Posts filed under 'SMF'



Job Hunt: The Break

A few weeks ago, I had a boutique sell side research firm randomly reach out to me requesting that I take this test called the Wall Street Assessment Test (WSAT). It is an hour to hour and a half online test where you are tested on financial and analytic abilities. Apparently I did well enough for a phone interview two weeks ago. This was my first real interview for a research position after my four trips out to NYC. While I felt comfortable going into the interview, it was my first so I was slightly nervous.

Last week, a regional bank also reached out to me regarding a research position. This was not as random of an encounter as the small shop. I applied for the position on the corporate website, or as I like to think about it a black pit. Since my attitude towards this approach is not bright to say the least, I reached out to a contact at the firm in research asking if he could do anything to help. He knew all the networking and learning I have been going through and must have felt comfortable enough to help me out.

These two opportunities are a purely due to my networking efforts. The first company that reached out to me somehow received my resume or heard about me through some contact I made and impressed enough to reach out on my behalf. The regional bank reached out to me not because I applied online, but due to a contact that I reached out to asking if he could pass my information along. Both of these are validation of effort that was put in through pounding the pavement and building relationships with people. As one of my contacts has told me, “you only need one”. Hopefully having two opportunities is better than one.


More On Thompson: The Library That Keeps On Giving

As promised in my previous post, I wanted to discuss some of the interesting details and perks of Thompson library. So, here it goes.

The aesthetics: As was previously mentioned, the library was recently renovated. It is apparent the modern, sleek, yet comfortable vibe the designers intended. A good study atmosphere is essential.

 

Entering Thompson

The café: Thompson Library boasts its own eatery, The Berry Café. This amenity is particularly convenient when an all-nighter keeps you in the library for extended periods, whether you are looking for a caffeine burst or a healthy snack.

 

Snack Shack

The top floor: If you have ever toured The Ohio State campus, you have probably already seen the views from this study getaway. Overlooking the entire campus, this room has a rustic feel that draws students in.

 

Top Floor View

Some good luck: Finally, every student needs a little bit of luck when it comes to exams. Legend has it that rubbing the head of President William Oxley Thompson’s bust gives students that extra push they need to ace even the most daunting exams. The back of poor William’s head is showing the wear and tear of these loving head rubs.

The Prez


Thompson Library – A Nice Getaway

Occasionally when you’re having one of “those weeks” (the type when you have a seemingly endless amount of work assigned) you need to shake things up and get out of your usual study area. Fortunately, Fisher students have a good number of study locations to choose between. One that I have found to be a particularly nice getaway is Thompson Library (actually it’s William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library, but that’s a mouthful).

Thompson Library is a hop, skip, and a jump from the business campus and offers several nice perks. Personally, my favorite part of the library is the energetic atmosphere that accompanies the hustling and bustling undergraduates that populate much of the area. It adds an interesting dynamic to any evening spent with your nose buried in a risk management book or trading & markets case.

Thompson Library was recently renovated, re-opening its doors in 2009. The library is the largest gathering of volumes in The Ohio State University’s network of 55 libraries that lays claim to around 5.8 million volumes. It also offers over 230 computers for student use. Located on the West end of the famous “Oval” (the traditional center of Ohio State’s campus), the library is centrally-located and near several OSU landmarks, such as Mirror Lake and the RPAC.

This is only a brief introduction to one of the 30 largest libraries in the United States. My following post will shed light on some of the interesting details related to Thompson Library. Stay tuned!


Get out of the Library, Head to Jesse Owens North

As long as I can remember I have been an active individual, whether it is competitive sports, running, or lifting. This quality made it essential for me to find a gym that I could look forward to several times a week, upon my arrival in Columbus. Ohio State offers all you could ask for in terms of recreational facilities with the RPAC, ARC, Jesse Owens South and Jesse Owens North (and those are just the ones I know). With that said, it was still important for me to find a gym that felt “right.”

After spending several weeks working out in the RPAC and ARC, I was more than content. The facilities far exceeded my expectations. Specifically, the state-of-the-art RPAC has something for everybody—seriously, everybody. However, during my first trip to the Jesse Owens North (JON) I knew it would be the gym that “stuck.”

The JON certainly doesn’t offer the amenities of the RPAC but it has a great deal of character. It has an “old-school” gym with a loyal following. For example, the place really heats up in the summer and early fall because it has no AC, creating a sweltering environment for gym-goers. Also the group of regulars at the JON is a good size that allows you to become familiar with one another. It is not uncommon to run into fellow SMF and Fisher students getting in a quick workout between classes or group meetings; Conveniently, the JON is located a mere 100 yards from Gerlach Hall.

Although there have been several stretches of time in which school hindered my ability to go to the gym, I have been thrilled with the opportunities The Ohio State University has afforded in terms of remaining active. After all, you can’t spend the entire year in the library reading about the CAPM and Black-Scholes models.


Flyin’ Solo

This past Sunday and Monday I took a trip to New York City to network and visit with contacts. The trip started out well with timely flights and a decent Philly cheesesteak in the Philadelphia airport. After 5 hours of travel, I arrived at Grand Central Terminal and decided to call my family back in Florida and finally tell them about my trip (prior to that, they didn’t know I left Columbus). I came with one bag that contained my suit, laptop, and a few research samples. The point of the trip was to meet some of my contacts in person, buy them some coffee and connect with them.

The trip was a resounding success. I had the opportunity to talk with researchers at Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and KeyBank. They gave me insights to the industry that I had not thought about and shared their story with me. Hearing how others got to where I want to be is exciting. Every person has a unique journey, and I can relate to most of them in one way or another.

Besides researchers, I sat down with someone in FX at JP Morgan. I met him on my last trip to the city and wanted to hear his story. We seemed to bond over the fact that he was from a non-core school and made it to where he is now by seizing one opportunity. He reassured me that while it is hard to get to New York from a non-core, it is possible if you work hard enough and impress the right person.

Overall, the trip was worth it and it’s time to start planning my next round.


Your Car Needs a Bath

On top of all the craziness of being in grad school, along with the daily living responsibilities you will encounter, it’s at these busiest times that one may forget to do other “required” things.   One of them could/may be car maintenance. While most people are good about getting oil changes, inflating their tires and preparing the car for winter, one major activity needs to be done for keeping the body of your car beautiful. Yes, it is washing your car.  The simple expense of a car wash in the winter could save years of value in your car.

Since Columbus recently has seen snow (as have many other Eastern and Midwest states), the slushy mix up and melting snow on the roads usually splatters onto cars.   This mess includes the salt used by road crews to better maintain clean streets and avoid ice build up. Sources such as the AAA and auto repair blog sites do in fact recommend getting your car washed through out the winter. Once temperatures rise above freezing, removing the salt from your car should be done. This helps to avoid rust and corrosion not only on the body of your car, but also the undercarriage which basically is the support of your car.

Sax Car Wash: They even promise to remove the french fries left in your seat

However how does one spot a good deal on car washes?   Yes, gas stations usually offer a car wash at a cheap price (usually $5-9) after filling up, however most of these washes do not include undercarriage washing.   As many readers of this blog know, I like to promote local establishments that in my opinion offer great value for your dollar.    Today I present Sax Car Wash on 5th Avenue (1319 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212).  The place not only cleans your car, but offers great affordable packages to detail, wax, and even freshen up the scent of your car.   Not only does it come with great customer service, but, after the car is washed, you also get the door jars cleaned, a simple vacuuming, and even the dashboard gets wiped down of dust, etc..  For the “works” package, which is priced under $20, you receive the car wash, undercarriage wash, wax, vacuum, and a choice of over 8 different air fresheners that are pumped directly into the fan of your climate control.

Regardless of where you go to get it done, I recommend all drivers and students (and students to be) in Columbus during the winter to take extra good care of your car.   You will be glad you did when the resale value and appearance show.

 


The Bloomberg Lab at Fisher

I have the great opportunity to serve as the proctor of the Bloomberg lab for the Fisher College of Business. This however is not job a task of simply browsing the web or working on homework. I have to learn the ins and outs of Bloomberg, while trying to remember the a few of the hundreds of prompts and other various commands. The interesting part of this job is that I have access to the most powerful business analytic tool in the world.

Fisher is fortunate enough to have a dozen or so terminals in the lab, making research for various finance projects exciting and comprehensive. Also, the tools within Bloomberg make report and template building a cinch. Bloomberg however is not just for searching company information and obtaining financials. You have access to worldwide business news, market trading floor updates and even sports and entertainment information.

In all, Bloomberg is a powerful tool, available to all Fisher students, but the best ability to learn is through exploration. Students have access to take Bloomberg exams to become Bloomberg certified; meaning you understand the basic prompts, keyboard and functionality of being able to “get around” Bloomberg. Definitely worth a visit on a trip down to Fisher!

It isn’t as intimidating as you think!


The Job Hunt Begins: New York City

It all started back in December when I took a trip with Dan Oglevee and several other Fisher students, both graduate and undergraduate, to New York City. On that trip, we visited J.P. Morgan, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and several others. We heard from several investment bankers about their jobs, life on the street and about their journey. Unlike many others on the trip, I was looking more into equity research than investment banking. Even with meeting only 1 researcher, I learned 3 things:

  1. Networking in person is key
  2. Mock interview with an alum exposed me to how much I know and don’t know
  3. I no longer want to do research on the street, I need to do it

With this I have now narrowed my focus and increased my drive. Since coming back, I have done several phone calls with sell side analysts and networking with people here in Columbus in the buy side to give me greater exposure and knowledge of what I’m striving to achieve. The next step is to book my flight to New York and network in person in February.


What Winter?

Thus far the weather since returning to school has been fair to say the least.   However, for those non-Ohio natives, Columbus traditionally has sometimes-unpredictable weather patterns that not even local meteorologists understand (in my opinion).    For example, last weekend, temperatures hit 65 degrees in Columbus by mid Saturday afternoon.   People were dressing like it was the middle of May, forgetting that next week, things could easily drop 40-50 degrees.   But to this point, Columbus hasn’t seen much snow.   Most snow fall, occurred over break, when most of the SMF students were already away back at home, or as many foreign students did, traveled to other cities in the USA (mostly warmer, tropical places).

While winter has been fair to students thus far, we are in for a twist. Monday (MLK Day) and the day after, flurries are in the forecast.   Sure flurries are a normal part of winter weather, which accounts for an easy meteorologist pick to settle any indifference as to if precipitation will actually fall or not.  The part that is alarming however is the low temperatures in the next few days will be in the single digits.   With the wind that will be accompanying the colder weather will actually make the temperatures feel like below zero.    The winds traditionally in Columbus can be nasty, almost making that snow we haven’t had yet, seem better than arctic blasts of cold air.

Tomorrow

Last Weekend


Hocking Hills: A Great Autumn Escape

Having spent practically my whole life in San Francisco, temperatures rarely fluctuate out of the 50 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit range. The mild climate along with an abundance of evergreen trees creates the same landscape throughout all four seasons. It could as easily be raining in July as it could be sunny and warm in January. Thus, if you are visiting SF for the first time, make sure you pack an extra jacket regardless of the season. One of the many reasons why I chose to come to Columbus is to experience the different seasons of the year.

If you asked me about the beauty of autumn before I moved out to Ohio to start the SMF program, I would have told you that fall colors are a figment of some genius artist’s imagination and only appear on jigsaw puzzles. Earlier in November, after a grueling week of preparing for and taking two midterm exams and putting the final touches on a 10 week long group project, I was looking forward to taking a much needed break from studying my eyes out. I was ready to explore Ohio.  While asking around for suggestions, my hairstylist suggested a place about an hour drive southeast of Columbus.

My better half was visiting that weekend, so we decided to take the short road trip out there. We were so glad we did. We stopped by the Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park. The trail was about a mile and half long and connected to a shorter path that led to some falls. The falls were just a slow trickle, which was most likely due to the hot and dry summer. The park was littered with fallen leaves of all different colors and we could not have asked for a more beautiful place to hike through. Hocking Hills has several other trails that range from a quarter mile through the George Trail in the Ash Cave, to two and a half miles through the Conkle’s Hollow Rim Trail. When the weather gets better, we definitely plan on going back to check out what else the park has to offer.

Trekking through the Old Man’s Cave


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