Posts filed under 'Orientation'

Striving to get better, one day at a time

My days have become busy since the beginning of BEFORE the quarter started.  Fisher’s international student orientation, OIA’s orientation and the MLHR program orientation came one by one, starting in early September. I really like the activities we got involved in during orientations and all of the campus info shared with us during the orientations. However, in every orientation it was emphasized repeatedly the importance of networking and encouraged us to network whenever and wherever possible.  This made me feel a bit anxious. I admitted that building a strong network here is very important for us to help us get to where we want to go, we need to make friends, etc. I don’t think one should take networking as the number one priority in our life and that every interaction with every single person should be with “networking” in mind.  I (and I think most people) always communicate with people in a natural way and never think that I am “networking” when I speaking with others. Networking shouldn’t be a formal “task” – it should happen naturally. Networking is simply a natural process of relationship building.

Besides networking, the MLHR classes are additional challenges for me.  Having classes in a second language, it is challenging for me to understand every word and sentence of what professors say in classes, let alone taking notes of the important points discussed. In addition, all of the courses require a lot of reading; sometimes almost 500 hundred pages per week. How could I handle these tough text books? What’s more, I also need to finish more than 6 different current issue analysis, case study, presentation and research paper within very limited time. Meanwhile, many quizzes, mid-terms and finals are waiting for me. It’s sometimes overwhelming, to say the least.

I need to find ways to deal with these issues and the “depressed” feeling that I might get if I let them get to me.  Actually, almost every international student who comes to America for the first time and speaks English as a second language will have the same difficulties as me. I just need time to adapt myself to the new learning and thinking method and overall environment. It is enough for me to make a little progress every day. I know one more word today; I can remember one more new foreign name today; I can understand one more sentence of what the professor was talking about in the class; I read one more page in an hour; etc. Thinking this way, I will be satisfied with my progress, however “tiny.” At the same time, I continuously remind myself to accept the “imperfect” me. No one can do great in every area all the time But one can always strive to get better. This is a matter of an optimistic attitude.

Since I chose to come to the U.S. to pursue my graduate studies, I must prepare myself for all kinds of challenges (including those described above). No more complaints and, at the same time, learn how to obtain my “inner peace.” Everything will be okay if I keep trying to get better and improve every day.

Buckeye Unity

I found this at a Kroger some time ago but forgot to take a picture of it. Thank goodness I found it online so I can share it with all of you!

This is what you call intense. I can take the millions of jerseys, the Buckeye necklaces, the Brutus pillow pets, but this slotted spoon is pretty insane. However, it describes how the Columbus community feels about the Buckeyes. It depicts exactly how proud they are of the university. It’s in their blood (and their cooking LOL).

Brutus the Buckeye Pillow Pet! If you haven't seen this, it unfolds into a plush pillow. It's awesome. :)

There have been certain incidents with my golf team at Cincinnati when we were mistaken for Buckeyes. (We wore red and black uniforms, sometimes just red, so I understand the confusion). Once they find out we’re from Ohio, they would automatically assume we were from Ohio State and shout “Go Buckeyes!” Back then, it really used to annoy me. But now, I see why. I see the pride that comes with wearing scarlet and gray. I see the unity between all the Buckeyes. They stick together, be it at football games, being a chorus as they cheer for the Buckeyes, or giving fellow Buckeyes advice and helping them find opportunities for career advancement that was most evident in my first couple of weeks at Fisher.

At the Fisher International Orientation, we had two alumni panels who came back to speak to the incoming class, some of them flying back from cities like New York. At the MAcc orientation, we again had a couple of alumni panels who took time out of their busy schedules to come back and talk to us about their experiences in the program, career search, and also with their current employers. They come for events like the MAcc Mix N’ Mingle at the Shoe, to talk to the current students, get to know them, and connect them to the right people. They gladly answer emails about your questions about the MAcc program or their work experiences. We also have the “Ask an Alum” program where over 1000 OSU alumni had volunteered to mentor current students with career search and “getting a foot in the door” of their respective companies. The Buckeye network is so huge, you can probably find one in even the most remote city possible. And more likely than not, they would be more than willing to lend a hand and help a fellow Buckeye, too. They really give back to the school that gave them so much.

The words “Pay it forward” ring true in the hearts of each and every Buckeye. As we begin our journey as Buckeyes, we must remember the support we received from the alums as we go through the year’s challenges. And once we leave the gates of Ohio State and go forward in our careers, I know we will continue the tradition and share the support we received to the future MAcc classes as well.

Get back to where you once belonged

Well, it’s starting again. Everyone is trying to adapt, or re-adapt, to life in grad school. Juggling school and work schedules with homework and family and friends. The nervousness of finding an internship or full-time job. All of the things that make being a grad student so much fun!!

Coming back as a second year student, however, I have a bit of a different focus. I intend to spend more time this year enjoying Columbus and Fisher. I spent so much time last year concerned with grades, internships, and other parts of the grad school life that I didn’t get to enjoy some of the social parts of student life. This year, I am determined to make more connections with The Cohort, and get to know some of the first year students as well.

Last year, it seemed my class connected really well overall. While there will naturally be groups of students who have more in common and thus form stronger bonds, everyone has always been really supportive of each other. Many of us hope to be able to pass that on to the next class as we move through this year.

With that in mind, many of my classmates and I were happy to volunteer our time to take part in the orientation events to bring in the next class of students.

Summit Vision/ARC Team Building

The first event that we were able to take part in was a team building activity at the ARC. For this event, students are put into teams and are instructed to complete a number of tasks within a certain amount of time. After each activity, they had to pass on the instructions to the next team, and that team must complete the same task going strictly on the instructions of the first group. These activities were meant to get the students working in groups, obviously, but also begin thinking about how the activities apply to different aspects of leadership, teamwork, and communication. It also gave us second year volunteers and chance to interact with some of them, and talk about our experiences and how they can me linked to the activities the students were taking part in.

This also was the first event that I was able to see some of my classmates whom I hadn’t spoken with over the summer. In particular, I got to spend some time talking with fellow bloggers Garren Carbal and Eric Dosch. I had the pleasure of interning with Eric in the same company this past summer, but my interactions with Garren outside the classroom have been limited. He is without a doubt one of the funniest people in the program, and let’s be honest, his new found skinniness is pretty impressive.

Varsity Club Social

Immediately following the team building, all of the incoming first year students and a good portion of the second year students all gathered at the Varsity Club for some food and socializing.  It was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other and to see The Cohort again.  Besides the lack of a few of my favorite classmates, i.e. Wes Lin, it was a great night.  I also got a chance to see some of my second year classmates talking the first years and was happy to see how open they were with them, and really seemed to want to pass along as much helpful information as they could.  Orientation is a rough couple of days for the first year students, considering all of the information that they have to take in.  It was good to see my class offering help.

The differences between a Chinese university and an American university: My 1st few days at Ohio State

Today is the 30th day since I arrived in Columbus. After waiting for about a month, my first class began 3 days ago. In short, OSU is beyond my imagination even though I have properly prepared myself for a brand new environment. Here are some of the shocks:

1. You need to be in good shape if you want to walk around the entire OSU campus! In fact, according to my experience from the campus walk during orientation, merely circling the main campus, takes at least an hour. The campus here is very big. One thing that really intrigued me is that on the outskirt of campus there is a pasture that includes barns for raising horses, cattle, etc.. When I passed it, I was thinking, ah, it must be an authentic American farm :-) Luckily, we have CABS and COTA, so a trip around campus is possible much more easily and quickly than walking!

2. Classes are really interactive. I am still not used to asking questions so freely. In the past, taking notes are deemed the second most important part of class (other than focusing on the context). Every time I want to say something, I feel like struggling against my shyness. Here, the short but really important question – any question – will always be followed by a lot of other questions. Class participation makes up at least 10 percent of class scores, especially at Fisher.

3. People are close and accessible. Professors, staffs and students mix in all kinds of activities. I cannot believe that I met the President of OSU, E. Gordon Gee before class begins. I just walked up and said hello and asked him for permission to take a photo together. On the contrary, the only time I stand close to the President of my undergraduate school was during graduation. I was just one of eight percent lucky students to be presented diplomas by my undergrad university’s president.

4. Plagiarism is taken very seriously here. During orientation, we spent more than 2 hours on plagiarism. The school also created a well-designed document to accentuate the influences and consequences of plagiarism. Although I have taken it seriously in the past, I have never taken plagiarism so seriously in last 4 years. It will definitely be one of the things I pay attention to in the upcoming year!



A worry lost forever … a lesson from Summit Vision

High on a pole, about 30 ft, you see friends making sure they have their grips on, ready to hold you and lower you gently to the ground so you don’t fall and injure yourself. In the event you are about to fall, a hand grabs you to help you stay on your feet; when the strength within you wavers, they cheer you up to go beyond your limit regardless of your race or skin color.

From the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana, I flew to a place I have never been. Tired and weary, I arrived safely in the United States.

In a room with of over 75 students I could not locate an “image” of myself; I was the only African present. I asked myself many questions: “How am I going to survive? Is this the right decision? Or should I have just stayed in Ghana?” Lifting my head and looking across the room, my thoughts were dismissed with the gleaming smiles from my colleagues. All I could see were wonderful people who wanted to know more about you and your passions, people who rather admired you for taking that bold step out of your comfort zone to take on the challenge of being in a new environment. I then realized that my self-imposed worries started to fade.

A day after, I smile knowing that my worries are long gone. Having different people, from different backgrounds, races, etc. willing to help you accomplish a dream was extremely overwhelming in a positive way. At Summit Vision (part of MAcc orientation, outdoors high ropes courses that helped us develop problem solving abilities and working in groups, etc.), I imagined I was back home in Ghana but then I appreciated that fact that I was, in fact, in Columbus (US) and not Anyaa (Ghana).

At Summit vision... Team 4 in Spanish

On the top of a pole, about 30 ft, I relived my vision from the first day of orientation – White or black; Asian, African, European, American; we are one and together we can make it.

My brand new start with the Fisher College of Business

A month ago, when I first stepped out of the airplane after landing in the United States, I realized it was a brand new start for me. Though the journey seemed long and lonely, and weariness came over me, I could not resist the sense of excitement; I knew it was going to be a fulfilling personal experience in my life.

A lot of my friends commented on my decision to study in the US for grad school as both crazy and brave  -  I could have stayed in my hometown with a stable and desirable job with KPMG (China). Some even suggested that I should find someone to marry soon (this coming from a traditional Chinese perspective). But I felt reluctant to betray my long-cherished dream, which was to study abroad. So I firmly made up my mind and did my preparation for applying to the MAcc program: Resign my position, take the language test (TOEFL) and GMAT, and say farewell to my hometown, my country, and my friends.

Through I led a miserably busy life juggling with a variety of things, including the CPA, exam, GMAT, TOEFL and application for grad school, I knew it was only insignificant and not worth mentioning when it comes to study abroad. First days in Columbus were very happy. I stayed with my kind and friendly host family, who was curious about Chinese culture. They showed me around Columbus and we went to both American and Chinese restaurants, where we talked about the difference between the two life styles from a cultural perspective. They gave me a big hand during my first days after moving into my apartment.

Then a series of program orientation events and socializing activities came in quick succession, all a lot of fun and really eye-opening. Some call it the ” silence before the storm.” It was not until school officially started that I fully comprehended this old saying. I am overwhelmed by the coming job/interview related  events, all sorts of student clubs, football games, challenging courses, welcome parties, PT work and so forth. It seems that I need 48 hours a day to deal with them! But I love this kind of busy life because it makes me feel fulfilled: I am fully utilizing almost every minute of 24/7.

I’d like to share my personal experience and reflections of what I have encountered in my life studying overseas as an international student. Surely I need time to adjust to the brand new environment but I am excited about it!

To be continued.

Moving-In Shopping

It has only just begun

Hello my fellow Buckeyes (and prospective ones too)!

It is an exciting time for us 1st year MLHR students. Over the summer, I was anxiously awaiting what this new chapter of my life would bring. And I have to admit – I was nervous! On the first day of orientation, I had no idea what to expect and had the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. As my first blog, I felt it was fitting to give you all a little insight on what I loved most about MLHR orientation and how I got those butterflies away. So, here goes nothing!


The opportunities and resources here at Fisher are endless. From the organizations, internship options, and networking, I know I will have no problem keeping myself busy the next 2 years. One of my favorite things from orientation was the panel of 2nd year MLHR students who came to give advice, answer questions, and tell about their experience so far at Fisher. I was very involved in organizations in undergrad and cannot wait to join GHRA (Graduate Human Resources Association)!


I am always up for meeting new people and I was eager to see where all my classmates would be from come this fall. The first night of orientation, our advisers put together a fun quiz to help us become more acquainted with one another. The quiz consisted of 4 facts and we were to guess which one was false. After guessing the false fact, each student represented in the ‘true facts’ confirmed which one was theirs. I was astounded by all of the different backgrounds of my classmates! I have lived in Ohio my entire life. Although I have met many people from different backgrounds over the years, I have never been in a setting such as this. The class of 2013 come from all over the world and possess an array of personalities. Getting to know one another over the next 2 years will not only be exciting, but will surely enhance our social development and prepare us as successful HR professionals. Just think, how boring would it be if we all had everything in common with one another?

Tour of Ohio Stadium

View from the press box - Do you feel the greatness?

I am, and always have been, I huge fan of Ohio State football. Although all my life it has been Cleveland sports and Notre Dame in my household, I found my way to the greatness! So, as you can already tell I was very excited to learn my classmates and I would be getting a tour of Ohio Stadium.

Even though I ‘claim’ to be a huge fan of the Buckeyes and have been to many games, I did not know much about the history of Ohio Stadium. My classmates and I were given a complete tour (inside and out) and told all of the stories of how this stadium came to be one of the most eccentric in the country (I would love to share, but some of you may be getting this tour next fall!) After the tour was over, I had even a more clear understanding as to why Ohio State Football is a secular religion here in Columbus.

I look forward to the next 2 years at Fisher. Here’s to a new beginning!

A few of us at Ohio Stadium - I need to improve my 'I'! :)

What I Took from Orientation

I have always loved Ohio State.  Whether it be the academics, the athletics, or the countless traditions, I am always amazed by what this University can do.  The 2011 MAcc Orientation lived exactly up to these standards.

I’ll be honest – I was a little bit skeptical of what I would gain from orientation.  I am a combined BSBA/MAcc student (a great program that Fisher offers, for any of you who may be accounting or finance undergrads at OSU right now!!) and thought I was pretty well versed in the ways of Ohio State.  After all, I’ve spent the last three years of my life on campus at Fisher and the last 18 years of my life in Columbus.

I was so wrong!

True, I may not have needed the facilities tour (which was still fun, and for those who do not do their undergraduate work at OSU will be extremely helpful!), but there was so much more for me to gain.  I think what impressed me the most was how interactive each session was, and how well I got to know some of my classmates before classes began.

Throughout orientation, I was given opportunities to see how diverse of a class I will be a part of.  This diversity is not only based on physical locations but extends to the way we each think and act.  I have classmates that will think completely differently than me, as this is really their first exposure to accounting!  Being able to see this as one complete MAcc class, rather than in bits and pieces once we meet each other a few people at a time in class, was incredibly interesting and really got me excited to work with everyone in the program.

We also got to meet all of the people at the University present to help us throughout the year.  Alisa downstairs in the Programs Office said she will help with anything from scheduling meeting rooms to Halloween costumes, Samantha (our advisor) will help us all find the courses best suited for what interests each one of us, and Dr. Dietrich (the department chair) will (attempt to) provide us comic relief if we’re feeling stressed.  The best part of who I’ve just listed is that they’re the tip of the iceberg.

Before signing out, I want to share one of the most rewarding portions of orientation.  Our class took a trip to Summit Vision, a high/low ropes course, for some team building.  We all walked away with much more than we thought we’d get though!  Throughout the day, we learned to communicate creatively, think diversely while working towards a common goal, and to really trust one another.  I think I can safely say too, that the high ropes course left us all extremely motivated and confident to begin classes.  Climbing over 35 feet in the air and jumping off a platform attached to nothing but a rope is not exactly in my comfort zone, nor was in the many of my classmates’ comfort zone.  Yet so many of us did just this.  Each of us that jumped absolutely loved it.  I can’t think of a better way to learn that stepping out of your comfort zone can be INCREDIBLY rewarding.

So – whether you’re a diehard accountant looking to expand your expertise or a soil scientist interested in studying for a MAcc degree, the MAcc program at Fisher can help you step outside of what is comfortable to you and really develop you as a person.  I can’t wait to keep stepping out of my comfort zone this year and sharing all my experiences.


This is me at the MAcc Mix'n'Mingle - one of the great parts of our orientation experience. We got to tour the Ohio Stadium and mingle with our professors and recruiters!




What Emily Dickinson knew about business school…

Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned. — Emily Dickinson


Imagine my delight!  Eight years after completing my undergraduate degree in English and Classical Civilization, I arrive on campus to start my MBA at Fisher, and I’m greeted by the above quote, carved into stone in the Fisher quad.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to see an American poet quoted at a business school, but after 10 days of orientation, I completely understand why this quote was chosen to represent the school.  The faculty and staff at Fisher are here to train leaders – complete with strong quantitative skills, the ability to interact effectively with people of all cultures, an awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps most importantly, a desire to work hard to achieve their goals.  It was made quite clear to the incoming class that hard work is what leads to success; whether it’s networking a little every day, meeting with your core teams to discuss what’s going on in class, or jumping right in to interview training and job searching.  Fortune’s expensive smile IS earned, and I believe Fisher is going to be a great place to do so.



“I wanna go back to Ohio State, to old Columbus town”

It is such an exciting time here at Ohio State! Everyone has started moving in, and you can almost feel the anticipation of a year full of opportunities. As a combined BSBA/MAcc student, I am returning to OSU for my fourth year but am doing the graduate program. As implied in the song I quoted in my title, it is always exciting to come back (or come for the first time) to Ohio State! For those of you who have never been here, don’t get the wrong idea: Columbus is not an “old town;” it is in fact a modern city!

MAcc orientation was so fun! We learned more about the program and learned a lot about and from each other.  The diversity in our class is phenomenal! We have students from 20 states and 8 countries, and everyone has a wide range of experiences and interests.  As I meet other students, I enjoy their stories and senses of humor. At some points, my cheeks almost hurt from smiling and laughing so much. That’s not exactly what I was expecting for the start of a graduate accounting program!

Our team building activities were entertaining, but they also brought us out of our comfort zones. The high ropes course required us to trust and encourage each other, and we also gained confidence in ourselves and our teamwork abilities. The lessons we learned about ourselves and each other will help as we begin classes, form project teams and study groups, and become friends outside the classroom. (You can see some photos from orientation posted here.)

Orientation included a tour of Ohio Stadium (affectionately called The Shoe, since it was first shaped like a horseshoe). This picture shows part of the home of Buckeye football and also two of the buildings in the Fisher complex, home of the College of Business.

I’m excited to be back and look forward to sharing my experiences with you!

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