Posts filed under 'SMF'



The Ultimate Hunt: Finding a Job

Fisher students in action – winning over recruiters.

The academic year is young, but that did not hinder The Fisher College of Business from kicking off the job hunt full-force for its students. Not one, but two, career fairs took place within the first month of the semester here at The Ohio State University, and they were both focused toward students pursuing business-related studies. In addition to the career fairs, the SMF program has had the privilege of numerous information sessions with prominent financial figures.

On September 5, the Fisher College of Business career fair took place in the Ohio Union. The magnitude of the fair was so great that it required the first AND second floor of the student union. An impressive list of companies was present. A student’s worry wasn’t about finding a company of interest, but more about finding time to talk to all of his/her companies of interest. Here is the Student Career Fair Guide. A quick skim will show you what I mean.

Five days later, the Fisher College of Business Graduate Career Fair rolled into town. Conveniently set up in the Blackwell Hotel, this recruiting event was geared toward graduate students only. It offered a more focused, intimate setting to build relationships with potential employers. Needless to say, there was yet another impressive list of companies in attendance.

The most exciting part of it all (for me at least) is the chance to make immediate use of the connections you developed at these fairs. The Fisher College of Business brings many of these recruiters on-campus to do the initial round of interviews. On top of that , all available job listings are posted in an organized, searchable fashion on Fisher Connect for you to apply through. This gives students a significant advantage over non-recruited schools because you have the opportunity to apply twice (Fisher Connect and company website), and we all know how important getting your name seen is!

Since the career fairs, many other recognized individuals have visited our campus to connect with the Fisher College of Business student body. This past Tuesday, the CFO of GE Capital gave a riveting, private presentation to the Specialized Master in Finance class. Other campus visitors include Diamond Hill Investments, Tres Knippa (a registered trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange), a previous president of The CFA Society of Columbus, and Greece’s Minister of Tourism just to name a few. Not only were these prominent individuals, but they exposed us to a wide array of financial arenas.

I have been TREMENDOUSLY pleased with the amount of resources Ohio State University and the Fisher College of Business has been able to offer me thus far. However, a word of advice to future students is necessary: be prepared to work your tail off! Even with all this help at your disposal, landing that coveted offer is a full-time job. It requires a tremendous amount of preparation, research, and networking to become the student that your “star” firm is looking for. So be ready: no one said the ultimate hunt would be easy!


Oh, the places you’ll go

To quote the title of a great book by Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go”.

Thanks to The Ohio State University’s partnership with the CFA Society of Columbus, I have had the opportunity that is given to very few that are in school. At the beginning of the year, I signed up for a student membership to the society for (a low rate of) $65. This has allowed me to attend a dinner and a lunch with them. At these events, I’ve had the opportunity to network with investment professionals. They have ranged from a sell side analyst at Wells Fargo to buy side analysts at STRS to an interest rate derivatives trader at Huntington. All of them have been more than willing to share their experiences and talk about nearly anything.

The best part of the society meetings are the speakers. So far I have had the luxury to hear John Rodgers and Abby Joseph Cohen. Mr. Rodgers is the President and CEO of the CFA Institute. He spoke about how important ethics are. As having passed the CFA Level I exam, I know that there is strong emphasis on ethics. He also talked about the future goals of the Institute. I even had the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes after the presentation. That was a top 5 moment of my life.

Abby Joseph Cohen was another great speaker. With her working experience from Goldman Sachs, she was the smartest person in the room from my perspective. Ms. Cohen talked about economic cycles and the current recession. My biggest takeaway from her was how she framed the current unemployment problem. From the charts that were show, it looked like a structural shift (which was was longer) combined with cyclical unemployment (higher numbers) .


Eating Italiano in Columbus

For those that actually read my random musings here on this board, I wrote about some local restaurants in the Columbus area that had more American style specialties.   This time, I would like to cover some great places for Italian food within a 5 minute drive of OSU’s campus.

Carsonie’s Stromboli and Pizzeria Kitchen, 1725 W. Lane Ave

Carsonie’s is a niche pizzeria style restaurant.   They have a good product and they know it, therefore the casual yet intimate, small dining room and bar is perfect for the mood they try and represent.   They feature a fair amount of traditional Italian dishes, as well as salads, seafood and soups.   But, the reason you go to Carsonie’s is for the pizza and Stromboli.  I decided to try the traditional Stromboli while my friend created his own spicy pepper pizza.   The Stromboli was excellent, well worth the wait (which was about 20 minutes after ordering) due to the perfection on how it is baked.   Comes with dipping sauce and just enough of a portion to satisfy someone with a decent appetite for dinner.  My friend reported the pizza was tasty as well.   Prices are fair, I think with a beer and Stromboli look to drop around $15.  Good stuff.

Pizza or Stromboli? Or you could go twice and try both.

Z Cucina, 1368 Grandview Ave

I walked in the Z Cucina with a couple of my friends and immediately felt under dressed.   This is most definitely an upper-end Italian restaurant perfect to take your significant other for a special occasion.   The menu is completely seasonal so don’t expect it to be a redundant compliment similar to that of Olive Garden.  Like most gourmet Italian restaurants, the menu had 15-20 entree selections, again seasonal, and in our case the menu was geared towards “Fall” flavors (squash, pumpkin, ginger, etc).   I went with the Classic Lasagna and I must report it was average.  Perhaps it was the fact that the center of the large portion was a bit cold, but flavor wise, the use of homemade sauce and hand made Italian sausage surely saved the day after the cooler interior of my meal.   The price on a glass of wine and the meal will run you easily near the $25-30 mark for one, I think on most good nights this place has great food and is worth a shot for a special occasion or to simply celebrate round 1 of SMF finals done.

Looks fancy? Darn right it is! Great for special occasions!


Why I didn’t go to Detroit with my wife to see Louis CK last week

Subtitle: …and other dumb stuff I do

Before classes started, my wife informed me that Louis CK was touring and that, as luck would have it, he was coming to Detroit on Friday, Oct. 12th. At the time, this seemed perfect… my last final should be sometime earlier that day, I thought. We’d be able to make it up to Detroit in plenty of time for a 7:30 PM show. So we bought tickets (Louis CK subverted Ticketmaster and sold tickets to his show directly on his website… awesome business savvy on his part).

Fast forward to Day 1 of orientation for the SMF program. Each student gets a really nice Fisher folder, chock full of papers with information we’ll all need in the coming days, weeks, and months. One of the enclosed documents was a calendar. The calendar showed that Saturday, Oct. 13th was also a day on which I could have a final exam (or at least that’s how I read it). Keep in mind that I had not yet received the syllabi for all of my classes yet. Based on the calendar, I informed my wife that I would likely not be able to attend the Louis CK show and that she should find a friend to use my ticket.

Fast forward to about 10 days ago… I realize that I do not have a final on Saturday. In fact, my finals are over by 10 AM on Friday. I called my wife and informed her of my incomparable stupidity (she’s already aware of my affliction); my call is a few days too late. My wife has already asked a friend who is working up in Michigan to join her. To my dismay, this friend accepted the invitation.

That is why tonight I sit at home in Dayton alone with my dog (is “alone with my dog” an oxymoron? if so I’m going to use it as the title for my first book) while my wife is probably laughing her pretty butt off to the comedy stylings of Louis CK (seriously, if you haven’t seen “Louie” on FX, check it out… it’s an odd combination of funny and sad that you won’t find anywhere else on TV… Louis CK has a rare talent for making fun of his own life in a way that induces both pity and laughter simultaneously).

The answer to the “why” in the title of this post is: because I’m dumb.

As promised, here’s some other dumb stuff I’ve done:

1) I ran myself over with my own car (it was a Ford E-150 van, actually).

2) I once asked my wife if she needed anymore “Versus cotton panties,” to which she replied, “Do you mean ‘VICTORIA’S SECRET cotton panties’?” Watch enough sports and your brain automatically turns “VS” into “Versus,” not “Victoria’s Secret.” My bad, Mr. Wexner.

3) While driving down the freeway, with the radio already turned off, I’ve reached for the radio’s volume knob because I was having a hard time conversing with my wife over the road noise. My wife noticed this and asked, “Did you just try to turn down the road noise?” Yes. Yes I did.

Enjoy the Buckeye game Saturday night. I’ve been to a game at Indiana’s stadium (yeah, just one). They call it “The Rock” (must be one of those ironic names). Not a great college football town (basketball’s a different story), but the stadium should be filled with Ohio State fans. I love it when Buckeye fans can do the O-H-I-O chant around an opposing team’s stadium. GO BUCKS!

 


MLB Playoffs!

If anything helps to subdue the increasing about of work this fall and as SMF finals roll through this week for the 1st half of the year, something needs to keep one sane.   For me, it’s the MLB Playoffs.   Both of my teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cleveland Indians, failed to make it this year, but there are some “new” teams to the playoffs this year.   By new I mean, some teams that haven’t been in the playoffs lately.  I have my predictions on who will advance and who will find themselves with a world championship.

American League Divisional Series’

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees- As I am writing this on Monday, the Orioles are already down in this best of 5 series.  However, Baltimore’s younger pitching staff and more versatile offense still has the edge in my opinion.   My predictions depend on this series, but I still have faith in Baltimore who is playing in the playoffs for the first time since 1997.  Baltimore wins series 3-2

Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics- Oakland entered the season with the 28th lowest payroll in MLB (out of 30) and found themselves with an excellent second half run.  Bob Melvin, manager of the A’s has experience in the playoffs yet playing against the repeat AL Central champs in the Tigers is a rough task.  Detroit has stable, power hitting, and a great staff to back it up in the pitching department.  Detroit wins series 3-1

National League Divisional Series’

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals- The Nationals boasted the best record in the NL after a breakout season.  The controversial closing down of starter Stephen Stausberg caused many to wonder if the National’s still had a chance?  In my opinion this is the most balanced team in terms of age, production and performance. Washington makes its first return to the playoffs since the 1980s when they were the Montreal Expos.   St. Louis squeezed into the playoffs yet again, but their run will be short lived.  Washington wins series 3-1

SF Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds- The Reds easily rank near the top in terms of MLB teams, and their pitching staff and offense are the best rounded in baseball.  However a recent potential injury problem to starter Johnny Cueto could be an alarming point for a deep playoff run.   The SF are literally finished as I write this, so Cincinnati wins series 3-0

American League Championship Series:

Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers- Perhaps in what will be the closest series of the playoffs, the Detroit pitching staff will fall just short of Baltimore’s power hitting offense and will find enough pitching to sustain a trip to the world series.  Baltimore wins series 4-3

National League Championship Series:

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds- While the Reds are the favorite of many, the magic rests with the Nationals and bringing playoff baseball back to Washington for the first time since the 1930s.   Nats will win a nail bitter of a series.   Washington over Cincinnati 4-3.

THE WORLD SERIES:

The world series will see 2 fresh faces.  The Orioles who last made it to the Fall Classic back in the early 1980s will be thirsty for a championship, however the Nationals will prevail.   The Nationals win the world championship and set a president for future championship. Washington over Baltimore 4-2.

Only time will tell how accurate my predictions will be, but it should be a fun time.   Fall is always perfectly transitioned into with playoff baseball!

In a bold prediction, I have the Nationals winning the world series over the Baltimore Orioles, 4-2.


New holiday on my calendar

As the semester marches onward, naturally the workload and project demand builds quickly.   However, the hard work (in my opinion) can’t be appreciated as much unless you build a bond with your classmates and find ways to deflate after a long week of work.

Caught ya singing off key :)

Mooncakes: Nothing offered at your local carryout

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a party with my fellow SMF students to celebrate the Chinese holiday “Mid Autumn Festival”.  According to Wikipedia, the Mid Autumn Festival is a romantic holiday, of great importance in Chinese Culture.  Ohio State does a good job of integrating foreign students within the university, and this is no exception in the Fisher School of Business.   This “social” event had a bit of everything: authentic Chinese Food, such as moon cakes (nothing like – and better than! – Panda Express), karaoke, music and other extracurricular games.

The point is, I felt that its easy at times for students to quickly find a small niche within social groups, whether at school, work, etc., and one fails to truly appreciate the opportunity to learn new things (and even try new foods).   This festival celebration was the work of the SMF Student Council organizing the opportunity to get together and celebrate a holiday important to the Asian community.

In summary: It was fun.

Sing with all your heart


Speak to Me

The fall at Ohio State is a special time. School starts in August (at least nowadays it does) and football starts in early September (unless it, too, happens to start in August). Football season is great for Ohio State (see my other posts for more information on that topic), but not just because I love Ohio State football. Football season at Ohio State means a lot of guest speakers come to campus. Maybe I’m attributing too much causation for the abundance of speakers in the fall to football season, but it’s why I’d come if I were in their shoes. In case you think I may be exaggerating, here’s a list of just some of the folks visiting our campus (and, in many cases, the Fisher campus specifically):

Tuesday, Oct. 2nd: Pavlos Yeroulanos, former Minister for Culture & Tourism of Greece

Wednesday, Oct. 3rd: Jim Griffith, President & CEO of The Timken Company

Thursday, Oct. 4th: Bill Isaac, Chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp

Friday, Oct. 5th: Lynn E. Turner, Former Chief Accountant of SEC

Monday, Oct. 8th: Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat and John Jay, Creative Director for Wieden+Kennedy

That’s just the line-up for the seven days ending Oct. 8th. Throughout the quarter we’ve had the opportunity to hear from many other people, such as Andy Rose (CFO of Worthington Industries), KR Kent (Controller, Americas for Ford), Jim Meeth (Past President of the CFA Society of Columbus), and Danielle Fallon, Tod Schneider, and Bhavik Khothari (all of Diamond Hill Capital Management, Inc.).

In the interest of keeping this post short, I’ve left out a lot of people who have taken the time to give back to The Ohio State University. Their generosity is greatly appreciated by the students. Getting to hear from people in industry, people who have built successful careers in their fields of interest, is a unique opportunity for us to learn about the opportunities that may be available to us after graduation.

In conclusion, to all of the people who have come to campus to share their experiences with us and to all of the people who are coming later this semester or next, on behalf of all of the SMF students, Thank You.


Oktoberfest – It must be fall

This weekend I had the pleasure of leaving Columbus and all of the demanding schedules of grad school to relax and attended “The Nation’s Largest Oktoberfest” in Cincinnati.  Rumor has it, the 5+ blocks of 5th Street that Cincinnati closes every year for this celebration is by far the largest Oktoberfest in the USA, and ranks close to the top with some globally.

Oktoberfest: Good for beers and tons of crazy people

For those that are unfamiliar, Oktoberfest’s traditionally are German celebrations held in the fall to drink, eat and enjoy music and other entertainment.   Some people choose to dress in traditional German outfits as well.

The Oktoberfest in Cincy proved to live up to its expectations.   There were over 20 different beer vendors sampling and selling their brews of fall seasonal flavors.   For the low price of $4, you could purchase a plastic stein and enjoy refills in your cup for a reduced price.    The city truly was alive, and with music, drinking and authentic and unauthentic (deep fried) German treats and eats, Oktoberfest in Cincinnati proved to be fun.   The Cincinnati Reds also clinched the National League Central Division as well that evening which helped to intensify the celebrations.

Columbus and local cities around have various Oktoberfest celebrations and opportunities to take part in this fall event.  Columbus’ happens to be this weekend, and the admission is free!  See for yourself

 

 


Intellectual Exercise

I recall from high school and undergrad days that the professors and teachers that assumed they were cool by calling exams “intellectual exercises” didn’t realize it wasn’t all that funny.  Now that school has well been in full swing, the time came to take my first exam as graduate student.

I studied, re-read notes, homework assignments, the usual, all study habits I learned from undergraduate classes (unfortunately these “habits” didn’t pick up until late junior year and the GPA recovery window had all but closed).   I think it’s fair to say that most students had a little apprehension over how the exam would be formatted, worded, what material would be tested, would it be tricky, etc…

From what I can say now that its all over is this:  Unlike most undergrad exams, where it basically is an activity of vomiting all you studied the night before until the break of dawn, simply to memorize information, grad school tests thus far appear to be quite different.  I didn’t experience the feeling of panic or the feeling that I would have to consider dropping out of school after the exam.  From what I could gather, the professors for grad courses wish to drive home a series of points and facts that are not only most memorable but also applicable and necessary to succeed in a career in finance.  The test was fair, yet I felt the items that were most subjectively important were there as well.

In all- I feel graduate level exams are beyond the days of grinding out a memorization scheme to get through exams- similar to many undergrad tests.   Graduate school presents the opportunity to continuously learn, yet most importantly, apply the key concepts and information most prevalent to land success both academically and professionally.   Hopefully going forward I can say the same for other exams. :)

Joe Benny: studying for an exam circa 2004 (ok its not really me)

 


A stroll around Wright-Patt

Back in March, before I had any idea that I’d be leaving my job to return to school full-time, my wife and I signed up for the Air Force Half-Marathon. On September 15th, my body had to cash a check that my big mouth wrote six months ago. My wife, her mom and sister, 15,000 of our closest friends and I walked or ran or otherwise propelled ourselves (there were a lot of wheel-chair racers and hand-crank racers, which I think is just amazing) for distances of 10K, 13.1 miles, or 26.2 miles.

The day started bright and early. Alarm set for 5:15 AM. On the road to my sister-in-law’s house by 6:00. We were standing near the starting line just after 7:00 AM. The starting gun for the Full Marathoners and 10K participants went off at 7:30 AM. Our race, the Half Marathon, started at 8:30 AM, but when 15,000 people want to do something at roughly the same time, it’s best to show up early. The highlight of the day, other than finishing the race, was the fly-over by a B-2 bomber, a plane I’ve seen in person at the National Museum of the USAF but never seen in flight before today. Check out this video if you want to see it in the air and hear “The Sound of Freedom.”

Some details worth noting:

1) My sister-in-law is six months’ pregnant. Does her OB know she’s doing this? This is the 2nd half-marathon she’s walked while pregant (different pregnancy last time).

2) My mother-in-law turns 60 this year. Goes to show that you’re never too old to abuse your body by walking way farther than anyone alive today in America really has to.

3) I beat my wife by one second. She knew, as we approached the finish line, that beating her was the last victory available to me that day.

4) Don’t worry… I didn’t miss the OSU-Cal game. Thank you, DVR. One of the Top 5 technological innovations in my lifetime. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but my wife knows my catchphrase well: “I don’t watch commercials.”

5) If you ever want to walk or run a long distance and you’ve never done it before, it’s important to get out and practice. But don’t practice too much, lest you realize how bored you’ll be at Mile 11 of 13.1. At about that point, your mind shifts its focus off of the road in front of you and onto the beer and pizza and bananas and Gatorade waiting for you at the finish line. But if you’re practicing, none of that good stuff is waiting for you. You just end up back in your own crappy house staring into your own empty refrigerator. How disappointing.

I just have one photo I’d like to share with you today… this is the flagpole outside the entrance to the Air Force Museum. The flag is at half-staff in honor of the slain US ambassador to Libya and the other Americans who lost their lives in service to their country recently.

Flag at the National Museum of the USAF at half-staff in honor of those who have given their lives in service to their country.

 

 


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