A little about me

Hello everyone!

My name is Jayaprabha and I’m a SMF student at the Fisher College of Business. I’m from Pune, India. It’s a beautiful city in western India. And it is also known as “Oxford of the East!”

With this post, I’ll begin my adventure as Fisher Grad Life Blogger!

My educational background

I did my undergraduate study in Ayurvedic Medicine. If you have ever heard of yoga, it’s a part of Ayurveda! You might be wondering if I did my undergrad in some kind of medicine then what am I doing in finance? It’s an interesting story to share.

While working as a clinical assistant to a rheumatologist in India, the clinic organized an international rheumatology conference where we managed everything from guest reception to research paper presentation. I enjoyed it a lot and after some time decided to pursue a program in management. I always had passion for equities and used to invest in stocks. This was one of the major factors behind my decision to choose finance as a specialization.

After my MBA, I worked for three years as an Equity Research Analyst covering pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry. While working I passed passed level I and level II exams of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Two years ago, I moved to the US to accompany my husband.

How did I select the Fisher College of Business?

So many of you might wonder, if I’m already MBA and pursuing CFA, what am I doing in the SMF program? After moving to the US, I decided to experience the American education system. I spent some time researching universities. And I found The Ohio State University during my research! I noticed that it is a highly ranked university with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) recognized SMF course. The 10-month course sounded rigorous and exactly something I was looking for. I liked the course curriculum, flexibility and the four different tracks offered by the program and here I’m!

My first football game

I attended my first football game on Saturday, September 8. Although it was raining, it was fun to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes Football vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights game. I really enjoyed it!

I like traveling, cooking and hiking. I hope to explore Columbus more and share my experiences with you!

 

A Little About Tatenda

If you are reading this because you are interested in the Specialized Master of Finance (SMF) here at Fisher College of Business, because you are in the process of applying, or have already been admitted to a program at Fisher, I want you to know that I can totally relate to you because I have been there as well. I remember the hours I spent researching questions like, is Fisher the right place for me? What kind of experiences would I get at Fisher compared to other schools? Is the curriculum sufficient to prepare me for a career in finance? What is life at a big campus like?

My name is Tatenda Ushendibaba and I am the other SMF Student Ambassador. I say other because you will probably read posts from my colleague, Ferny. Over the next nine months, I will use this platform to provide answers to those questions and others that might cross your mind. The power of this platform lies in its ability to give you a taste of what life as a graduate student at Fisher is like. So I encourage you to read the My Fisher Grad Life blog posts as frequently as you can.

A little about myself

My story begins in Zimbabwe where I was born and raised. I did my primary and secondary education there before moving to West Virginia to complete my Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Fairmont State University. In this photo is my buddy Simba. The picture was taken in 2013 after the last basketball game we played together for our high school. The young fella on the left is me—you will notice I haven’t changed much in appearance.

 

Fairmont State University

I was a very engaged student during my time at Fairmont State University. I was a member of Chi Alpha Cristian Campus Ministry, a resident assistant in the college residence hall, and I regularly participated in intramural competitions. Although the SMF is a one-year program, I hope I will be able to participate in a lot of events and activities, as this will help enhance my time here at OSU.

Resident Assistant desk duty fall 2015
Indoor Soccer Champions spring 2016
One of my greatest undergraduate achievements- Outstanding Accounting Senior of 2018.

My Hobbies

I LOVE TO EAT, but sometimes my bank account speaks louder than my belly. Most people who know me well will tell you I am not a picky eater at all. I’m open to different types of foods, recipes, and cooking methods. Since Columbus is such a culturally diverse city, I am looking forward to exploring the restaurants and exotic eating places around the city. We’ll see how that goes.

Time to eat is no time for games.

I really love to stay active by playing sports, hiking, walking, cycling or anything that can get me moving. I enjoy watching sports as well, my favorites being basketball, soccer and rugby; but I am always open to learning about sports that I am not familiar with. Finally, I love to explore new places and sightsee. One of the best places that I’ve visited is Cape Town, South Africa. I fell in love with the gorgeous beaches and the magnificent Table Mountain. Cape Town, you have a special place in my Heart.

As I go through the SMF program over the next two semesters, I will be sure to share my adventures with you so that you can get an idea about life at Fisher and Columbus. My biggest goal is help you realize that time spent at Fisher is time well spent.

My journey to the SMF

Hi everyone!

My name is Ferny Angeles, I’m a current SMF student and one of the Fisher Graduate Student Ambassadors. I’m excited to share my Ohio State experiences throughout this academic year with all of you. Since it will be my first time blogging, it will be quite the adventure for me but I’m up for the challenge!  In this first post I wanted to briefly introduce myself and explain how I decided to pursue the Specialized Master in Finance degree at the Fisher College of Business. I hope you guys enjoy it.

I am originally from Lima, Peru. See picture below. If you already know where Peru is located, I congratulate you for being a geography savvy!

Map of Peru from geology.com (https://geology.com/world/peru-satellite-image.shtml)

You might have heard of Macchu Picchu, the Inca Trail or Ceviche. Yes, you can find all of these in Peru!

Machu Picchu. Cuzco, Peru

So how did I end up in Columbus, Ohio, you may ask?

I came to the U.S. about five years ago to complete my bachelor’s degree. I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to play tennis at Ohio State. Attending OSU has been one of the most extraordinary and enriching experiences I’ve had so far. As a Buckeye, I have been able to meet many wonderful people from different backgrounds, develop my academic and athletic skills but also grow personally and professionally. As an international student with no family in the U.S., I found support on the extensive network and large Buckeye community that have made my time at Ohio State and Fisher truly remarkable. My teammates, coaches, classmates, OSU professors and the University staff definitely helped Columbus feel like home.

Picture of my team at Purdue, after capturing our first Big Ten Championship in program history (2016)

After graduating with a BSBA in Finance and Economics, I decided to come back to school and complete my master’s degree at OSU. Knowing that Fisher College of Business has one of the top Master of Finance programs in the nation, I felt like it was the right place for me to pursue my graduate degree. My past experience at OSU as an undergraduate encouraged me to apply and the wonderful admissions team made the process very smooth, answering many questions I had throughout the process. Believe me, I had a lot!

Picture of me, taken at the Graduation event organized by the Office of International Affairs (OIA)

It has been a month since the SMF program started, and I’m really enjoying getting to know my SMF classmates. We just completed our pre-term class, Financial Analysis and Valuation, where we went over concepts such as DCF, Relative Valuation, APV, as well as Start-Up and Private Company valuation.

Stay tuned for more about my Buckeye experience and SMF journey in the following weeks!

SMF Farewell

Well, as was promised to us on our first day of pre-term, time flies in the SMF program and I have made it through to the end.  Graduation is over, and soon I will be off to Houston to start a new job and a career.  It was sad saying goodbye to so many good friends from the program, but it’s also inspiring to see all of my classmates headed off to jobs all over the U.S. and the world.  I know I’m certainly excited to begin this next phase of my life.  Saying goodbye makes you realize how much people mean to you, and so to future students, make sure and forge strong relationships with your classmates because you don’t have much time, and there are tons of good people in the program from all kinds of backgrounds.

The program is intense and can really overwhelm you, but I can honestly say that I have learned more about finance in my one year at Fisher than I did in 4 years of undergrad.  It’s like my dad has told me, education is like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  With those words in mind, I encourage all future students to put everything they have into their 9 months in the program.  Both in terms of school, and all the extracurriculars that go along with it.  Because it’s so short and intense doing so will wear you out, but it’s the best way to guarantee you won’t have any regrets at the end.

As I said in my first post, blogging was a new activity for me, but overall I found it to be very therapeutic and it was a regular reminder for me to stop and put things in perspective.  I hope that this blog has given insight to anyone out there considering grad school and maybe even helped them come to a decision.  With that I want to say best wishes to future classes and if anyone is in Houston, don’t be afraid to reach out to this proud alumnus!

-Nicholas

My Career Search: Two Pieces of Advice

Something I haven’t written about yet, but that I know is important to students considering undertaking the SMF program, is my personal career search.  My case is a little different than the typical student, but I still think it would be beneficial to share.

As many of you know by now, I am from Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University last May.  Since I knew I would be pursuing the SMF degree, I wanted to undertake an internship for the summer before to get more work experience under my belt (and also make a little bit of money).  Through my network from my old university, I was able to secure an internship with Phillips 66 for the summer.

Phillips 66 might be unfamiliar to students not from the region, so I will go ahead and provide a little bit of background on the company for anyone who is interested.

Myself touring one of Phillips 66’s facilities

It is an independent oil & gas company that came into existence after ConocoPhillips spun off its midstream and downstream assets in 2012 (“midstream” and “downstream” are terms you’d learn about if you ever work in the energy industry).  It has approximately 14,000 employees in about 65 countries worldwide and is ranked #34 in the Fortune 500.  Based on my internship experience, I truly think it’s a great place to work and I highly recommend it to any future SMF students who are interested in either living in Houston or working in the energy industry!

At the time of securing the internship, I wasn’t necessarily planning on starting a career at Phillips, but after a summer immersed in the culture and meeting tons of awesome people, I decided I could really see myself coming back full-time.  I was fortunate enough to receive a full-time offer at the end of the internship and after soliciting advice from different people in the program, I decided to go ahead and accept the offer and secure full-time employment.

My last day of work outside the original Phillips Petroleum Company Building

The reason I tell you about my search is to give you a couple of pieces of advice.  The first is: just because you will be coming to a new university with a new network, that doesn’t mean that your connections from undergrad can’t still be beneficial.  There’s no shame in accepting a job that doesn’t directly come through the SMF program.  Second, I highly encourage students coming directly from undergrad to do an internship during the summer before the SMG program.  It could really pay dividends, and you might find that you really fit in well with the company.

All in all, I consider myself very lucky to have been able to secure a job so early, and I am very excited to begin working after graduation!

Saying Farewell: My Top 3 Memories at OSU

Last Sunday, some members of the Fisher graduate admissions team reunited to celebrate the fast-approaching end of the SMF program and (automatically) the end of our duties as graduate assistants. Today, while I was sitting at my desk, I went through all the memories I’ve collected since I decided to embark on this adventure.

I decided to share with you the three best memories that I have created during my time at OSU.

  1. Navrati Festival
From left to right: Nitish, myself, Nick

On the 22nd of September, Nitish Gupta, fellow SMF student, asked a group of students to come to the Navrati Festival. I joined in! It was a great opportunity to learn a little more about the culture and the traditions of a significant amount of the SMF students (many of whom are from India). I was also able to see an incredible dance performance of my roommate, Nick, that will definitely remain one of the funniest moments of my time at OSU.

  1. The Wells Fargo Conference in New York

Last December, a handful group of students and I were given the opportunity to attend the “Wells Fargo Investment Thought Leadership Forum” in New York City. The conference (which took place in the prestigious Plaza Hotel) hosted top-notch discussions on market, credit, banking, and the broad economy. The speaker list included several of the world’s most known and successful investors and managers including Howard Marks (Co-Chairman of Oaktree), Larry Fink (Chairman and CEO of BlackRock), Michael Bloomberg (founder of Bloomberg and 108th Mayor of New York City), and Jamie Dimon (Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co).

Conference in NYC
  1. Ohio State Football team wins against Penn State

Last semester, I had the chance to experience one of the most impressive and exciting sporting events of my entire life. 39-38 was the final score of the OSU vs. Penn State game!. After being down the entire time, Ohio State finally controlled the ball with the chance to take the lead for the first time. A little more than a minute later, quarterback J.T. Barrett found tight end Marcus Baugh and… touchdown! The entire stadium went wild!

OSU vs. Penn State

A Typical Day for a Graduate Administrative Assistant

As a graduate administrative assistant (GAA) for the SMF program here at Fisher College of Business, I’m often asked by students to explain my experience working for the admissions and recruiting team– specifically how I earned the role and what I do. Here’s the information:

Part of the GA crew!
Part of the GA crew. That’s me– third from the left. Also pictured from left: Thais Ronconi, Michael Mahoney, and Danny Chehade.

All admitted applicants to the SMF program are considered for a GAA position. Applicants do not have to complete any additional essays or interviews to be considered for a GA position. The positions are typically merit-based and provide a 50% fee and tuition waiver in addition to a monthly stipend. Students with a GAA position typically work 10 hours per week. There are also very rare 20-hour per week, fully-funded GAA positions. As you can imagine, there is a very limited amount of funding available for these positions and the selection process is quite competitive. Again, you’re considered automatically once you’re admitted and you’ll be advised if the admissions and recruiting team wants to award you with a GAA role.

All GAAs work in the Graduate Programs Office located in Gerlach Hall 100. I’ve always found it convenient because all my classes are located in the same building. The 10 hours per week are typically split into two- to three-hour shifts throughout the week.

On a typical day, I come to the office and spend about 45 minutes to an hour answering emails and phone calls from prospective students interested in applying to the SMF program. I also often meet with students currently studying at Ohio State who wants to know more about what the SMF program offers.

Another aspect of my position consists of welcoming students wishing to visit Fisher for a formal visit. After having a first contact with the student, I set up and plan the visit. The day of the actual visit usually consists of me taking the prospective student to lunch with another current SMF student, going to one of my classes, meeting with faculty and staff, and going on a tour of the Ohio State campus.

This is just a short list of what I may do on a typical day. The goal is for me to support the admissions and recruiting staff in any way needed so that they can find and accept the best students for one of the best SMF programs in the country!

Columbus Staycation

Over Spring Break, my parents made the drive from Oklahoma to Ohio to see me for a few days!  I showed them many of the sights of Columbus, and with some time off from school I got a chance to really enjoy everything myself.

One of my favorite things that we did together, was attend a Blue Jackets game.  For anyone who doesn’t know, the Columbus Blue Jackets is an NHL team that plays in Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.  This was my very first hockey game to attend, and it was a ton of fun (it doesn’t hurt that the blue jackets beat Montreal 5-2)!

 

We also made a trip to the Columbus Convention Center, where we saw the statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and also stopped at a very cool piece of public art that is housed in the convention center.  It’s really fun to go to with friends and see how goofy your picture turns out.  What’s really cool, is once your picture is taken it’s sorted into a database with everyone who has ever taken a picture there and randomly displayed from then on!

Finally, we made a trip over to Easton Town Center to do a little bit of shopping.  Easton is a really cool outdoor shopping complex with tons of great brands to choose from and also a really fun atmosphere to hang out in during nice weather.

 

All in all it was really fun to get to play host to my parents, and to get to be a tourist in my own city for a little bit.  It was a great reminder of how many different fun things there are to do in Columbus!

Columbus Stay-cation

Over spring break, my parents made the drive from Oklahoma to Ohio to come see me for a few days!  We spent a few days seeing the different sights in Columbus, and it was really great to have some time off from school to enjoy everything Columbus has to offer!

A view from out seats in the arena

One of my favorite things that we did while my parents were in town was attend a Columbus Blue Jackets game. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Blue Jackets are a NHL team that plays in Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.  It was my first ever hockey game. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the game (it doesn’t hurt that the Blue Jackets beat Montreal 5-2)!

On our next day, we had lunch at the North Market, and then walked over to the convention center.  We stopped and saw the statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and then made our way to a really unique piece of public art.

My dad posing with Arnold, he says the only difference is Arnold is a “little taller”

This is a really fun place to get your picture taken with your friends and then laugh about the goofy results that come out.  What’s really cool is that once you get your picture taken, it goes into a database and is randomly displayed on the statue from then on so you can always have a little piece of you still in Columbus.

Exhibit A of the goofy pictures that the statue will put on display of you

On our last day, we made the drive across town to Easton Town Center.  Easton is a really cool outdoor shopping complex and provides a nice outdoor atmosphere.

All in all, it was a great couple of days. It was nice to be a tourist in my own city and to remember all the fun stuff there is to do in Columbus!

A Trip to North Market

Recently, the SMF council organized the 4th SMF lunch/dinner of the year at the North Market. It gave, once again, the opportunity for the SMF class to unite outside Fisher around a great variety of food.

North Market is one of the great places that Columbus has to offer. It is an indoor marketplace with a variety of restaurants with culinary tastes of all around the worlds. North Market is home to multiple unique and independent merchants and farmers who supply this great place located in the downtown area of Columbus.

Most of the students attending the event and I decided to go for “Hot Chicken Takeover” as the lunch dish. This hot chicken fast casual dining place is known to serve “juicy and perfectly-fried Nashville Hot Chicken rubbed with a cayenne-infused paste.” I have to admit that by choosing the “warm” level of spice, which is the second lowest level of spice Hot Chicken Takeover serves, I was not expecting to rely on ranch and white bread to finish my meal!

On a personal note, shut out to Nanson for eating the hottest spice proposed in the restaurant.

I might repeat myself but I have been impressed and pleased with the events that the SMF council have been organizing throughout the year. It has given students the opportunity to meet and bond outside of the classrooms. Definitely an aspect of the master that I was not expecting but that has our experience much more enjoyable.