job: summer! Recharging and preparing for the next school year is critical to effective teaching. As a second-grade teacher, my need for summer was no different.

But this past summer, instead of preparing for another group of amazing students, I was preparing to be on the side of the classroom—this time as a student! While I did take some much-needed time to relax and visit friends and family, Fisher connected me with resources throughout the summer to prepare me for success in the full-time MBA program.

Soon after my admission to Fisher, The Office of Admissions put me into contact with a current student as well as an alumni. I got to learn about course options, career paths, as well as skills to brush up on before the start of class. As the fall semester inched closer, I received access to a plethora of information. From academic modules to career and strength assessments, Fisher made sure I hit the ground running before the first day of class.

About two weeks before class, all full-time MBA students participated in a “pre-term” program. Pre-term is an all-encompassing experience that gives you a taste of what the next 18 months is going to be like. We got to meet with faculty, participate in case discussions, and meet with alumni and recruiters from every industry—from consulting to marketing. The highlight of pre-term was meeting my “core team.” Your core team is a diverse group of four to five students that will work alongside you during your first year in the FTMBA. We spent a morning at Summit Vision (picture below!) completing team-building activities. It was truly amazing getting to know everyone and just having a fun time.

With the first week of classes officially DONE, I can ecstatically say that Fisher has done a great job of connecting everyone with resources to help ensure success in the program. I cannot wait to see what the next 18 months will hold. Stay tuned for more!

My Core Team at Summit Vision!
My Core Team at Summit Vision!

 

The Journey Begins

13958000_10154366799382777_3267127209711401170_oI am 37 years old and back in college! It’s a new chapter of my life– maybe a new “book”– that I never would have imagined when I graduated in May of 2000 with my degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. One week after moving to Columbus and preparing for the semester to begin, I’m still having those “pinch me” moments. On rare occasions, they’re moments filled with anxiety. But the comforting reality is that most of these moments are filled with excitement, hope, and a sense of great opportunity ahead. I am truly ready for this.

Although classes haven’t begun yet, the staff at Fisher has already held a two-night orientation and a “career foundations seminar.” The latter event was amazing. There were several high-level panelists from major companies (we’re talking BIG people, i.e. the VP of HR for Frito-Lay/Pepsi, HR Manager of U.S. Global Functions for Shell, HR Operations Manager for Rolls-Royce and more) who offered great insight into the field and what we should consider as we begin (or continue) this professional path. We also were given the opportunity to mingle quite a bit with the panelists and we heard from second-year MHRM students. These companies want to talk to US about internships and entry-level positions; they want the best students from the best HR management programs. And that’s why they come to OSU. (Side note: the cohort is diverse and I particularly noted the large number of international students. Yesterday, I befriended two students from India. If many people are traveling half-way across the world to join the MHRM program, it’s a good sign!)

Today, I met with Jill Westerfeld, the Assistant Director of Career Management and the MHRM “career adviser.” She helped organize the seminar earlier this week and gives lots of feedback and guidance to students. She also develops relationships with recruiters and others from various organizations. She’s super-helpful and knowledgeable– and intense in a really good way. She has a very driven spirit about her– the kind you want in someone trying to help you get a job! If you have vague memories of a mediocre career services office during your undergrad time, Jill and her colleagues are NOT that. They offer customized attention and assistance, although Jill stresses that she does not place people; she helps. And she expects the student to do all the hard work– research, networking, academic performance– to better ensure career success.

Thinking about Jill and all of my interactions thus far at Fisher, I’m very impressed and very comforted as I get ready for class next week. I feel like I have a support network and will have everything at my disposal to make the most of my time at OSU.

WOW! A Fun Orientation for MAcc program

Hello, everyone! I am so excited since this is the first blog I am going to post. So I am just going to introduce myself a little bit. My name is Ning Tang. I am currently in the MAcc program. I am an international student from China and I went to undergraduate school in Fisher.

Although MAcc is just a one-year program, faculty members really want us to learn a lot, enjoy our lives and find a job after graduation. The week before beginning of the new semester, MAcc already organized so many activities and networking events. We started the week by chatting with our classmates. Then, Deans, professors and advisors gave us welcome speeches and introduced the MAcc program. On day two and day three of the orientation, the program invited alumni, recruiters and even people from CPA review course to class and gave us speeches. We also had the Mix and Mingle during the orientation. Recruiters from the Big Four, local public accounting firms and other big firms came. We could ask any questions we had. So this event gave us a great opportunity to find out which job we really want to apply. Besides networking with recruiters, the tour to the Ohio Stadium was another exciting part of the event. Although I have been at OSU for four years. This was only the second time I had a tour in the stadium. The picture below really shows how great of a stadium it was. Stadium is full of people every football game. If you come to OSU, watching a football game should definitely on your to-do list and you won’t be disappointment after watching the game. The only imperfect thing we had during the orientation was because of weather, the activity in Summit Vision was cancelled.
32Ohio Stdium

As an international student, I had an extra event called “Career Foundation Seminar for International Students” to attend. The event was really useful for international students. It introduced the difficulties we would meet and invited international students who were in our shoes but now find a job to give us speeches. Through this event, I can see Fisher really cares about the international students.