Exploring Short North

After a busy week in the SMF program, my roommate and fellow Student Ambassador (Nicholas Denker) and I decided to go explore “Short North,” hoping to find a good place to eat and relax.

Before leaving our apartment, we had already targeted a couple of places that could have been interesting such as The Pearl or Hubbard Grille both located on High Street. When we arrived in front of Hubbard, the place was packed, something that I was not really expecting on a Thursday night at 9:30 PM! They told us that we would have to wait 45 minutes before being seated, so we decided to keep walking on High Street and explore other options.

On the street in front of Hubbard Grille

We continued to walk on High Street towards the downtown area of the city (“Short North” got its name because it’s an area of the city just “short” of campus and “north” of downtown”) and decided to stop at Forno Kitchen + Bar. We were welcomed by a great host and she lead us to a nice table on their terrace.

Inside Forno Kitchen and Bar

Our overall experience at Forno was really good. It has a good wine selection, great pasta dishes, and according to Nicholas, good pizzas. If you like pasta, I would definitely recommend the Eggplant Parmesan (Linguine, Fontina Cream, San Marzano Sauce, and Mozzarella). It was copious, cheap, and simply delicious!

Another good point about this place is that it is literally in front of Jeni’s Ice Creams. So, you  have the option to cross the street and go taste Jeni’s artisanal ice cream. Plus, you can see employees make waffle cones literally right in front of you!

Jeni’s Ice Cream on High Street

Definitely a great experience!

My First Ohio State Football Game

I recently attended my very first Ohio State football game.  I have been a fan of college football for a very long time, and attending a game at Ohio Stadium has always been on my bucket list.  Because of this, when I enrolled in the SMF program, I knew I had to get season tickets.  In addition to my love for college football, I was really excited to be exposed to some of the traditions and pageantry associated with my new school, especially since football is so heavily ingrained in the culture of the university.

As a loyal Oklahoma State alum, I was extremely excited to watch Ohio State play the University of Oklahoma in football.  Rooting against my old school’s arch-rival was the perfect transition into Ohio State fandom, and I was extremely confident that I would finally get to watch “OSU” beat Oklahoma.  Unfortunately, anyone familiar with the Bedlam football series knows that Oklahoma is very accustomed to beating up on schools that go by the acronym OSU.  I’m sad to say that it was business as usual for Oklahoma, but while the game didn’t turn out how the home fans wanted, it was still a great all-around experience.

I had to wash my hands after touching the OU shirts.

Some of my friends from Oklahoma made the drive up for the game and stayed with me for the weekend.  We all did our best to get the full game-day experience at our first Ohio State football game.  Before game time, we stopped in at Varsity Club which was bursting at the seams with people.  After making our way out of the hubbub at Varsity Club and before heading to the stadium, we made sure to go take in a very unique tradition, “Skull Session.”   Skull Session was really cool and probably my favorite new tradition that I observed during the course of the day.  Overall, the atmosphere at the game was electric and it’s pretty tough to beat taking in a game with 109,000 other people.  I highly recommend an Ohio State football game to anyone who hasn’t been, and here’s hoping the Buckeyes get back on track in the weeks to come.

Hello, Buckeyes!

Hello, my name is Garrett Koutsopoulos and it’s an honor to share my OSU experience with you all. I am a current SMF student along with some of the other bloggers on this site. Seeing that this is my first post, I would like to share my background so you can learn a little about me before we get underway.

I am from Vermilion, Ohio. It’s a little town in northern Ohio that sits right on Lake Erie. I grew up a Cleveland sports fan so anything Indians-, Cavaliers-, or Browns-related I enjoy talking about. I’m especially interested in baseball, but I enjoy many other sports. Growing up near a lake has given me great chances to enjoy the outdoors and water. Just this past summer, I had a job instructing people how to kayak and paddle board on the Vermilion River. Vermilion is a great place to grow up. I can look out my back windows and see farm fields– and then drive uptown to enjoy the city. It’s a great combination of rural and suburban life.

This is me at work this past summer on the Vermilion River in Vermilion, Ohio.

I completed my undergraduate degree from Tiffin University which is located in northwest Ohio. While there, I played baseball, obtained a BBA, and worked part-time for the university’s weight room. My experience there was amazing and I met people who impacted my life in the most positive of ways. My head baseball coach, Joe Wilkins, also went to The Ohio State University. He was a four-year catcher for the baseball team while here.

This is the Heminger Field at Tiffin University.

I have always rooted for the Buckeyes growing up, but now, I can officially call myself a Buckeye. I have been in Columbus for over a month now and it has not disappointed. I look forward to sharing my experiences throughout the school year to give you an inside look at what class and social life looks like while being a Buckeye.

 

 

 

Let me introduce myself …

Hello Everybody,

My name is Benjamin Pastur and I am a student in the Specialized Master in Finance at Fisher, with a focus on Investment. I am also one of the student ambassadors this year for the Fisher SMF program and will share with you some of my adventures throughout the year via this blog.

Here I am!

I was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium. Yes, the capital of Europe! But you probably have heard about this tiny European country only because of its waffles, chocolates, and beers! Yes, it is always about food over there.As you can see on the picture above, Belgium shares borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. There are roughly 11.25 million inhabitants in Belgium and the country is separated into distinct regions including Dutch-speaking Flanders (North part), French-speaking Wallonia (south part)– and there is also a German-speaking community living in the east part of the country.

Five years ago, I decided to leave Belgium to study in the United States. I was offered a scholarship to play soccer at Davis and Elkins College. Looking back at my four years as a student-athlete, I can definitely say that I would do it all over again.

Here is a picture of two of my teammates and me when I scored against our rivals!

During my four years as an athlete, my team won two regular season championships and reached twice the GMAC conference final.

A couple of other facts about me:

  • I am interested in a career in Equity Research.
  • I speak French and a tiny bit of Flemish.
  • My favorite soccer team is Manchester United.
  • My favorite meal is a good steak and French fries.

It has now been more than a month since I arrived at OSU. So far, I’m pleased with what this beautiful city of Columbus offers me. Stay tuned for more about me and my Buckeye experience in the following weeks!

From OSU to tOSU

Hello World,

Blogging is a new experience for me and I thought that I would kick off this journey (both through the SMF program and learning how to blog) by introducing myself to anyone who will be following along over the next nine months.

My name is Nicholas Denker and I am a student in the SMF program at Ohio State also serving as an ambassador for the program.  In May, I graduated from Oklahoma State University with degrees in finance and accounting.

Me and Brutus on my visit to Ohio State

I am an Oklahoma native and in just a few days’ time, I will have lived in Ohio for all of one month.  While this might sound like the beginning of a bad movie, I grew up on a small family farm in Northwest Oklahoma.  The population of the largest town I had lived in before moving to Columbus was around 50,000 people.  Living in Columbus has been a big change, but so far I have loved everything about living in a “big city.”

Coming from Oklahoma to Ohio State might not sound like the most intuitive decision, but it ended up being a very easy one for me.  Grad school was something that I had thought about for a long time throughout my undergraduate studies, but I really made the decision to pursue a Master of Finance at the beginning of my senior year.  I was initially attracted to Fisher for its impressive ranking, but my visit to the awesome campus here is what sealed the deal.  All the people I interacted with were very welcoming– and taking a tour in the shadow of “the Shoe” was pretty awe-inspiring.

In typical millennial fashion, my main interests are sports, food, and music (I’m a walking stereotype, I know), and as I get the chance to explore my new city, you can expect blog posts on all of those topics and much more over the coming months.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds and I will keep you all informed every step of the way!

Brett Has Left the Building

Dear Loyal Following,

Over the past nine months, we have shared so much. You have witnessed a special and intimate viewing of the journey from the beginning of the Specialized Master in Finance program to this final week. From my introductory blog to my first semester recap to this final thank-you letter.

Roughly one year ago, I submitted my deposit for the program and solidified my change from a Political Science/International Affairs undergraduate student to a Candidate for the Specialized Master in Finance program at the Fisher College of Business. Arguably one of the biggest decisions of my life, I switched from a pre-law track to a finance track. Looking back, it was the defining moment in my life.

I have been exposed to a vast array of financial instruments and models that I will use in my future career. The amazing faculty and staff here have been awesome in supporting my growth as a student of finance and a student of The Ohio State University. In addition, the friends I have made here will last a lifetime, coming from backgrounds all across the globe and from different avenues of business. One thing you may have noticed throughout my blogs was the influence of the different cultures in the restaurants we visited. That is one of the greatest attributes of our program.

With all that being said, this is my final week at Fisher and my final week serving the program as a graduate ambassador. I have never been great at goodbyes and thus will keep this soliloquy short and sweet. To everyone at The Ohio State University, it has been an amazing ride. I am excited to see what the future holds for us in our future careers.

Adiós. 再见. 안녕. Tạm biệt. αντιο σας. अलविदा. Ijeoma. ลาก่อน.               Goodbye, Blog World.

Brett Hornung                                                                                                     Specialized Master in Finance, Class of ’17                                                       The Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business

 

Out of the Scarlet Planet

Goodbye Class of 2017: It is that time of year: graduation. Our group finished our client presentation to Vantiv (A Risk Management M&A Framework) and with that, the SMF class of 2017 is finished. Excitement, bittersweet, earnestness, calm; our class is experiencing a variety of emotions as everyone looks towards their next steps. Personally, I feel content and restful– thankful that I came to Ohio State. As I step away, I would like to take a moment to address the incoming class.

The OSU team after our presentation

Hello, Class of 2018!: Everyone will tell you that it goes fast, it will go even faster than they warned you. One of the unique beauties of our program is its diversity. You will travel from all Earth’s corners to study in Columbus. For some of you, this may be the first time in the United States. Things will be different. Before I left the U.S. to spend a summer in southeast Asia, I didn’t understand how different things could be. Sometimes, it may feel as if you are on another planet. Ohio State is a big school, we like football, etc. It’s OK to be scared, but I assure you, you will feel welcome here.

The Arrival by Shuan Tan: A imaginative novel about the struggles and awe of moving to a new country

One of my favorite authors (C.S. Lewis), tells a story about a man who goes into outer space. He first expects that space will be cold and empty, void of all his comforts. Near the end of the story, he realizes that space is not empty; the entire time it has been full of good things, the beautiful and bright creation of the galaxies. In this story, what was scary from the traveler’s perspective is actually good. It only took some time to be recognized.

If you are new to Columbus, there will be some pros and cons compared to your hometown. I encourage you to recognize and embrace the pros. Don’t hesitate, because your time here will be brief. This is my best advice for the incoming class.

To close, as we are talking about “space,” this is my final shameless plug for our campus. Check out the OSU planetarium. You will be glad you did, and I hope you will be glad you came to Ohio State.

Looking forward to meeting you.

– Ethan

A Day with Warren Buffett

About 20 Fisher graduate students traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to spend a day with Warren Buffett. The highlight of the trip was a 3.5 hour question and answer session with the Oracle himself.

Our group with Mr. Buffett

Mr. Buffett spent a large amount of time speaking about the importance of family. He said that as we grow older, our relationship with our children, (not how much money we have), will be one of, if not the main, measuring stick defining success.

Mr. Buffett supported this point by claiming, “being rich is over-rated, but if you have the chance, take it.” He explained that ease of air-travel was the only tangible “day to day” advantage he has over others.

These two concepts offered an opportunity for us to reflect on our long-term goals and decide what is truly important. Mr. Buffett serves as a reminder that choices we currently make will impact these goals, and that those of us who prioritize family will not “fail.”

I am thankful for the opportunity to meet and listen to Mr. Buffett. Traveling with our group formed a good bond as we all learned more about each other.

Our gift to Mr. Buffett – to match the Tressel ball he keeps on his desk – Go Bucks!

 

The Ultimate Settler

For some, holidays are a time for gathering with family and friends, reminiscing on stories of old, and just having a splendid time among company you truly enjoy. While this is certainly the case for my family, we take it one step further with our competitive nature. After all the delicious food, our family takes to the dining room table and plays one of the many games in our arsenal.

The vast majority of these games are card games, including: Rummy, Shanghai, Yuker, Exploding Kittens, and Pinochle. The other games are board games: Labyrinth and Settlers of Catan. All of these games are definitely amazing and enjoyable in unique ways; however, my family’s favorite is Settlers of Catan.

Cover of box for game.

Ranked #1 board game in the world for the past several years (not 100% certain that this is true), Settlers is to board-gamers what peanut butter is to jelly, what cheese is to crackers, and what butter is to toast; it is just an absolute necessity. Now, you may be thinking no way, that can’t be true. But trust me, this game is the GOAT (greatest of all time).

Essentially, the goal is to build up your cities and settlements to obtain 10 points to win. Along the way, there are development cards that throw some twists into the game, as well as specialty point cards like Longest Road and Largest Army. There are different strategies that people argue for: some like to stretch their territory, others (like me) are fans of building a small but powerful community around numbers with the highest odds of being rolled. Either way, this game has it all and can be played in under two hours.

What the actual board looks like during a game.

Last night, after a nice day with extended family: my parents, younger brother, and I sat down at the dining room table for a game. While it didn’t look great for me early on, I pulled away on a three-point play to take the W: combining a victory point (from the development cards) with building one city and one settlement. It was an electric atmosphere after the win and I couldn’t have happier (sorry family).

All in all, go buy Settlers of Catan, teach your friends and family to play, and truly enjoy this epic board game for all that it offers. Happy Easter!

The End Is Near

I spent a part of this morning going through photos from the past year, and man, it is crazy how quickly these past eight months have gone. Reminds me of this old country song by Trace Adkins. As our email inboxes get flooded with graduation information, ways to purchase regalia, and other information regarding diplomas; graduation is starting to become a real idea indeed.

Looking back on these photos brought back great memories. For example, I remember our orientation and our Turbo Finance class, where I was planting the foundation of my current financial knowledge and getting to know my new classmates better. Another example is the numerous dinners that we went to as a class and all the great food and conversations we had.

My first team at Fisher

Fast forward to the Fisher Follies Auction event in the fall, to accepting my job, to traveling to NYC and meeting with the banks, to finishing out the first half of the program on a strong note. Christmas vacation was an awesome time to have some rest, start studying for the CFA exam, and begin to prepare for the second half of the school year.

Classmates and me in NYC in the fall.

Looking back on the past two months, I also did a lot of traveling: Denver, New York, Chicago, and Islamorada. It was awesome being able to enjoy these places with family, friends, and classmates. It was also nice to do a little traveling while I was still in school and before I started my job.

Skiing out in Denver at Keystone.

Now, we have just over one month left and I am going to cherish these moments a little bit more than the rest as I recognize that this is the end. We have a few more events planned, including the Fisher Follies Variety Show event and a few other SMF events. I am looking forward to this next month and walking across the stage with my classmates at graduation.