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

My Top 5 Moments of this Year

  1. Ohio State vs. Penn State

This was probably the most intense and exciting game of my final year at Ohio State. I have gone to a number of Ohio State games, but this came close to being one of the best ones in my entire college career. Both teams were going head-to-head in a top 5 match-up and throughout the game, Ohio State looked lackadaisical on both offense and defense. However, down by more than 16 points in the fourth quarter, Ohio State (led by J.T. Barrett) made miraculous play after play to help seal a win in the final minute of regulation. As a result, the students rushed the field and it was one of the most surreal moments of my senior year!

Me before the Penn State game
  1. Getting a Job!

I have already gone into detail about the job search in one of my previous blog posts, so I will not go into that. However, getting a job is by far my most important personal goal that I achieved this semester. I also passed the first of four CPA exams. Wohoo!

  1. Random Social Gatherings

The MAcc program extends outside the classroom environment. On any given weekend, someone will text another and we will all gather and go out together. It is always fun and a great time to further your bond with your classmates in your personal life.

  1. Intramural sports and random pickup games

This year, we had a MAcc soccer team. That was super fun, and I did not realize how good my classmates were at soccer! It was great team-bonding and it really translated well to our group projects that we were working on together in class. Additionally, I love our random weeknigh get-togethers when we would all meet right outside the RPAC and play a few friendly games of sand volleyball.

The RPAC sand volleyball courts
  1. Making new friends

Coming to Ohio State, you meet students from all different walks of life. You have students who have lived their entire lives in Columbus and students who are living in the U.S. for the first time. I made sure to befriend as many students as possible because each person means something to me. I love how friendly each student is in the MAcc program, and my peers and friends are the real reason why I will never forget this amazing one-year experience.

My new buddy, Ben, from Belgium

Red Carpet Reflections

Little did I expect that Red Carpet this year would be just as an amazing experience as it was last year! This time, from the perspective of a current student and point person to welcome in part of the admitted class, I realized how much fun it is to share about Columbus and the program experience so far. Also, through other current students sharing their stories, I was reminded of many opportunities to experience this amazing city!

During the welcome reception at the Ohio Stadium, we learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes to game day and were reinvigorated with excitement for next season! Student ticket info will be coming this summer, and we can’t wait to buy the Big 10 package again. One thing to look forward to for all home games are the great Fisher tailgates at Fisher Commons. Not only an apartment complex to look into, Fisher Commons is in a central location to bring many current students together.

I also helped coordinate the significant others/partners/spouses (SOPS) breakfast on Saturday morning at Red Carpet, and I learned some great tips for managing time between work/school/home! For example, many current SOPS put together shared calendars for each other to find times to spend together. My husband and I try to eat dinner together almost every evening and spend at least one day of the weekend away from work and study. On the next nice weekend day, we plan to check out the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, while doing some background research for one of the consulting projects I am working on for the Professional Development core class.

Finally, Red Carpet weekend came to a close with our women’s breakfast on Sunday morning. We have a strong group of women coming into the program, and I cannot wait to see how Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB) and our Forte Foundation connections grow into next year. I had a great time connecting with classmates at the Forte conference last summer (see photo below) and hope to see many again this summer! Also, I hope to see a few admitted students at our first Fisher Women’s Conference on April 6th!

Overall, it was an amazing weekend, and I am looking forward to our incoming class next year!

A Dream Come True

When I was younger, my brother gave me a poster from one of his soccer magazines. To most, this would seem like a small thing. After all, kids save posters and random papers all the time. But this poster was different. For the next ten years, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team hung above my closet door, inspiring me through every achievement.

Although I love soccer, I myself am not very athletic. I never aspired to be a professional soccer player. In fact, my aspirations were pretty fluid. Archeologist. Psychologist. Mathematician. When you’re constantly finding new interests, there may not be a constant female role model in your own field (especially since you’re not even sure what you want your field to be). So instead, I looked up to this group of women on my wall who would never share a career path with me, but motivated me nonetheless.

As I got further into college and discovered a passion for accounting, I never forgot the team of women who inspired me to dream big and go after what I want in life. I cheered them on in the World Cup. I felt my heart swell with pride when they fought for equal pay. And last Thursday, I finally got to see them play in person.

The team had to do a lot of warming up before the game since it was so rainy and cold.

By some miracle, I won discounted tickets in the OSU ticket lottery to go see the “She Believes Cup” in Columbus. And when Megan Rapinoe, my favorite player, scored the only goal of the game, I knew without a doubt that Columbus and the MAcc program are exactly where I need to be. Out of all of my experiences this year, this is the moment that I truly felt like I had come full circle– back to that little girl who dreamed big and went after what she wanted.

We got seats right above the tunnel and saw the players walk onto the field.

This fall, I start my career as an auditor. I will be the first person in my family to have a bachelor’s degree and the first to earn a master’s degree. I will be living in a major city that I have grown to love. I will meet strong women in my own field. And on my phone will be a picture of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to remind me to dream big and go after my goals.

Buckeye NutHouse

Football withdrawals were a real thing for me this spring. I missed having plans on Saturday to be with friends and enjoy a game in the stadium. If this is a concern for you, don’t fret: there’s basketball! I went to my first game in the “NutHouse” (Schottenstein Center) for the Ohio State vs. Iowa game. You can buy student tickets for $14 or less per game, and occasionally, there are free student tickets! In addition to really cheap tickets, the seats are amazing! Pictured below is the view from the student section which is courtside.

view from seats at the game

Plus, the Buckeye atmosphere is amazing! All students are on their feet the entire game in suspense– cheering on the team. The staff working at the game also hand out free items such as a baton that lights up. This year, Ohio State basketball has been selling out games for the first time in years. The team is currently ranked 13th in the nation and 2nd in the Big Ten Conference (exceeding expectations). Some attribute this performance to hiring a new coach, Chris Holtmann, who previously coached at Butler University. With March approaching, it means March Madness is ahead! For those who are unfamiliar, March Madness is a NCAA Division 1 Men’s basketball single elimination tournament. There are conference tournaments first, and the winning team automatically qualiies for the March madness tournament. There will be 36 remaining spots for teams to play after the automatic qualifying teams have been accounted for; then, the NCAA selection committee will select the 36 teams to be included in the March Madness tournament. As long as Ohio State keeps performing well, we should hopefully see them there!

 

Semester Number “Fore”

Seeing as it is the last semester of my MBA experience, I have taken it upon myself to ensure I am squeezing very penny’s worth out of my tuition.  In this particular case, this means branching outside of Fisher to take a class that will help me develop some important life skills not covered by the MBA curriculum.  Which class, you ask? Golf I, offered through the College of Physical Activity and Educational Services (PAES).

Individual “hitting cages” for practicing full swings.

Golf class quickly became a highlight of this semester.  We meet twice a week for a 55-minute session, led by a PGA-certified golf pro, who teaches at a golf course in Columbus during the summer.  The class runs for the full 14 weeks of the semester and there are about 15 students in each section.  Classes are conveniently held at the Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC), just a few short blocks from Fisher.  This facility has an indoor putting/chipping area and a series of indoor driving “cages” where we work on full strokes.  The curriculum also covers essential rules and etiquette, and all clubs and materials are provided.

I coordinated with Fisher classmates to sign up for the same class section– and that’s made golf not only informative and relaxing, but also a fun social activity.  As the snow melts, we look forward to testing our skills on Ohio State’s two golf courses: Scarlet and Gray.

Left: interior of a hitting cage; Above: putting/chipping area–difficult to tell from the photo, but it features a variety of holes and terrain to simulate both the green and fringe

 

 

 

 

 

 

My experience with golf is emblematic of a larger theme as an Ohio State Student: you can do everything here.  Speaking just within the confines of PAES electives, this means similar courses in boxing, dance, fencing, tennis, rock climbing, and much more.  The RPAC also offers free group fitness classes daily, across disciplines such as yoga, Zumba, spinning, Pilates.  Then consider 36 varsity sports to watch, free events through the Ohio Union Activities Board, and over 1,300 Ohio State student organizations doing, well…more than 1,000 different things… and needless to say, there is a limitless amount to do here.  And nearly all of it is free after you’ve paid tuition.

The Fisher MBA experience can be anything you want it to be—and this is a major strength of the program.  It is entirely possible to spend two years just here in Gerlach Hall and have a rewarding experience.  However, as a “double Buckeye” (having attended OSU as an undergrad), I like to encourage my classmates and future students to branch out and take advantage of the entire campus at our disposal.  This can be easier said than done when the rigors of the program kick in, but when you make time for such activities, it is a rewarding way to feel that you are making the most of the “student lifestyle.”

 

My First Winter Break in the U.S.

So, here I am, 25% through Full-Time MBA and I never felt time fly this quickly before! My first day at Fisher feels like it was just yesterday. Then, I had a three-week long winter break– something that I was absolutely thrilled about…

The highlight of break was a Fisher MBA “Marketing Hop” where first-year and second-year MBA students (myself included) took a trip to Detroit and Chicago to meet and greet major “movers and shakers.” This is an annual event (and not the only event of its kind– students take organized “hops” to other cities).

I had a few hours to pack my bags after my last final exam on the night of December 13th– before heading out the next day. It was extremely cold on that morning when we were supposed to report outside Gerlach Hall a.k.a. our “MBA academic powerhouse building.” A short bus drive away… and we arrived in Detroit for a stop at Ford Motor Company. Then, we were off to the “Windy City.”

We met brilliant people at LinkedIn, Dyson, Groupon, Rise Interactive and a few other digital marketing agencies in Chicago. We also had some fun on the side! The city (even when freezing) was warm enough to me; I got introduced to Giordano’s deep-dish pizza by one of my Brazilian friends studying at the University of Chicago, the security check at Skydeck Chicago was gracious to offer me a free ticket, and I enjoyed mouth-watering paan in Chicago’s Little Pakistan-India neighborhood. I spent two nights in Chicago before I headed to San Francisco to spend the rest of my break with family.

Skydeck with friends

I began the evening of December 16th by landing at SFO, where a group of my friends came to welcome me! After chatting for hours with my friends while roaming around the streets of San Francisco, my family came to pick me up and the day ended with a lot of homemade Indian delicacies, deep conversations with cousins, and wine. The next few days were exhilarating and packed with a lot of action. My cousins had a plan for every single day and when I look back in hindsight, I believe that I couldn’t have lived any of those days better. Highlights include sightseeing San Francisco: walking along the Embarcadero, experiencing the breath-taking views of the bay; biking the Golden Gate bridge with cousins and friends; riding Lombard Street in an SUV (that’s the really curvy, downhill street that you’ve probably seen in pictures), relishing hot chocolate fudge at Ghirardelli Square, and eating the best Thai food with an unforgettable view.

Christmas morning breakfast table at our Airbnb

After just a week, I was enthralled with what California has to offer. The city was dressed in lights as Christmas got closer and the vibe of the holiday season could be felt on every street. Following a last-minute change in the plan, we all decided to visit Yosemite National Park for Christmas. Staying at an Airbnb in the middle of the forest for three nights with no internet connectivity gave me time to reflect and cherish quality time with family. Hiking the Yosemite peak during this time of the year was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I never thought that I could even complete the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail with absolutely no training. What I took back from the visit to Yosemite is a new version of myself. I learned that I can be comfortable with the uncomfortable. The next few days were spent enjoying a lot of New Year’s Eve parties, learning some board games (such as Monopoly, Catan, Ticket to Ride, and playing the lying-bluffing-fib-till-you-win Fibbage), and trying to get better cooking skills some Indian recipes!

Yosemite Christmas Trip
Our trail
Columbia Rock (1/3rd through our trek)

With the onset of the new year and my last week in California wrapping up, I got an opportunity to visit the Apple HQ in Cupertino, California, with our Marketing Professor and Program Director, Dr. Shashi Matta, who (every year) takes a group of students to a road trip in California. I also got a chance to visit GoFundMe, crowdfunding platform to raise money, and Asana, an organization that designs a mobile application to help teams track their work. Plus, I met with Fisher alums while I kept my focus on a summer internship. Lastly, I got to spend my last night in California with some 30 Buckeyes in San Francisco over a meet-and-greet event before leaving for my 12:25am flight back to Columbus.

Dr. Matta, third from the left, and some current Fisher MBA students (myself at extreme right)

California was definitely fun and I took back a bag full of memories that I’ll cherish forever!

Russell Westbrook vs LeBron James

As I’ve posted about in previous blogs, I’m originally from Oklahoma, and because of this, I am a huge Oklahoma City Thunder fan.  Our franchise moved to OKC when I was 13 years old.  I became an instant fan and have supported the team ever since.  Obviously, a large part of the Ohio State experience is attending Buckeye football games.  Another perk for sports fans, though, is being just a two-hour drive away from Cleveland.

In the last few years, Cleveland has benefited from very successful professional baseball and basketball teams – the Indians and the Cavaliers (they’ve also had a very sad professional football franchise, the Browns).  After checking the schedule, I realized that the Thunder would be playing in Cleveland on a Saturday and I would have the opportunity to attend a game.

Right outside of the Cavaliers Arena is a poster of LeBron James, definitely the biggest poster I’ve ever seen

A fellow SMF student, Jared Ablass, is a fan of the Cavaliers and LeBron James and we decided to go together to watch the game. The final score was completely awesome for fans of the Thunder, and getting to watch some of the best players in the NBA (in-person) after such a short drive was an incredible experience.

A view from the cheap seats inside the game!

After the game we finished off a great day by eating a hamburger at Wahlburger’s.  Watching LeBron James play live and taking in the sights and sounds of Cleveland is a must for anyone spending time in Ohio.

Ohio State Basketball

Throughout my entire life, I’ve been passionate about two things: watching basketball and anything Ohio State. Growing up, I loved watching basketball. I would stay up all night watching LeBron do his thing and then the next night, I would watch whatever Ohio State team was playing on TV. When I came to Ohio State, the first thing I wanted to do was sign up to go to an Ohio State basketball game. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to go to many Ohio State basketball games including this past week when I went with a number of my MAcc friends to the Ohio State vs Penn State game.

Going to an Ohio State basketball game is not too difficult. All you need to do is to purchase a ticket is go to the Ohio State athletic page, select a game, pay $14 for a ticket (this is the student rate), and show up at the Schottenstein Center with a BuckID. Once you arrive at the entrance of the “Schott,” an usher will swipe your BuckID and hand you a student section ticket.

Once we arrived at the Schott this past week, the arena was bumping. The Buckeyes were on a high streak having gone 8-0 in the BIG10, and were ranked 13th in the nation. The game was a close one; however, the Buckeyes were unable to prevail since the Nittany Lions scored a last-second bucket from half court. Even though the Buckeyes lost, I enjoyed the night and bonded with a few of my fellow MAcc classmates.

A few of my MAcc classmates at the Ohio State basketball game

 

Ohio State’s Intramural Soccer League

It’s game day today!

I’ve recently decided to get back into sports and more specifically with soccer by registering a team in Ohio State’s intramural soccer tournament. The league consists of 28 teams separated in pools of four. Each team has to play once against each other and the best two teams in the pools advance in the playoffs when all the pool game have been played. It only cost $80 to register a team and up to 11 players.

We had our first game last Thursday and I have to admit that we lost the game (I will not disclose the final score… yes, it was bad), but it was still a great experience and a lot of fun to simply get away from the books for some time. Back when I registered the team, I thought that competing in the “A” league (the best) would be good, but it was a mistake. Our first game was against a team composed of almost all OSU team players and it was a tough game! OSU also has a “B” league and I think that league would have been more appropriate for us knowing the average level of my team!

I was also greatly impressed with the indoor turf fields located at the Adventure Recreation Center (“the ARC”) on west campus. Both fields are actually of decent size (not as big as a real soccer field, but definitely bigger than an indoor soccer field).

It was still a great experience and I’m looking forward to our game tonight– hoping that we’ll be able to win our first game!