Golfing in Naples, Florida!

After I thought all of the presents were opened this Christmas, my littlest brother (Wyatt) brought out one more envelope for me to open. I was a little nervous but extremely excited for what may be inside. After opening it, I read his 13 year old scribbling and the biggest smile came across my face. He, with the help of my mom, had put together a golf trip to Naples, Florida for me, my dad and my other younger brother (Patrick). That wasn’t the only surprise though. My mom decided to add an extra ticket for Wyatt to go with us too!

Two days after Christmas, we were packed and ready to make our way down south. We arrived in Naples around 10pm so Patty and I ordered pizza because nothing else was open. I would say it was a great start to the trip. On the first day of the trip, we woke up at 7am to grab some breakfast and head to the golf course. We walked on the first tee box and I was just in awe at how incredible this golf course was. The greenest grass I’ve ever seen paired with some of the bluest water. Now came the hardest part of the entire trip…Trying not to embarrass myself. My first tee shot was miserable. The golf ball popped straight up in the air and fell about 20 yards in front of me; I had tee’d it up too high and walked back to the cart, red in the face.
The rest of that first round was better than the first shot but I still finished above my average score. I also lost more golf balls than ever before (thank god for Santa). After getting cleaned up, we adventured to downtown Naples to try and find a cool place to eat. We settled on an authentic Mexican restaurant that barely had enough room for 20 people. The food was incredible! After that adventure we made our way around to different shops and stores before taking off for the hotel.

Day two was similar to the first but I shot a little better. After the round of golf, Patty and I relaxed on the beach for a few hours as the sun went down. Sitting on a beach in December is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it! On the last day of our trip, I shot the best nine holes of my life on the back. What a great way to finish the trip! Patty and my dad beat me on every round except those last nine holes and I will be proud of that for months to come!

Finals, Baseball and Sushi!

What a whirlwind it has been the past two weeks. It’s mostly my fault for procrastinating quite a bit but I can honestly say I spent more time in our computer lab over the past two weeks then I did in my apartment. As we approached finals week, I knew that I had a lot of work to do but wasn’t entirely sure how much. Finally, I sat down to get organized and realized I had two Corporate Finance case briefs due, a paper and presentation on the Norwegian economy, a HUGE Financial Modeling project due and a test in Derivatives worth 75% of our grade. It was time to get it in gear! With the help of my team, we crushed our Corporate Finance case briefs and presented our project on Norway like we were natives! Financial Modeling on the other hand was a bit more time consuming. We were responsible for creating a model in Excel that would provide flexibility and user-friendliness for anyone who was trying to price out a business trip to Honk Kong. After a combined 100 hours between four people, we had created a model that we were incredibly proud of. I needed a little break before starting to study for Derivatives so I took the night off and watched the original three Star Wars movies to get me pumped for the newest episode! Then it was back to the grind. I believe I could have prepared a little better for what I consider the busiest two weeks of my life, but everything worked out ok!


It was time for a little fun. The other day I was asked by one of my international classmates to play some baseball. Naturally I was very interested having played ball for a majority of my life. We met at Anheuser Busch Sports Park and split into two teams consisting of two domestic and three international students each. I wont lie, I was a little over confident and was brought down a few pegs when I hit an easy pop up on my first pitch. The rest of the game was much more competitive than I thought it would be and my team ended up losing by only a few runs. Needless to say, I had an absolute blast and am excited for the next time we get out there. With this weather though…who knows when that will be.


After our game of baseball, we took an adventure to Tensuke Market! I was told this was the absolute best and most authentic place to get sushi and traditional Japanese dishes in Columbus. We walked in to the market and I was instantly overwhelmed with foreign sights, sounds and smells…I was excited. I ordered a crunchy salmon roll, a jumbo spicy tuna roll and raw conch prepared sashimi style. The conch was the most exotic thing I have tried in quite some time and I loved it. If you are ever up on Henderson Road just off 315, I highly recommend you go check out Tensuke Market, you will not be disappointed!

Finals are Over….Finally!


I am going to be honest, I did not think that I would make it this far. Project after project, test after test…..add that a finals week and you have a recipe of no sleep, caffeine, subway (I have a subway card now!!! and I love their double chocolate chip cookies), and lots of back and forth bicycle rides from my apartment to Gerlach Hall. Riding the bicycle in the fresh cold air to clear my mind was probably the most value adding activity. It helped me strategize and put together my plan of action.


First on the list was finalizing the last project for Financial Modeling. It was challenging because my group members have different schedules, and because the project itself was open ended. We had our variables and our goal was to present both a dynamic and user friendly model for a firm to send employees overseas on business trips. Though challenging in itself with the added constraints of our schedules we accepted the task at hand and sat down, strapped in, and got to work. The feelings of relief and excitement we had after we finished and ran our model were unparalleled as we all thought “This might be the best model hands down.” We put the finishing touches on it, presented it, and walked away with our heads held high because we had done a good job.


Second and last order of the week were the Finals in Econ and Derivatives. I happen to love both those classes so the studying process was not as challenging as I thought it would be. There were times though that I thought to myself while studying especially for derivatives: “This is a lot of material to cover and my brain might not make it to see the light of day to post about this great experience on my blog.” All in all Finals were challenging. Some of the questions on both Finals were hard and a small percentage of the questions caused my mind to go blank. I thought hard and marked them and moved on to the next questions in the hopes that I would remember to come back and see if I could solve the questions. When the professor said time’s up, I was actually relieved and glad that it was all over…..for now at least. I was able to get through this which should make the next time easier as I shall be more prepared.

Didier H.

SMF Council!!

hands holding each other in unity Multiracial

About a month and a half ago, the SMF student body group got to select the SMF council that would represent them and serve as a liaison between the students and faculty as well as staff and other councils within Gerlach Hall. I am proud to see that I was elected and received a seat on the council. I think that the SMF student group is very diverse and has a lot to offer. I want to tap into that as a council member and build stronger relations amongst students within the program as well as with the faculty and the staff. Many a times I think that we get caught up with assignments and forget to learn from each other which I think is very important. Additionally, there are other programs in the building whom the SMF students can benefit from and whom can benefit from the SMF students. There is nothing that I enjoy more than walking through the hallways of Gerlach and running into Mike Dean from the MBA program and talking “John Cena jokes” or Dan Simak from the MACC program and talking class schedules, or running into Carolyn Wong showing MACC visitors around, or talking music with Danny Combs from MHRM. Getting to know our fellow students is always a rewarding experience.

I remember the other day I was at the Buckeyemart and I ran into Professor Sullivan and we had a fifteen minute conversation. I cannot stress enough how great of a conversation that was especially knowing that the professors frequent the same coffee shops as we do. I hope to cultivate more relationships like this as a council member and help my fellow SMFs do the same as well. I remember after finals last Friday, the majority of the class met up after finals for a drink and to my pleasant surprise there were a couple of MBA students there as well. We all had a good time and people who had sat in the same classes across from each other for a semester got to interact with each other.

I am proud to be part of this council and what it will bring. I think Unity strengthens the bonds amongst people and I cannot wait until the semester starts and brings opportunities to strengthen those bonds.

Go Bucks,
Didier, H

The Dab !!!

The game of football in itself is exciting enough as it stands. Being a buckeye and loving the game of football….adds a notch to that level of excitement because….The buckeyes are just awesome. Now here is where things go from being exciting to outright dangerously exciting. You’re a buckeye fan, you or someone in your family attended the (yes I said “The”) Ohio State University and have known the Michigan (the M is crossed out here theoretically) Rivalry. I am building up to something here. So let’s continue…right, you are a buckeye fan, you have “hypothetically” attended the University, You love football (cannot forget that), and maybe….just maybe, you grew up in Ohio…..

Let’s see I grew up in Ohio, attended the University as a young (okay smart) undergraduate, currently attend the university as a graduate student, happened to play football in high school and happen to love football in general. So that means that I am on that dangerously excited level, especially when the buckeyes went to that school up north and not only got the V, but did so in a matter befitting the Buckeye way. I think I almost lost a vocal chord watching the game this past weekend. And they thought they could deter us by locking the OSU players out of their rooms. Tsk Tsk Tsk Michigan (my apologies for not crossing out the M).

Now let’s get to the real exciting story here. As long as athletics have been around the players have always gotten the accolades and come up with the dances. Lo and behold it seems the scripts have changed and now the coaches are partaking in the dance celebrations. The man up there in the picture, ” the man, the legend, the Urban legend,…..” has crossed that threshold and performed the dab and I could not be more excited to see it. Let’s examine the player to his right and you can almost feel the excitement. Now as I sit here and prepare for the finals and an end to this first semester, I am starting to think of what dances I can borrow when I finally do to finals what the Buckeyes did to that school up north.

The Dab,
Yours Truly, Didier H.

Friends Giving With the Swimmers!

Have you ever heard of a Friends Giving?? I had no idea what it was until my roommate told me we should throw one about two weeks ago. Needless to say I wasn’t entirely sure what he was talking about and needed for him to explain. I had no idea how popular these things are but apparently a Friends Giving is when you assemble, exactly like you would on Thanksgiving, except the difference is a Friends Giving is more for seeing close friends rather than relatives. So I was hooked and decided we needed to go all out!

My roommate Rowan and I started this adventure by making a list of people we were going to invite (mostly old swimming friends who can eat..a lot) and a list of food that we wanted everyone to bring. Naturally, being the hosts, we decided to take on the turkey! Roaming around Kroger, we found a behemoth of a 25 pound turkey and I instantly called my mom to ask if we could borrow her roaster and of course…how to cook a turkey.


As the day approached, I started to get nervous that people wouldn’t show up, wouldn’t bring any food or that the turkey wouldn’t turn out! Just being a little worrisome I guess. We thawed our bird, seasoned it up, threw it in the roaster and got ready to wait! After two hours it was done…I didn’t know what to do because people weren’t coming over for another two hours so we just turned the temperature way down and got to work on setting up our apartment with the amazing aroma of turkey thick in the air.


I was blown away at what amazing culinary masterpieces people brought: mac ‘n cheese, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, bread and butter, chicken wings, buffalo chicken dip (dangerously good), ham and of course…the desserts: Oreo pudding, mini pecan pies, full sized apple and pumpkin pies, ice cream and cookies. Then came the moment of truth, it was time to cut into the bird. I was nervous but it turned out to be one of the best turkeys I’ve ever had!


The rest of the night consisted of watching football, stuffing ourselves, playing cards, eating more, recanting the funniest of stories from our golden days, trying to fit a few last bites in and a lot of sitting and digesting. All-in-all, our Friends Giving was a huge success and it made me feel like such an adult…not sure if I’m ready for that just yet!

Future Bankers

Garrett & Taylor

The other day I had the opportunity to interview Garrett Trebilcock and Taylor Richard, two outstanding SMF students who both got offers from Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, about their experience of the interview process. This is what they had to say.

  1. What made you choose to go with Brown vs. other companies that you interviewed with?
    1. Taylor: The ability to have access to senior leadership. A generalist program which exposes candidates to various industries such as healthcare, industrials, consumer products, energy and environment, and business services.
    2. Garrett: The biggest asset for me was understanding the wide range I would have in assisting with a deal. Since BGL is a middle market bank, I would have access to a variety of roles throughout my time as an analyst.
  2. How was the interview process especially in relation to companies you really wanted to work for versus other companies?
    1. Taylor: At OSU we have Fisher Connect Career services where companies come to interview on campus. Coming here, I knew that I wanted to do investment banking but it was also good to get experience interviewing with non-investment banking firms to get interview experience.
    2. Garrett: Coming to OSU, I was intrigued with investment banking. With investment banking being a hard field to get into, I found it great that there were some firms that would specifically come to campus to conduct interviews. I found that I was more vested with those specific companies that took the time to learn more about me.
  3. Did your trip to New York help cement your future search for careers in New York?
    1. Taylor: I have a background working for a regional firm and want to get back to the middle regional level. There was more flexibility to talk with senior partners that is not found in big bulge bracket in NYC.
    2. Garrett: The trip solidified my intentions for focusing a career in investment banking, rather than thinking about NYC as a location specifically.
  4. How helpful was the career management office with your search for careers?
    1. Taylor: It was especially helpful for a career in investment banking with the resources made available by the office of career management with the addition of professors who have a background in investment banking which had an added value of networking.
    2. Garrett: They definitely did a great job of coaching and providing resources to help us along the way. Also Fisher Connect was a huge asset in scanning for potential employers.
  5. What did you do outside of school to enhance your career search?
    1. Taylor: Took a trip to New York which offered networking opportunities where it helps to breakdown the geographical challenge. Went to career events given by specific firms I was interested in.
    2. Garrett: I already had an idea of what I needed to do, which was mainly to establish business connections. I tried to do my best in working those connections because you never know who would recommend you within an interview process.
  6. What advice would you give to International students trying to get into Investment banking:
    1. Taylor: Start networking early before coming to Ohio State. This is after they’ve already made the decision to come here. Aim for larger bulge brackets because they do sponsor.
    2. Garrett: Connecting with previous OSU Alumni who are in the same fields the students want to be in and asking how they got there. The toughest part is getting your foot in the door, and asking previous alumni for the steps they took to get there makes for a defined path.

Duff & Phelps Interview

I recently was selected for a second round interview with Duff & Phelps in their valuation services department. The entire process has been a whirlwind but incredible nonetheless. It started earlier this year when I walked into our first career fair and saw a big red table with some people in “Duff & Phelps” polos. I was nervous but walked right up and they started talking about the company, what kind of work I would do and what the different offices are like. After dropping my resume, I moved on the next table not thinking that I might have just met a future co-worker.


A few days after the career fair I received an email asking me to formally apply for a position within the firm and maybe I would be selected for a first round interview on campus. As it turned out, I was selected and the interview was going to be a few days later. I was very excited but nervous at the same time. I knew I had some preparation to do!

The first round interview went well but it wasn’t what I expected. I spent a few hours preparing for behavioral and technical questions about valuation and then during the interview, all we talked about was my past, my interests, OSU football and the Atlanta office (ok, there was one technical question about valuing the Coke brand).


About two weeks after the first round interview, I received word that I was invited to a second round in Atlanta! I nearly fell out of my chair with excitement. Over the next two weeks or so, I spent a few hours here and there doing prep questions, learning about different methods of valuation and researching different people within the Atlanta office. I have heard from people at Duff & Phelps and from different web sites like that second rounds are very technical and may have a case analysis as well. Let’s hope that all this preparation pays off! Atlanta, here I come!

Pushing Forward


Back in August we were told that things were going to move really fast forward and I was a skeptic. I realize now how fast they have moved. We’ve finished one of our biggest projects and we have been here for 8 weeks learning and absorbing material. I remember Professor Pinteris stating that we would be professionals by the time the program would be over, that it would take time to see the change, but that the change would happen. I have started to see that change, not just in my knowledge of finance but in the way I act. I communicate a lot more than I used to, and I make sure that I try to cover all bases. If I cannot cover all the bases, I cover what I can and move on. It definitely has been an interesting change.

I have had the opportunity to talk to some professionals in the Investment Industry, and having had the training from Career Management as well as advice from professionals, I was able to have good value adding conversations with those professionals. It definitely feels good moving forward knowing that what the program is offering adds so much value not only in the classroom but also outside of the classroom. Faculty and staff does their best so that we as students are allowed to take full advantage of the value added bonus.

As I start the second half of the program, I see promise on the horizon. I know that I have yet to see everything that the program offers but am excited to see what it is going to offer. Having seen just how much the first 8 weeks transformed me, I am excited to step forward and take the challenges coming with the following time remaining. I am sure it will be hard at times but I’ve come to understand that it is a matter of putting everything into perspective, trying your best, and learning from everyone around you.

First Part Complete!!!!


Ahh Finals Week (First Part)!!!!

We’ve all had that feeling when we think its almost impossible to lump into our brains material that we have just finished let alone when its for a cumulative exam. I spent the better part of the weekend before the exams as well as the week of the exams studying for exams, drinking coffee, drinking coffee (yes I repeated that) and listening to music. I did find time in there to breathe and tell myself that its all part of a greater goal which helped alot. I think the hardest part of studying for me is when I hit that wall that’s covered with “Why are you doing this?” The question of course is always obvious: because I want to be better, because it is inevitable, and more importantly proves that I can make the connections outside of class. The hard part of it is when I start thinking about the opportunity costs but I’ve come to know that those only come because I am most if not all the time extremely tired. It is a rewarding process though. There is nothing more that I enjoy than making that connection while I am studying.

It is the end of the first part of the program. Two months have passed, seven weeks of study compiled with projects, presentations and ….finals. Having taken the finals, I look back and try to process what I have learned. It is easy because of all the material I have just absorbed while studying for the finals. I know now that a bar chart isn’t necessarily the best chart to present ratio or quantitative data. I can now understand why the east side of columbus looks the way it does with the lack of banks allowing for the economy to grow in that area. I can also understand that companies wanting to satisfy their shareholders can raise dividends/repurchase shares and drive their stock price up. Arbitrageurs such as hedgefunds can then take advantage of that and buy stocks of those companies. A very intricate process all in all. These are all things that studying for the finals helped me process and absorb. It definitely adds value to my understanding of finance.

Finals regardless of how many or how hard are always stressful. There is nothing like enjoying a good meal to celebrate the completion of finals. As I am undergrad alumni and soon to be grad alumni of Fisher, all my finals have been at the OSU campus. After my finals I like to go to this Korean Restaurant on High street called Diaspora and get their spicy pork bulgogi. There is no other meal like it (at least for me). It has become somewhat of a tradition of mine. If I go there, it means that I think I did fairly well and I deserve to treat myself.

Here’s to the first part of the semester being over !!!