Reuniting with the Fam

This year’s Thanksgiving was a little bit more special than the other four because this year, I got to spend it with my sister, who is currently working for PwC (I’m a very proud little sister) and my brother, who just started his freshman year (also a very proud older sister). After a long, intense, and very rewarding first semester in the Fisher SMF program, this was a welcome occurrence.

First time reuniting in the States
First time reuniting in the States

There are many things that I’m grateful for this year. One of them is having both of my siblings living only 2-hour (by car) away from me. With my sister being able to provide for herself and care for us, I feel like I finally have a place to call “home” in the States.

We don’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving, but this year was an exception. My sister (on a whim) decided to do something different: host a Thanksgiving meal. It took us so much time to cook the turkey, make the mashed potatoes then bake the pumpkin pie… This is just a glimpse of how amazing everything looked!

Our Thanksgiving Meal
Our Thanksgiving Meal

Just kidding… We got most of our food from Bob Evans’ Thanksgiving combo, which is why they turned out so nice and yummy.

It’s easy to get really wrapped up in everything school- and SMF-related – I’m glad I had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my family. As rigorous as grad school is, it’s important to maintain your circle of friends and family. I really did enjoy myself to the fullest this year and am always looking forward to the upcoming ones.

Nostalgic Eats: Remembering my first time in CMH

About a month ago, I traveled out of state and traveled through CMH, Columbus’s airport. While traveling, I got to spend plenty of time in the Columbus airport, which I had not been to since my visit day last year as a prospective MAcc applicant. It brought back plenty of memories, as my dad and I ventured through this same airport last February when we visited Ohio State and its MAcc program for the first time.

CMH Entryway
By Nick Juhasz at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2158852

While in the airport, I even ate at the same spot my dad and I had eaten at while we waited to depart Columbus nine months ago: Eddie George’s Grille 27. This was a nostalgic experience for me, and I remembered the feeling of being in a totally new place and the excitement of potentially calling Columbus home should I attend Ohio State. 9 months later and in the same restaurant, I can definitely say I made the right choice to complete the Fisher’s MAcc program.

Global Applied Projects | New Delhi

Global Applied Projects (GAP) is a first-year MBA elective that allows small teams of students to tackle real consulting projects with international companies. The class is structured in two distinct blocks, with the first block comprising 7 weeks of class sessions aimed to develop critical skills and remote work on projects. For the second block, students travel to the client’s country and spend 3 weeks working with them on site.  Past locations include Brazil, Tanzania, France, China, and India.

This past May, I had the opportunity to travel to New Delhi, India along with 6 of my classmates for my GAP assignment.  It is one of the greatest highlights of my first year at Fisher. My team and I worked alongside leaders in the partnering company, contributed to an industry-wide analysis, and helped finish a complex project that was months in the making. In addition to the hands-on business experience, there was ample opportunity to broaden our cultural knowledge.  GAP allowed me to learn about the work culture in India and how it differs from the US.

Friday night rush hour traffic heading towards New Delhi

While our project was the primary focus of the trip, we still found time to take advantage of the weekends and sneak in some personal travel to explore New Delhi, Mumbai, and Agra. These trips made for some unforgettable experiences, including a trip to the Taj Mahal, the completion of a ghost pepper chicken lollipop challenge, and numerous rickshaw rides.

Overall, GAP was an amazing culmination of everything we learned in the first year of the MBA program.  Working through an engaging project with talented classmates in a beautiful country was the perfect conclusion to an incredible year.

Super Spicy Lollipop Challenge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Break in Washington D.C.

The group of MAcc Students in D.C.

A new opportunity here is the MAcc program is being able to spend your spring break with your classmates in Washington D.C. The MAcc program offers you an opportunity to earn class credit while getting to learn about different career paths, have great networking opportunities, and explore the city. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience in D.C. and here is what she said:

Briefly describe what the Washington Campus opportunity is.

The Washington Campus is an opportunity for MAcc students to experience accounting topics through the lens of Washington DC. This includes learning about governmental accounting and hearing from speakers about the economic and political environment. We were also able to visit the White House, PCAOB, Capitol Hill, monuments, and museums.

What was your favorite event?

My favorite event was when we were able to visit Capitol Hill and sit on the house floor. Our tour guide was former US Representative Cliff Stearns. Many people do not have the opportunity to sit on the floor and listen to the arguments, but we were given access due to the class.

What was your favorite activity outside of the classroom?

My favorite event outside of the program was the night of the alumni event. The alumni event was a great way to network with professionals and peers in our industry over food and drinks. We were able to learn more about our future profession from people with years of experience. While there was a lot of time dedicated to learning and professional development, we were still able to enjoy the city. We also went to a karaoke bar, which allowed me to get to know my peers outside of the classroom. Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend.

Talking to a lot of my fellow classmates, the Washington Campus trip was one of the highlights of their time here in the MAcc program. It was a great learning opportunity and a fun time to explore a different city. It was definitely something everyone in the MAcc program should take advantage of.

Global Applied Projects

As a full-time MBA student at the Fisher College of Business, you will have the opportunity to take part in the Global Applied Projects (GAP) program.  On Friday, Feb 1, our class finally found out where we would be going, the projects we would be working on, and the organizations we would be working for. As potential MBA students yourselves, I want to give you some idea of what this process is and what it entails.

The GAP program is designed to allow MBA students to participate in a global consulting workshop where, rather than just classes and simulations where students are using theory and the outcomes are no more than a letter grade, this is an opportunity to work for a real company with a real problem and who are paying real money for a real solution. The fact that these problems exist in an international setting is definitely a perk. For example, projects this year are in areas as diverse as Ethiopia, France, Brazil, China, and Malaysia.

For a timeline on how the GAP program works:

  1. In the middle of the fall semester, students will be given the opportunity to apply to the GAP program. As this is a program that provides for free international travel and a stipend for living in country, it is extremely popular and thus it is very important students have their applications in on time.
  2. At the beginning of spring semester, students will be sent a list of international projects. Upon receiving the list of projects, students will then rank these in order of preference and ability. At this time, students will not know the companies or organizations they are working for or where the projects will be placed.
  3. At the beginning of February, Fisher holds an event to announce the makeup of the students groups for each project, the organizations they will be working for, and where they will be working.
  4. In the second half of spring semester, students will begin working on their projects at weekly meetings and alongside faculty advisers to come up with realistic and actionable solutions for their target companies.
  5. For most of May, students live onsite and in-country working on their projects, and preparing to present their solution to their clients. Each student is provided with a budget that covers airfare, and a stipend for room and board that they may spend however they see fit.

The GAP program provides a wonderful opportunity for Fisher MBA students to work in a true international setting and understand all of the challenges and opportunities that exist in a global business environment.  That said, free travel to new places to work on interesting projects and gain experiences outside of our comfort zones is definitely a perk.

Red Carpet Weekend 2019

In just a few weeks (March 1–3), we will be welcoming Full-Time MBA admitted students to Red Carpet Weekend 2019! This gives them the chance to visit Columbus and the Fisher College of Business, meet some of their future classmates, as well as learn about the opportunities available at Fisher.

To me, this was a very special and significant experience, as I knew that Fisher was the right place to earn my MBA. As a current student ambassador, I look forward to this event since I get to share the Fisher spirit and show others who we really are. If you are still considering whether to apply to Fisher, I encourage you to apply and be eligible to attend Red Carpet Weekend! Here are some upcoming events that one can experience at this VIP event:

Columbus Bus Tour

Last year, I hosted this tour where we got to visit several popular neighborhoods in Columbus! The Short North, Victorian village, German village…etc. Just to name a few. If you are able to make it to this tour, which happens before the welcome reception, you should definitely check it out!

Welcome Reception and Tour at Ohio Stadium

I was most excited for this portion of the weekend as I got to meet faculty, other admitted students, and their significant others. You also get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ohio Stadium!

Welcome to Fisher Faculty Lunch at Faculty Club

These are two important sessions where you get to know more about our newly redesigned MBA curriculum, as well as learn more about our global programs.

Breakfast for Significant Others

My husband, who attended Red Carpet 2017 with me, met others who were going through the same feelings and experiences as he was. Going to business school affects not just you, but the people who dearly support and love you as you go through this important change in your life.

Social Event at Du Amici

What a great way to end a Saturday night! My husband and I continued the evening by ourselves where we managed to catch the last part of the Arnold Sports Festival.

Women’s Breakfast (Optional)

Since I am on the leadership team for the Fisher Graduate Women In Business, I highly encourage all women to attend this breakfast. I will see you there!  🙂

Winter Break Road Trip Adventure

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had great, relaxing and recharging holidays!

One of the great things about being in Ohio is how close we are to many cities that are easy to visit in a road trip. After I was done with my exams, a couple of friends from the program and I decided to take a three-day road trip to Nashville, Tennessee. I have heard great things from several people about that city so I was excited. I had the chance to visit Nashville very briefly when I was for a tennis tournament around three years ago but we did not get to explore much of the city.

My friend and I planned the road trip and we decided to stop at different cities along the way:

  • Yellow Springs, OH
  • Louisville, KY
  • Bowling Green, KY
  • Nashville, TN
  • Cincinnati,OH

The whole road trip was a blast, strongly recommended if you have three free days and a group of friends you want to have a good time with.

Part of the Road Trip – Parthenon in Nashville, a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens

Our fun little trip started by visiting Yellow Springs, which is a very colorful, chill and cute small town close to Dayton. We ate breakfast there and walked around the streets exploring different shops. The town had such a happy vibe (see below picture of the colorful trash cans) that we stayed exploring for around two hours.  Unfortunately, it was getting dark and we needed to make it to Louisville on time if we also wanted to explore the city there.

We left Yellow Springs around 3 p.m. and arrived at Louisville around 7 p.m. We were starving at that point so we stopped by a Vietnamese pho place to grad dinner. It was delicious! After dinner, we headed back to our Airbnb, which, by the way, had the best hosts we could imagine!

For day two of our trip, our hosts had some coffee and cookies available for breakfast before we took the road to head out to Bowling Green. One of our friends who was initially coming with us is a big car lover, why is why we decided to include the National Corvette Museum as one of our stops. Once we arrived, the place was not too fabulous thus we were a little bored and one man at the museum suggested us to go visit the Mammoth Cave.

The Mammoth Cave turned out to be a blast!

Mammoth Cave – part of the longest cave system known in the world

After our tour at the Mammoth Cave, we headed over to Nashville! We arrived quite late that day around 6 p.m. and were exhausted and almost decided to go back to our Airbnb and go to bed. But we were at Nashville, and Nashville is known besides its food for its fabulous nightlife so we pushed through it and ended up having the best time.

Nashville!

On our way back from Nashville, we stopped by Cincinnati, which is less than two hours from Columbus, and we regretted not having planned more time to visit. The city was so beautiful, especially at night. Cincinnati was our last stop before we returned home.

I came back to Columbus, Ohio recharged for this last semester of studies.

O-H!

Traveling Back in Time to Cuba

Fresh off the excitement of finishing my first semester of graduate school, I decided to take a break from the books, cold weather, and CPA prep courses and travel to Cuba with my brother.

Wait – that Cuba? Yes, that Cuba. Visiting Cuba has always been a dream of mine.  My grandmother immigrated to the United States from Cuba before the Castro regime took over in the early 1950s.  Due to obvious political conflicts between the U.S. and Cuba, the U.S. government restricts U.S. citizens from traveling to Cuba unless they meet one of 12 OFAC requirements.  No one in my family has ever been there, and my grandmother has not visited since she left 65+ years ago.  When the opportunity to travel to Cuba arose for my brother and me in November, we jumped right on it.

To get to Cuba, we took a small cruise ship that left from Miami.  Cuba is only about 330 miles off the coast of Miami.  Upon arrival, I felt as if I stepped back time time.  The first thing you notice is the old cars.  They are everywhere!  Due to economic sanctions, it is nearly impossible for Cubans to get new cars or new car parts.  Because of this, they make sure to keep their cars from the 1950s in top shape and even make their own parts for repairs.

Pink Car Cruising down the Street
Me in a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado

My brother and I rented a gorgeous 1955 Eldorado for three hours and drove all over Havana (we had a driver) to see the sights before deciding which ones we would explore more.  Driving around, you will not see anything that you would in America: no fast food chains, major billboards, bright lights, or department stores.  Communist propaganda is everywhere around the city.  Even the U.S. embassy was closed.  The only American reference we saw was the capital building in Havana, El Capitolio, which was modeled after the White House.

El Capitolio in Havana

Day-to-day life is drastically different too.  Many Cubans do not have cell phones or internet access.  One Cuban we talked to said they got access to Google the week before we arrived (early December).  For example, Cubans have to go to the “Black Market” to watch American TV shows we see every day, such as South Park or Game of Thrones.   The vast majority of people in Cuba make $10 a month, with doctors being the highest paid at $50 a month.  Education and healthcare are free for all and you can take advantage of these services as much as you want.  A tour guide we had showed us her “Ration Book” that she has to take to get her bread and rice from the government.

My trip to Cuba was eye opening and made me feel very blessed to have been born in the United States.  Everyone we talked to was extremely friendly. I’m very grateful to be able to visit and share my experience!

Thanks for reading!

Chicago, Snow, and Final

I’m finally back and done with my finals. Hooray!

With no intention of bothering you with grueling details of assignments, projects and exams, here are some important updates on the bright side of my life:

Snow

Columbus welcomed bona fide snow that successfully accumulated overnight at the end of November. It was something like this… isn’t it beautiful?

First decent snow

Chicago

Over Thanksgiving break, my friend Rizvi (who is also from the SMF program) and I took an awesome road trip to Chicago. We visited the famous Millenium Park, strolled alongside Lake Michigan and experienced Black Friday vibes at Macy’s.

The Bean at night
The Loop at a glance

While wind chill was real in the Windy City, we managed to stay warm by eating a lot! We slept in and gobbled down cheesy deep dish pizza in our Airbnb, enjoyed all-you-can-eat hot pot in Chinatown on Thanksgiving and wrapped up our last night in the city with some warm pho soup. Trying new food is the best part of traveling, don’t you all agree?

Giordano’s
Little Lamb Hot Pot
Pho Cafe

Oh and before we hit the road on Saturday, November 24, 2018, we witnessed Ohio State’s seventh consecutive victory over Michigan in our car. What a life!

Go Bucks!

Thanksgiving Break Activities

Thanksgiving break allows Ohio State University students to take a break from the stresses of college life and enjoy time with friends and family.  At Ohio State, we get the Wednesday through Friday of Thanksgiving week off.  I was very excited to have the opportunity to go back to my hometown of Buffalo, New York for break.

Thanksgiving Hockey

After saying hi my family, I hit the ice! Hockey has always been a huge part of my life, and so having the opportunity to skate around for a couple hours and play the sport I love felt great.  Hockey is a very popular sport in Buffalo, while it is just starting to grow in popularity in Columbus.  I participate in intramural hockey at Ohio State, which I find to be a great way to exercise after classes.

My view for the Sabres game

After playing hockey, I decided to go watch an NHL game! My hometown team is the Buffalo Sabres, and they won their seventh straight game when I was there! Columbus has an NHL team called the Blue Jackets, which is popular around campus.  The Blue Jackets offer discounted tickets to students, and I go to their games occasionally too!

Catching up with long time friends

I caught up with some friends from Buffalo, ate a massive Thanksgiving dinner, and then went back to Columbus for “The Game,”  which refers to the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game, which happens every year on the day after Thanksgiving.  Our two schools are well known to be the biggest rivals in all of sports.  This game was especially important because the loser would essentially be knocked out of the college football playoff race.  Ohio State won 62- 39 and everyone stormed the field to celebrate during the final seconds.

Beating Michigan!

As I have said before, school spirit runs high at Ohio State.  Students here are proud to be Buckeyes both inside and outside of the classroom!  Thanks for reading and as always, please let me know if you have any questions!