The Black Avengers

The day finally came…my first football game!

The Shoe

Although I knew nothing about football, my friend Ben did not give up on me and he was kind enough to invite me to a revenge game this past Saturday, where-SPOILER ALERT-Buckeyes returned home and fended off the Nebraska Cornhuskers!

My ticket!
The game is on!

The game was really tight the whole time, giving everyone in the audience a hard time. Fortunately, it was a happy ending!

With Ben’s detailed explanation during the game, my understanding of football grew from 0% to at least 60%-enough to pass a test if given one.(Thank you, Ben!)

OSU beanies & red-and-black dress code

What I enjoyed most in the game was the incredibly contagious Buckeye spirit! It was like we were all in this together… you just have to be there to feel it. Oh, how adorable Buckeyes are!

Me at halftime

I’m really, really glad The Ohio State Buckeyes won their game. This may sound cliche but, I am so proud to be a Buckeye. : )

(Hope we beat Michigan during Thanksgiving!)

First Semester, Second Session

Hi everyone!

Second session classes have just started and I can’t believe it is already time for us to schedule classes for next semester. As the other SMF Ambassador Tatenda wrote in his blog, time is really flying by. It feels like yesterday when I was sitting in Gerlach 305 for our first Financial Analysis and Valuation class. During this first half of the semester, I had the opportunity to meet my fellow classmates a little bit more, participate in several networking and career fair activities as well as have some fun attending a Beyoncé concert and Ohio State football game.

Ohio State Stadium
Beyonce at the Ohio Stadium (Aug 16th)
Fisher Graduate Latino Association at the Prospanica Conference in Milwaukee, WI

As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to make it to a football game several times and I just love the atmosphere while at the stadium. As a graduate student with more loaded schoolwork and less availability over the weekends, I wasn’t really planning on going to the stadium this semester. However, a couple of weeks ago, Tatenda was kind enough to invite me and some of his friends to the OSU vs. Minnesota football game. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed being at the stadium and experience a football game.

I LOVE the school spirit here at Ohio State, especially when it comes to sports!

When I first arrived to Ohio four years ago, one of the things that impressed me the most about Ohio State folks was their love for football and college sports. People really get into it when it comes to college football and I can certainly understand why. Initially I had no idea what was going on, or even how the scoring system worked. Coming from a country (Peru) where soccer is the most popular sport, I really had no chance to learn about football when I was growing up. However, people from my tennis team and friends in general were really patient explaining me the rules to help me become a master of football rules. Totally kidding—I’m far from being an expert, but hey, I do understand enough to have fun while watching! 🙂

The marching band also had an astonishing performance during halftime.

As second session continues, I look forward to more learning experiences in and outside the classroom, and sharing those with all of you!

Go Bucks!

View of the Fisher Courtyard

SMF Night Out

The past two to two and half months have been all about work for SMF students. We’ve already completed the majority of our core classes, engaged in multiple team projects, and written three final exams. To cut the long story short, SMF students have been very busy. They say, however, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” So to maintain a healthy balance between work and leisure, members of the SMF Council organized a dinner for the the class. The idea was to facilitate an informal setting for students and faculty to interact with each other whilst enjoying something that almost everyone loves (especially me)—food.

My excitement was sky high as we arrived at Hong Kong House, which is about 20 minutes from campus. I was looking forward to exploring Asian cuisine so you can imagine how anxious I was to dig in when the waitress was laying down our dishes.

Many thanks to the SMF Council for organizing the dinner. The food was absolutely amazing and the company was even better. Our night out was perfectly timed because it gave us the opportunity to reflect on the previous session of classes and to build stronger bonds with each other and our faculty members. As you continue to consider the many grad school options you have, be confident that although The Ohio State University is a massive school, there is still plenty of room for you to build meaning friendships, and to learn about different cultural norms and practices.

 

Celebrating National Diversity Day

National Diversity Day is a day to celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability. A day to reflect on and learn about different cultures and ideologies. A day to vow acceptance and tolerance. A day to consciously address these areas at educational and religious institutions, as well as in the workplace and at home. National Diversity day is an annual event on the first Friday in October (Diversity Awareness Month). This year, National Diversity Day was October 5, 2018.

Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League

The Fisher Graduate Women in Business and Black MBA Association collaborated together to invite Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League, to speak and discuss with Fisher students about her journey and experience as a minority woman in the business world. This took place in the Mason Rotunda. Over dinner, students had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a discussion with Stephanie over issues that took place in the workplace, home, social events…etc. Overall, it was such a successful event, and we hope to continue having such events. A big thank you to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for sponsoring this event!

Enjoying dinner from Sweet Carrot
Fisher students engage in a discussion with Stephanie Hightower

FGWIB and BMBAA Leadership Committee with Stephanie Hightower

 

WondAVO Morning Routine

(This post is dedicated to all the avocado lovers in the world… I know there are many of us out there.)

So every morning I get up at 6 to go swimming at the RPAC. It’s already 30-ish degrees right now, but the hardest part is not jumping in the water since they’ve got awesome warm water pools. Instead, climbing out of bed is the challenge here. Let’s hope I can keep up on this early-morning swim thing  when winter comes!

Cutting to the chase, after swimming, I am always VERY hungry. I want to share with you how I eat breakfast like a queen:

Step 1: What is more cheerful than cutting open an avocado? I can’t be the only one who feels like a proud mom when looking at these perfect halves!

Avo baby

Step 2: Mash the green little things and grill them on toast with tuna and cheese. My heart missed a beat when taking this picture… So beautiful!

Breathtaking combo

Step 3: Best avocado toast in the world IMO.

Put together (with chopsticks!)

I’m not a cooking enthusiast, but I still feel blessed to have a decent oven in my dorm. Hope you enjoyed my simple recipe!

Shout out to avocado lovers again: An avo a day!!!

It’s getting colder and prettier in Columbus. Stay warm and happy everyone 🙂

Campus looks

Lesson From the First Session

As I write this, it’s October 10 at 3:33 p.m. and the first session of the fall semester has come to a close. Memories of my first week here are still fresh and palpable. I can still remember the nervousness of being in a new school and the gazillion questions I had about the weeks and months to come. Yet just like that, more than two months have already passed  and the next two months won’t go by any slower.

As you prepare your applications or consider multiple offers, you might ask yourself, “What kind of experience will I get at Fisher?” or “What is it like being in a one year Master’s program?” Well, this blog post is for you. I want to share one important lesson from the first session to help give you an idea of how things might be for you as an SMF student.

Time flies in this program, so it can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Seriously—time flies when you enroll as an SMF. Events and activities will come at a fast pace that you never expected. As some of you might know already, our semesters are divided into two sessions and we have a different set of classes in each session. For you to succeed in this program, you will have to adapt quickly to this set up if you are not used to it. Second, deadlines for assignments are a little shorter than they would be if the classes were spanning the whole semester. This means time management is very important. In fact, time management is one of the top three skills students in this program need in order to excel.

If you fail to manage your time wisely, you would have declared war on time, and very few people succeed when they have time as their enemy. With time as your enemy, two things could happen: you could either find yourself missing deadlines or  having to stay up too late trying to complete your work. Missing deadlines or turning in sub-par work will affect your grades and ultimately hurt you GPA.

In contrast, if you are proactive about your work and avoid waiting until the last minute to start or complete an assignment, you will have a much smoother experience because you won’t have to sleep at odd hours doing homework, nor will you miss assignments. Also, you will have enough time to visit your professors in the event that you need help with a certain topic or concept.

Application advice: If you are a person who has great time management skills, use examples and find a way to relay your skill to the Admissions Committee through your essay or video interviews.

 

A Beast Called GMAT

One of the application requirements for admission into the SMF program is submission of standardized test scores of either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE). In this post, I seek to describe my experience with the GMAT exam and offer advice on how to tackle the exam.

Merriam-Webster.com defines the word “beast” as “something formidably difficult to control or deal with.” This is exactly how I felt about the GMAT when I was preparing to sit for the exam. The nature of the exam—computer adaptive, time allocation per question and question type—are aspects that I struggled so much to adjust to. By reflecting on the things I did good versus the mistakes that I did, I realize that I made more mistakes than good. It’s through sharing about these that I hope to help you achieve your desired goal of getting a satisfactory score without experiencing the agony of sitting through for the exam multiple times like I did.

Respect the exam

The biggest mistake that I made was underestimating the exam. When I heard that the exam covers Math and English principles that I had encountered already, I thought that the exam would be nothing but just a revision of concepts. With this attitude, as you can imagine, I did poorly on the exam the first time I took it and this served as a wake up call for me to respect the exam and properly study for it. My advice to you, therefore, is to not underestimate the exam. No matter how strong your quantitative or verbal skills may be, do no think the GMAT will be easy because the GMAT takes those concepts students have learned already and then reconfigures them into upper-level application-based questions.

The preparation materials you use matter

The GMAT exam was unlike any other exam I had ever encountered. The way the questions were structured and the reasoning behind the answers were not always easy for me to comprehend. With this said, I realized that the prep materials I used the first time were not enough to help me understand the logic and intuition behind why an answer was correct.

My advice, therefore, is for you to avoid going for the cheap options. This is a short-term solution that will only save you a couple of dollars in the short run, but you might end up screaming in pain if you have to retake the exam due to a low score. Although a higher quality prep course doesn’t guarantee a high score, it increases the chances of a good score.

If you are deciding on which preparation materials to use, I suggest you go for online prep courses that offer a variety of delivery methods such as videos or webinars. Such courses are usually better than just a stand alone book because more information can be packed and concisely explained through a video compared to a book. By using this method to prepare, you can leverage the power of video and audio delivery to your advantage.

Although this blog post was brief and not comprehensive, I hope it provides quick pointers for you all as you prepare for the GMAT.

Good luck!

When Fall Falls

It’s Pumpkin Season!

Who doesn’t love autumn?

I just got back from Global Engagement’s autumn trip to Lynd’s Fruit Farm. It was a very sunny day and I got kinda dizzy, so a little less talk… let’s just see what I did, shall we?

Big pumpkins
Small pumpkins
Jack of all trades 

Pumpkins…everywhere… I am really pumpkin obsessed, so imagine what a good time I must have had at the market!

Some tasty peanut butter

Oh, by the way, I am also crazy about peanut butter…

(Free samples were given with a slice of apple! Yummy!)

A LOT OF apples

I picked some apples as well. I will never tell you how many I ate while picking though.

(If this was the tree that Isaac Newton sit under, he would have been hit hard.)

Life should be like this

Isn’t it nice to wrap up September with some sunlight? See how people are enjoying themselves on campus 🙂

(It’s going to get colder and colder in the following months… Nooooo)

Oh, and did I mention that last week was Burger & Beer Week, where you could enjoy awesome burgers for only six dollars?

Food attack!

A week before finals

Hi there!

This is Ferny again, sharing some new stories about the SMF program.

These past few weeks have been busy for everyone, as first-session finals are right around the corner. Personally, right after attending the Prospanica Conference, I came back to Columbus to take a midterm that Monday. Since then first session classes have gone by rather fast and now it is time for finals! In this post, I would like to highlight a couple of activities that happened at Fisher since the last time I posted.

During one of our investment classes, we were fortunate to receive a visit from SMF alum Nitish Gupta. Nitish is currently working at Diamond Hill Capital Management as an ETF Consultant. He shared his advice on career search, networking skills and how to break into investment management.

Nitish Gupta at Fisher

Professor Pinteris also held a professional development presentation in which he described thoroughly different career paths that we could follow within finance. This session helped students who are still undecided about which career track to follow, get a better idea of career options available for Master in Finance students. Professor Pinteris also gave great advice on what steps to follow for specific career paths.

More recently we heard from Phil Renaud, the Executive Director of Risk Institute as well as Mary Beth McMormick, Executive Director of the Real Estate Center as they presented their respective organizations and several activities organized by their institutes throughout the year.

As a side note, my classmates and I also spent a lot of time these past few weeks at the Bloomberg Computer Lab, completing assignments for our Financial Software Applications class.

Picture of SMF students in Bloomberg mode, completing the Bloomberg Markets Concept course on the Bloomberg Terminal.

Side note 2, I hope you had the time to watch the Buckeyes’ comeback versus Penn State recently. If you follow college football we have climbed up to the number 3 spot in the AP top 25 poll, beating all other Big Ten schools. As always, it is a great time to be a Buckeye!

I promise to make the next post a little longer and to share with you more stories outside academics. 😊

I hope you all have a great rest of your week.

– Ferny

Taiwanese Girl in Columbus

MY FIRST BLOG POST! How exciting!

Hello dear readers, this is Zola speaking.  At the start of my life as a Fisher grad blogger, I would like to introduce myself:

Where do I come from?

There you are- Taiwan!

Taiwan.  A tiny island across the whole Pacific Ocean. On this map, you can get a rough idea of its size and distance. (It took me about 32 hours flying and waiting at airports to get to Columbus!)

Before coming to OSU, I graduated from National Taiwan University with bachelor’s degrees in Finance/Accounting and my one-year internship at KPMG Advisory in June.

Why am I here?

My list of applications for graduate programs abroad was not super long: Three schools. That’s it. And oh you bet The Ohio State University was on the top of it. Not only was I deeply impressed by the “Buckeye Proud” during my school research, the super friendly and helpful Assistant Director of Specialized Graduate Recruiting & Admissions Rebecca Zurek also made me fall in love with the school and the SMF program itself. With enormous help from Rebecca and the Director of Specialized Graduate Recruiting & Admissions Rob Chabot, I was fortunate enough to receive the University Fellowship, which has made my OSU experience even better.

The Oval

How’s it going so far?

Me and Harley-a family member in my homestay

Right after my flight landed in Columbus, I lived with a temporary homestay arranged by International Friendships, Inc (IFI). The host, Janet, and her family welcomed me with open arms, allowing me to adapt to my new life in the U.S. with absolute ease. I really couldn’t appreciate their kindness more. I strongly recommend applying for a short-term homestay through IFI to any international student who wishes to make local friends and experience American culture before school starts!

Now, I have been through the preterm courses in August led by the SMF program director Professor George Pinteris, which is basically Finance 101 for the SMF program and I personally consider a solid start of the program.

Sneak peek of my next episode

Mirror Lake before sunrise

Just one month into the new semester, I’ve already started to know my way around the SMF program, the OSU campus and Columbus itself. I will be sharing something fun about my classes, my dorm, my food and… just MY LIFE in general. Hope that’s spicy enough.:) Don’t change the channel!