Networking for Students

Network, Network, Network…as students we hear this all the time from our bosses, our professors, and our parents. What is Networking anyways? Merriam Webster defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions” specifically for “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”. Expanding on this definition, I consider networking not only for employment purposes but as a channel for learning and development. Many individuals network to establish a mentor or to expand their skill set. Here is a list of ways to start networking as a student.

  1. Get to know your classmates. The classmates you sit next to every day are going to be in the workforce one day are going to achieve a multitude of different things. The individuals you associate yourself with now maybe your colleagues in the future.
  2. Connect with alumni. Similar to connecting with current classmates, former students of your university are able to relate to your experience and are likely to be interested in giving back and offer support to their alma mater.
  3. Meet with the Career Office. Each university has resources dedicated to assisting students with their career development. This office typically assists with resume reviews, mock interviews, and career guidance such as job opportunities, career exploration, and may be able to connect you with employers or alumni.
  4. Attend networking events. There is no better place to network than at professional development event such as a seminar, conference, or career fair. By joining a student organization or society can meet others who have similar interests to you.
  5. Lastly, consider each day a networking opportunity with the people around you. You never know who you may connect with or establish a relationship in your everyday life!

Additional Tip: Use social media such as LinkedIn as a way to display your professional brand and stay in touch with the people in your network.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive of all the ways that you can network but as the wise Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

 

 

Learning from the Best – MAcc Talks

One of the most exciting parts of my experience at Ohio State so far has been attending MAcc talks. These events bring in exciting speakers from a variety of backgrounds to discuss their experiences and how it can pertain to our future careers as accountants. (We also receive a free lunch from Panera for each session, so I’ve also learned to always go for the Bacon Turkey Bravo.) The speakers come in through professors directly reaching out and I am always amazed at the connections Fisher professors can have.

Some of the guest speakers so far this semester have been the CEO of Pelotonia, a transparency reporter for DowJones MarketWatch, a Stanford tax researcher, an OSU law professor, and the Ohio Auditor of State. Their areas of expertise are incredibly broad and lead to thought-provoking discussions with my classmates. The talks are often a lot less technical than a lecture and encourage thinking about accounting issues in terms far more broad than simple debits and credits.

A recent speaker was Weston Smith, the former CFO of HealthSouth. He walked us through the fraud that occurred within the corporation. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which of course we all had learned about in depth in accounting courses, played a key part in the unraveling of  inflated earnings reports for HealthSouth. It was pretty satisfying to see how technical topics like SOX play out in real world scenarios.

Class of 2014 Gives Back

Over the summer a MHRM alumnus contacted the program about planning a five year reunion for the MHRM Class of 2014 and incorporating that into a networking opportunity for our current students. The MHRM council jumped at the chance to welcome back fellow MHRMs and coordinate the event. With support from the Career Management Office, Alumni Association, and Class of 2014 we were able to host a very special two-part event.

Before our Thursday evening class, there was an MHRM/MHLR panel that

represented alumni 2-3-5-15-25 years out of the program. From organizations such as Wendy’s, Qualtrics, and DHL there was no shortage of diversity. The panelist spoke about how their careers have evolved since they left Fisher and offered valuable insights on career paths. Our most senior alumni on the panel, former CHRO, had just started her own consulting firm called Connect the Dots Consulting.

After class, we also had a Networking Social at Buffalo Wild Wings. This was an awesome opportunity to chat more casually with local alumni, as well as the larger group of the class of 2014 who was in town for the reunion. We had a great alumni crowd at this event and some beloved faculty/staff members too!

Registering for spring semester in the Fisher MAcc program

As the leaves begin to turn a different color here at Fisher, it’s already time for many of the MAcc students to turn their attention towards spring classes. I registered Thursday, October 29, and this process was much different than registering for classes in the fall.

During the spring semester of the MAcc program, students are not required to take any of the core classes that we’ve been taking in the fall. This allows each student to pick an individual schedule tailored to their specific interests and career path, and it’s one of the main reasons I chose Ohio State’s MAcc program over others.

Aside from possessing the technical skills necessary to succeed in the accounting field, I’ve always been interested in leadership and learning new ways to motivate and manage individuals. I’ll be able to continue to pursue this interest by taking classes like Advanced Leadership, Negotiations, and Introduction to Organizational Coaching. While I’m keeping my options open as my career path progresses, I know I want to be in a leadership role down the road. The MAcc’s flexible class registration allows me to develop the skills necessary to be a future business leader, and hopefully create a positive influence on the people I work with.

3 Months as an MBLEr

We are now standing in the halfway of a semester. Looking back at the memories we made, I found countless sparkling moments. MBLEr is a noun created by me, which includes every student in this program. Once an MBLEr, forever an MBLEr! There are several highlights I would like to share with you here.

This is how we get started

Our new semester started with a lot of outdoor activities, I still remember the scenario at Ohio Union when we rushed to the papers listing out the activities we could participate in. Columbus Zoo left me with a strong impression. That was also the place where I met many of my classmates, and everything was like yesterday. There were a lot of kids in the zoo that day, compared to the animals. I paid most of my attention to the children around me. We were amazed by the third largest zoo in the USA, while laughing and discussing, we had a preliminary understanding of each classmate’s background and personality. This is super cool!

The most important thing as a student!—Study

Our first class started on August 20th. The overall class experience is: fast and inspiring. The most exciting part of the class is that we not only learn about fundamental knowledge but also do projects that are related to real-world logistics operations! Although the project has not started yet, I am looking forward to it now!

When asking about the question: “which course impresses you the most” to our classmates, I bet 100% of them will answer with: “Linear Programming”. Despite the difficulty, all of us worked hard. LP is very applicable for solving problems, for example, logistics, and transportation network. And since this is a data-driven world, learning LP helps us in the future if we learn programming languages. I love LP!

The most challenging thing right now—work

Fisher College of Business provides us with adequate resources to attend a lot of career fairs and supply chain symposiums. Thanks to these events, I got a chance to do an internship and strengthened my understanding of Supply Chain and Logistics. Career guidance is also very helpful. I did not even know how to polish my resume, but after meeting with Steve Singer and GAs, I am very satisfied with it and more confident about how it helps with my future interviews. Career service is one of the reasons that I chose MBLE, and I found that it never disappoints me.

Columbus Weather

As a southerner of China, I only experienced summer and winter. Late Autumn in Columbus is all I have expected for this beautiful season. Autumn colors are orange, yellow and pink. Season transition from summer to autumn takes a blink of an eye, and green turns to caramel. Because of Columbus, autumn becomes my favorite season in my whole life.

The first semester has not ended, but I already miss it! The next inspiring part is that winter is coming!

Connecting Beyond MAcc

Attending a graduate program at Fisher is not just about going to classes. While they are an important part of the curriculum, getting involved in organizations and events is a great way for me to interact with my classmates and other students. While the MAcc program has many

Me and Carmen (right), second-year MBA candidate and FGWIB’s VP of Professional Development

opportunities to be involved, such as MAcc Council, and events designed for MAcc students, such as MAcc Talks, there is no restriction that you have to join and attend only these organizations and events. Fisher offers a variety of other business-related organizations for all types of interest, and one of them is the Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB). The organization is a platform for graduate female students to connect across programs, as well as to provide guidance, inspire, and empower each other. Some of the activities include member meet-ups, guest speaker panels, and career development events. By being involved in the organization. I personally got to know female students from other graduate programs such as the MBA, MHRM, and SMF, as well as opportunities available to students from these programs.

The first event that FGWIB coordinated this year with the Fisher Graduate Finance Association is a lunch panel called Strategy and Finance Careers with Procter & Gamble (P&G) Women Leaders. Two Fisher MBA alums from  P&G, Keri Cowan, Director of Investor Relations, and Rema McVey, Corporate Strategist, were invited to talk about finance opportunities at P&G and offer insights into the recruitment process. It is great to know that 46% of managers at P&G are women, and that the company is striving to maintain and eventually improve this balance. P&G also supports their female employees through other benefits and runs influential campaigns such as #LikeAGirl to support girls’ self-confidence in adolescent age. It is awesome that FGWIB creates events like this that match the core of the organization’s values, as well as to bring back female Fisher alums who are successful in their managerial roles to inspire us who want to be like them in the future.

P&G Panel

Opportunities are endless at Fisher, as well as throughout your career. Whether you come into the Fisher MAcc program knowing what you want to join or do in the future, it doesn’t hurt to keep exploring and expanding your connection through other organizations on campus. I hope you take advantage of resources like this at your current school, and will continue to do that if you choose to be here at Fisher.

 

 

Next Stop: California

The school year has ended! I am now officially halfway through the Masters of Human Resource Management program here at Ohio State and one step closer to receiving my degree. Whether you have been following my blog posts throughout the year or are just tuning in, one aspect of the MHRM experience I’ve tried to highlight is how the program prepares students for success by offering multiple opportunities to turn theory into practice.

The Ohio State University Oval in full bloom

One of the MHRM program requirements is to complete either a thesis or a practicum. So what does this mean exactly? Students choosing the practicum plan pursue an internship to gain practical experience in an HR role. The internship is a full-time 40/hr. a week working commitment, typically completed during the summer between years 1 and 2 of the MHRM program. The focus of this plan is to allow students to practically apply knowledge and skills acquired through MHRM coursework in a real business setting. In addition to this, an internship or practicum experience is an opportunity for further career exploration, leadership and skill development, networking, and can lead to a full-time job offer.

I along with a majority of my peers have decided to pursue the practicum option. Although our final exams and projects have concluded, the first year MHRM students, myself included, are now gearing for our summer internships where we will be taking on various human resources roles all across the country. In two weeks, I will be heading out to Ontario, California to intern with Niagara Bottling Company. I will be working in the human resources department on their workforce analytics and compensation team for 10 weeks. I’m excited to take a break from classes and to see what the west coast has in store for me, however, I will admit I’ll be taking some of my textbooks with me in case I need to reference them on a project. I’ll be sure to write a blog post about my internship experience when I return for the fall. Have a great summer everyone!

Internship Relocation Guide

If you went through the recruitment process this school year and secured a summer internship then you may be feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that it has come to an end. For those who are required to relocate for the summer, finding housing is more thing on the to-do list that can be a  timely challenge if you are moving to an unfamiliar location. Questions such as: Where do I live? Who can I live with? How do I find something short term? How much is this going to cost? I found myself asking these questions and more as I prepared to head to the west coast for the summer.  I hope that my experience of finding summer housing can help those reading with their own moving process!

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Full disclosure, the cost of living and availability of housing will differ between locations and it is worth asking the organization if they offer relocation stipends or having corporate housing options.

Connect with Other Interns 

Most organizations will utilize Linkedin Image result for connect iconor Facebook groups to introduce incoming students to their internship cohort. This is a great opportunity to expand your network and find others who are looking for roommates and housing options as well. In addition, there may be students who already live locally that can offer suggestions on where to live or provide housing resources in the area. If the employer you’re going to be working for doesn’t do this currently, ask if you can have a contact list of the incoming interns.

 Short Term Options

Some apartment complexes Related imagewill offer short term leases but with a premium on top of the regular rental prices. This definitely isn’t the cheapest route to take and I would research other options prior to resorting to this one. Other options include searching for colleges in the area rent out vacant dorm rooms for the summer, hotels that offer short term stay discounts, or utilizing Airbnb.

Subletting

Subletting is more than likely going to be the best value, many students will be looking to sublease their apartments for a lower price than they actually pay. Some of these offers may also include utilities or come Image result for sharing iconfurnished. Search for colleges within the area and see if they have an off-campus housing page. If you don’t find it at first don’t be afraid to call the university and ask for it. A quick google search can also provide many links to sublet apartments in the area.

I hope these options will help you to find the perfect place for the summer! When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to family or friends who may have contacts in the area your looking for. Congratulations on the opportunity to expand your resume and gain real-world experience. Best of luck this summer my fellow interns!

Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek

The week after spring break, myself and a few of my MBA peers were fortunate enough to go on the Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek in various cities – San Francisco, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and a couple others. As members of the student organization, Fisher Entrepreneurship Association (FEA), our goal is to learn about Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Venture Capital (VC), and Investing through networking, events, and experiential opportunities. This was my first time on the trip, and it was by far one of my favorite MBA experiences so far. We met with Managing Directors, IPO Lawyers, Venture Capital Partners, and Founders & CEOs from various companies: Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Google X, EY (Ernst & Young), DFJ (now Threshold Ventures), Prevedere Inc., and Aeris, and a couple others.

Listening to professionals in this space was eye-opening. There were so many questions myself and my peers had as young minds interested in learning how to get into the start-up space and understanding what type of professional experience and knowledge you need to be successful in it. Hearing success stories, failure stories, stories about the “grind” of this world, and honest perspectives about the start-up and venture capital industry gave many of us the ability to narrow in on what we would love to do professionally in this space. For me, after a few years working in tech and sports/entertainment, I would like to start my own company which will tie my passions together.

Most interesting things I heard during the trip:

  • Most of successful companies created their own market (ex: Facebook, Google, Intel, Cisco).
  • This idea of collaboration in tech is called “coopetition”.
  • Value = product-market fit / risk (execution).
  • NETWORKING is crucial!!
  • Get a mentor.
  • 3 parts to venture: 1) sourcing, 2) due diligence, 3) portfolio.
  • People who start a company aren’t always the ones to scale it.

What venture capital firms look for in entrepreneurs:

  1. How self-aware is this person?
  2. Are they able to recognize the fires and won’t ignore the problems?
  3. Do they recognize their own strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Are they persistent and do they have the mental endurance it takes to build and grow a company?

If you’d like to learn more about VC, start-ups, and entrepreneurship, below is a list of books and videos that were suggested to my classmates and I during our trip:

  • “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
  • “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki
  • “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company” by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf
  • “Straight Talk for Startups” by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman
  • “Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes” by Tarnang Shah and Shital Shah
  • “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore
  • “Something Ventured” – Netflix movie
  • “Secrets of Silicon Valley” – YouTube

Below is a list of people you should be familiar with – learn their stories as they either successfully built up billion-dollar companies or founded VC firms with highly invested portfolio companies in the Silicon Valley area:

  • Larry Ellison – Oracle
  • Marc Andreesen – Netscape
  • Andy Grove – Intel
  • Alan Shugart – Seagate Technology
  • Gordon Moore – Intel
  • John Chambers – Cisco
  • Steve Jobs – Apple, Pixar
  • Scott McNealy – Sun Microsystems
  • John Doerr – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Larry Sonsini – WSGR
  • Lewis Platt – Hewlett-Packard
  • James Clark – Netscape

A big thanks to Fisher College of Business, Professor Oglevee, Mr. Terranova, Mr. Coleman, and the MBA student leadership of FEA for making this trip happen and providing a wonderful growth experience.

Spring Break in Washington D.C.

The group of MAcc Students in D.C.

A new opportunity here is the MAcc program is being able to spend your spring break with your classmates in Washington D.C. The MAcc program offers you an opportunity to earn class credit while getting to learn about different career paths, have great networking opportunities, and explore the city. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience in D.C. and here is what she said:

Briefly describe what the Washington Campus opportunity is.

The Washington Campus is an opportunity for MAcc students to experience accounting topics through the lens of Washington DC. This includes learning about governmental accounting and hearing from speakers about the economic and political environment. We were also able to visit the White House, PCAOB, Capitol Hill, monuments, and museums.

What was your favorite event?

My favorite event was when we were able to visit Capitol Hill and sit on the house floor. Our tour guide was former US Representative Cliff Stearns. Many people do not have the opportunity to sit on the floor and listen to the arguments, but we were given access due to the class.

What was your favorite activity outside of the classroom?

My favorite event outside of the program was the night of the alumni event. The alumni event was a great way to network with professionals and peers in our industry over food and drinks. We were able to learn more about our future profession from people with years of experience. While there was a lot of time dedicated to learning and professional development, we were still able to enjoy the city. We also went to a karaoke bar, which allowed me to get to know my peers outside of the classroom. Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend.

Talking to a lot of my fellow classmates, the Washington Campus trip was one of the highlights of their time here in the MAcc program. It was a great learning opportunity and a fun time to explore a different city. It was definitely something everyone in the MAcc program should take advantage of.