Posts filed under 'Travels'



Anticipating March Madness …

OSU student basketball season tickets sold out this year in 6 minutes. I was one of the 2400 students waiting at their computers at 6:00 PM when tickets went on sale last semester to buy them.

This year Ohio State has been in the top 25 throughout the year and has played many other top 25 opponents on its home court at which I have gotten the privilege to attend. One of my favorite games thus far this season was the Ohio State vs Michigan game. I arrived about 3 and ½ hours before the game to get in line and lucked out with getting lower bowl seats. The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan is like nothing I have seen before, the energy was incredible in the arena of 18,000 people. Ohio State went on to win the game 56-53. It was a thrilling game to watch as the teams battled back and forth at the end of the game.

 

Being from Louisville, I am a Cardinal basketball fan and with the Cards being ranked #1 in the country at the time I decided to road trip back home to catch a game. (Louisville is only ~3.5 hours away from Columbus.) A group of MAcc students and I went to Louisville for the weekend to watch the Syracuse vs Louisville basketball game since some MAcc students are Syracuse fans. One of the many fun things about the Fisher MAcc program is meeting people from all different backgrounds and finding common ground with them. Even though we were cheering for different teams, we had a great time at the game which went down to the last minute. (Syracuse winning unfortunately)

Road trip from Columbus to Louisville to see Louisville take on Syracuse

 


Fisher AMP Chicago HOP 2012

A yearly tradition at Fisher has once again proved to be a highlight of our year as marketing students.  Each year a group of approximately 20 Marketing students travel to the Windy City to learn from leading marketing companies about cutting edge marketing concepts.  As the president of Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP), it was up to me to create a fun and educational experience for our members.

Luckily this year was once again a great success (whew!).  We had the extreme honor to visit Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, Jack Morton, a brand experience agency, Wrigley’s, focusing on brand management of their gum brands, and finally a stop at Navigate Research, a sports market research and sponsorship valuation firm.

Another highlight of the trip was an Alumni networking night sponsored by an alumnus at the Hilton Chicago.  What a great venue to chat with 30 local Chicago Fisher alums!

Thanks to all of our sponsors and hosts.  We all had a fabulous time and learned a little along the way too ;)


My weekend trip to Music City U.S.A.

As Fisher MHRM students, we spend most of our time studying, meeting for group projects and going to class, but weekends give us an opportunity to get away and explore new places. Lucky for us, Columbus is close to many big cities and tourist attractions so traveling is pretty easy.

Ashley and I decided to make use of our long weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and take an impromptu trip to Nashville, TN. My family is originally from Tennessee, so I have visited too many times to count. Ashley, on the other hand, had never visited. Ashley loves country music, southern cooking, and cowboy boots, so I knew she’d fit right in! My cousin, Matthew, was the only brave soul willing to join us on our last minute getaway.

Long weekend trips are a great way to explore the world around you while in grad school

We left Columbus at 5am Saturday morning. Six hours later we arrived at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I have been to the museum before, but the exhibits change on a regular basis. Although some of the articles and stories were familiar, I was able to see new pieces added to the collection in the last year. We also took a tour of RCA Studio B where legends, like Elvis Presley, and today’s artists, like Carrie Underwood, have recorded more than 1,000 American hits.

Ashley, me and Matthew sitting at Elvis’ piano in RCA Studio B

Saturday night we went downtown to experience all that Nashville has to offer. Broadway is the main street that features restaurants, shopping, bars and entertainment venues. We also went down Printers Alley, a famous alley that has been home to nightclubs since the 1940′s. The live music was incredible! Even the artists busking on the streets deserve to be recognized. We heard everything from country to blues to pop and even gospel.

Ashley and me on Printers Alley

Sunday we hoped to get a seat at The Bluebird Café where singers like Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks were discovered. We wanted to catch the unique performances for Writer’s Night. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize how many other people had the same idea. The Bluebird was at maximum capacity and there was still a line of about 60 people curving around the side of the shopping center. Next time, we will have to go on a night when they take reservations!

We decided on dinner at Merchant’s on Broadway. This restaurant had a very different atmosphere from the usual “country” scene. Everything was in black and white. The service was quick, the food was delicious, and the hipster ambiance was executed perfectly in every detail. Of course, since we were already on Broadway we couldn’t help but check out the local bands again.

Me and Ashley in front of the band

Sadly, we had to head back home on Monday. We stopped for one last meal at The Pancake Pantry. We waited an hour and a half for our table, and it was well worth the wait (and the calories!). I had their specialty, sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon cream syrup. Perfection.

I was very impressed by everything we did in Nashville, but there are still so many sights and sounds I want to share with Ashley and Matthew. We will just have to add it to our list of places to visit: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Indianapolis …


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.


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


Back to the grind

Yesterday marked the start of my Spring semester in the MAcc program, which is my last semester eek! Winter break felt like it flew by, though it was definitely nice to relax before hitting the books once again. I also came to the somewhat sad realization that this is the last year I will have a “winter break.” From here on out it will be all paid vacation in smaller increments.  Over winter break, I was able to spend a beautiful winter weekend in Deep Creek Lake (as I mentioned in my last post). While in Deep Creek, I was able to go hiking in the state park by the shore, ice skate at opening weekend of WISP ski resort, and relax by the fire in the cozy cabin we rented. Below are a few pictures from my cabin adventure.

View from the cabin in Deep Creek at sunset

 

Taking a walk by the lake at Deep Creek State Park

 

Also over winter break, I was able to spend some time at home with my family in Maryland, where I was able to enjoy some Redskins football, good food, and relaxation! It was great to be home, but I am recharged and ready to go for the Spring semester. The MAcc students are actually required to submit the application to graduate this first week back. I will have completed a total of 31 credit hours this year, including our core classes, accounting electives, and non-accounting electives. Since it seems like the end of the program is nearing far too soon, I am going to make it a point to work hard in school, yet also have some fun with my classmates. On our first day back, I was able to venture to lunch with some MAcc friends to a spot I have never been to before that day: the quaint restaurant in the Short North, Tasi. This cafe was friendly, casual, and had delicious fresh food. Tasi serves breakfast all day long (made from scratch), delicious sandwiches and paninis, salads, and beer/wine. I ordered a grilled chicken panini and it was delish! I will most definitely be going back for brunch in the near future! Below is a view of the counter inside Tasi. I will continue to post about classes and Columbus adventures as the semester continues!

A view of the counter inside Tasi


Winter break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part III: Frohe Weihnachten!

(This is installment #3 of 3 blog posts recounting my 2012 winter break trip. See here and here for the earlier installments.) On Friday, December 21, we made it to our final destination:  Nuremberg, Germany.  The first order of business was to walk through the Christmas market, known as “Christkindlesmarkt.”  Hundreds of booths are set up to sell handmade Christmas ornaments, wooden toys and nativity scenes, and plenty of warm wine and sausages.  Shoppers come from all over Germany but also all over the world, so I was happy to learn that most vendors spoke English, too!  Some of the most beautiful displays were the ones containing hundreds of glass ornaments like the one below.

Ornaments hang from a display at the famous Nuremberg Christmas Market

On Saturday, our first full day but also last day in Germany, we walked around the “Old Town,” the part of the city completely surrounded by a wall.  At the north point of the Old Town stands an old castle which provides great views of the city.  The architecture here was much different than that of England and France, but beautiful nonetheless.  We also stopped in a church that stood in the same square as the Christmas market for a short organ concert of some recognizable classical tunes.  Many people took a break from the cold, windy outdoor market with us to enjoy the music.

Bird’s eye view of the “Old Town”

Our last night in Nuremberg was spent again at the Christmas market, where my family and I finished up our Christmas shopping.  Some of my favorite booths to visit were ones containing intricately decorated nutcrackers and little smoker men, seen in the picture below.  It was hard to stop myself from buying something from every booth, but my limited remaining euros and limited suitcase space kept me in line!

German hand-crafted nutcrackers and smokers for sale at the “Christkindlesmarkt”

As I was flying across the Atlantic for ten hours to get back home the next day, boredom ensued and I settled on reading my passport for entertainment.  Yes, there are quotes in that thing – several well-known ones from Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence – and others new to me.  I found one to be relevant to us students, coming from astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka:

                      Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds…to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.

As we Fisher MAcc students return to campus for our last semester of school, we should keep this in mind.  We are the future our profession, and we have an obligation to make progress and push farther to reach greater heights than before.  With that, I’m looking forward to a great spring 2013!


Winter break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part II: Parlez-vous Anglais?

The second stop on our tour of Europe (aka “winter break 2012″) was the beautiful city of Paris!  We kicked off our four days in the French city with an “Illuminations Tour,” where we took a cruise along the River Seine to view some of the most beautiful buildings, bridges, and statues lit up at nighttime.  One of the coolest buildings in the night lights to me was “La Conciergerie,” which was a prison during the French Revolution and held prisoners before they were sent to the guillotine.  Dark history, I know…but beautiful building!  The tour also allowed us our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night – what a beauty it was!

La Tour Eiffel glowing bright in the Paris night sky!

Another highlight of my time in Paris was walking up the steps to the top of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, or better known to Americans as the Notre Dame.  My knowledge of the cathedral was limited to what I could remember from the Disney movie (which wasn’t much), so it was great to hear a little bit about its history, dating back to its construction in the 12th century.  There were a couple of huge stained glass windows in the cathedral that contained colorful glass that dated back to the 13th century, which was a little hard to wrap my head around!  What was amazing was all of the people who had come to see this Parisian piece of architecture that once represented a sanctuary of safety and hope during the French Revolution, and still serves as a place of peace for people today.  The views from the cathedral weren’t too bad, either!

View of the French city from the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris

A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the palace at Versailles.  I don’t have enough space to go on about all of the history of the palace, its surrounding gardens, and former residents, but I will tell you about my favorite room.  It was called the “Hall of Mirrors,” and it was literally just that – a long hallway lined with mirrors and windows.  Giant chandeliers hung all along the hallway so that it was completely full of light.  There were beautiful scenes painted on the ceiling that seemed to glow from all of this light.  This was one of many stops on our tour that reflected just how detailed and grand this palace was – just like the gold accents on the palace in the picture below.

My sister and I outside the grand Palace of Versailles

Our trip to Paris was complete with a stop at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, the Musee d’Orsay for some Monet and Renoir, plenty of shopping on the Champs Elysees, and quite a few baguettes and bistros.  Much too soon, it was time for us to hop on another train – this time heading to Nuremberg, Germany!  Au revoir, Paris!


Winter Break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part I: London Calling

What’s the best Christmas present I’ve EVER received?  And the best way I’ve EVER spent winter break?

Well, that would have to be our family trip to Europe!  My mom, sister, and I traveled to London, Paris, and Nuremberg, Germany, from December 13-23.  Lots of travel, sightseeing, shopping, eating, and simply spending time together made for an unforgettable experience.  I’ll be breaking my re-cap into three blog posts – one for each destination.  So, here’s LONDON:

Tower of London on a bright, sunny afternoon near the River Thames.

To prevent myself from carrying on and on (you should see my 500+ pictures on FB), here are a few great moments:

1.  Les Miserables – no, not the movie – the on-stage performance!  This is one of my favorite musicals, adapted from Victor Hugo’s novel depicting 19th-century France on the brink of revolution.  We enjoyed this spectacular show on our first night in London.  Check out this video of my favorite song from Les Mis, performed at the 10th Anniversary Concert by Lea Salonga:

“On My Own” from Les Mis

St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background as we strolled across Millennium Bridge.

2.  Double-Decker Sightseeing Tour – this was the source of about half of my pictures from the whole trip!  Having never been outside of North America, I was excited to see buildings that were more than one or two-hundred years old. London did not disappoint!  We saw Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Elizabeth Tower (often confused with Big Ben, which is actually the name of the bell inside the famous tower), the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and countless other well-known sites.  Our tour guide gave us a great historical overview of the city – including the Great Fire of 1666, the reign of Queen Victoria, the construction of Shakespeare’s Globe, and many other significant points of history to the Brits.  She even pointed out fun sites like JK Rowling’s apartment and Margaret Thatcher’s home.  I definitely recommend tours like these if you want to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.

3.  Carols at Westminster Abbey – what a concert this was!  A young boy’s choir sang Christmas carols on the evening of Sunday, December 15, our last day in London.  The church is not only home to normal worship services, but also major events such as Prince William and Kate’s wedding a couple of years ago.  The building looked even more beautiful at night than it did on our tour during the day!

The beautiful Westminster Abbey lit up on a cold winter’s night!

4.  Tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury – oh the desserts!!!  The three of us enjoyed afternoon tea and a huge tiered platter of desserts at this little tea shop in London.  The Brits take their tea seriously, and as I was recovering from strep throat, I had to take the green tea seriously as well.  We enjoyed vanilla caramel cupcakes, scones with strawberry jam, double chocolate brownies, chocolate meringues, and many other delicacies.  If your mouth isn’t watering yet, check out their website for pictures that will certainly do the trick!

5.  Shopping at Harrods - the world’s greatest department store!  If you think Macy’s in New York is the best, what with that great big parade in November and all, think again!  Harrods has to be the most luxurious, grandiose shopping experience on the planet.  I’m not just talking multiple stories, but rooms across rooms of perfumes, furs, fashion boots, Christmas toys…and then you have the food!  An ice cream parlour, a room dedicated to seafood, another to wine, and the list goes on and on.  Unsurprisingly, we had quite the task in trying to simply find the exit!

Overall, London was a great way to kick of our trip to Europe!  On Monday morning, it was time to take the “Chunnel” to Paris, where the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees awaited…

 


Winter Break Festivities

Hi readers!

I can’t believe the second session of Fall semester is already over! It is hard to believe I am already halfway finished with the MAcc program either … with classes ending, that of course means finals are among us. This time around, I was done with finals week on Tuesday and am now free for winter break activities! On Friday, I plan on heading to Deep Creek Lake, which is halfway between Columbus and my hometown of Mt. Airy, MD. I have been going to cabins at Deep Creek for years during the summer months for fun weekends of boating, tubing, and relaxing with friends and family. During the winter, the nearby Ski resort, WISP, is open for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, you name it. This coming weekend is the opening day for WISP’s winter season and I am hoping to get out there for skiing and ice skating! There are also tons of hiking trails along the lake and mountains of western Maryland to add to the winter activities list. After a long day of outdoor adventures, it will be great to come back to the cabin and relax in the hot tub! (Check out the pics below for some nice scenic views of Deep Creek.)

After a few days in Deep Creek, I will head back to my parents’ house for about 10 days to visit with family and friends for the holidays. I know one thing for certain…I will be getting my fair share of delicious seafood while I am back on the East Coast. (Sometimes good seafood is hard to come by in the Buckeye State :-)) Then before I know it, it will be back to Columbus to get ready for new years celebrations and the start of spring semester. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, will also be getting started in January with several training sessions to prepare the MAcc students for this important service project. It is going to be one busy winter! Happy Holidays everyone!

A view of the lake from the ski slope at WISP

 

Ski Slopes at WISP

 

A shot of the cabin I will be staying


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