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!

Professional Networking Event and Career Fair

Hello everyone!

I started writing this post on my way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as I was heading out to a Professional Conference & Networking event organized by a professional organization called Prospanica. I was given the opportunity to attend the conference by the Fisher College of Business Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Office of Career Management at Fisher.

Fisher students at the 39th Prospanica Conference

This year, five master students—3 MBAs and 2 SMFs from the Fisher College of Business—participated in the 37th Prospanica Conference. The purpose of the organization is to connect Latino students and other diverse student populations with employers and recruiters from Fortune 500 companies.

All of us had the opportunity to practice our elevator pitch with many recruiters and had the chance to interview on-site. Some companies that were present during the conference were Google, Nike, Nintendo, Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, Henkel, GE Healthcare, CenturyLink, John Deere, Federal Reserve, Eaton, among others.

The Prospanica Conference is only one of the many events that are supported by Fisher, OCM and ODI. This coming week, there is another Conference for the National Black MBA Association that I know many graduate students will be attending. I would like to thank both OCM and ODI for this opportunity, and wish all the best to students attending future conferences.

Now, I am ready to go back to campus and continue studying for my first data analysis midterm; hypothesis testing, confidence intervals and all that fun stuff.

Me for the next five days

Cheers and go Bucks!

Ferny

COTA and CABS Have You Covered

When I was applying for grad school to Ohio State, I often wondered what the transportation system in Columbus would be like. This was a big concern for me because I had become accustomed to living on campus at Fairmont State University in West Virginia were I was studying. Also, I did not, and still do not yet own a car, so I had questions about how I would travel from my place of residence to campus once I started school at OSU.

Likewise, you might be wondering whether you’ll need a car once you start living in Columbus or, if you live in another state, whether you’ll need to drive your car here so you can use it. If that is the case, worry not, dear reader, COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) and CABS (Campus Area Bus Service) have you covered.

To be frank, our campus is huge. Walking from one end of campus to the other can be time consuming and tiring. This is were CABS comes in. This service is available to OSU students for trips within the Columbus campus area. There are bus stops at almost every corner of the Columbus campus area and there is an app that provides students with real time bus tracking to figure out bus routes and arrival or departure times. This makes getting around campus super convenient and hassle free.

Riding the CABS bus.
CABS real-time bus tracking app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COTA, the central Ohio public transit, is the transportation system I use the most. I live in University Village (UV), an apartment complex that’s about two miles away from Fisher, and although UV has a shuttle that runs to and from campus, I often use COTA because the COTA bus gets to campus quicker and there are COTA buses that run as late as 12:10 a.m. Like CABS, COTA also has a real time bus tracking app which makes it super easy to plan a trip. Just remember to carry your BuckID as this will be the means of payment, otherwise most trips cost roughly $2.

For those of you who may be looking to live further away from campus, COTA is a reliable means of commuting because bus routes are extensive and cover a pretty wide area of central Columbus. With that said, I can safely say you shouldn’t feel tied to accommodation options that are close to campus because there is a good public transport system for you to use if you decide to live, let’s say 6 miles away from campus. In your evaluation of apartments and neighborhoods, I encourage you to visit the COTA website to see if the COTA bus services the area in question. Even if you have a car, using the bus could save you some money on gas and paying for campus parking space.

Source: https://u.osu.edu/uofye/2015/11/08/bus-confusion-5-tips-and-5-routes/

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