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Learning Dining Etiquette

I got a new email from OUAB (Ohio Union Activities Board – ouab.osu.edu) about an opportunity to learn dining etiquette. Free meal and learn something, why not? After registration, they sent another email for us to pick the dishes. When I stepped into the dining hall, I was impressed by the well placed knives, forks, plates, glasses, etc. I’m glad that the university is so thoughtful to provide international students opportunities to learn life here. But what moved me even more is that the faculties and staff are devoted to give us the best care and help they can.
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They served delicate food, from appetizers to coffee. At meal time, the speaker provided us suggestions from choosing food to taking a bite. We learned that the formal dinner is not about eating, but a chance to display our grace and make connections with people that will foster our future.

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At the end, when the waiter cleaned the table, he thanked us for keeping the table clean. It’s just a tiny thing, but he even expressed his appreciation for that while we were grateful for his considerate service. You can feel the efforts the university is making to get everybody involved. No wonder every time we shout out “O-H”, we will definitely get an “I-O”. We know we are embraced and have become part of it.


Exploring Columbus — the Ohio Theatre

During the winter break, people travel around or go back to their hometown to celebrate Christmas with their families. However, if you are still in Columbus, you can still find some interesting places to go and experience some local life here. One thing you cannot miss during your study at Columbus is watching a show at the Ohio Theatre, a performing arts center located at 39 E. State Street in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Theatre is known as the “Official Theatre of the State of Ohio” and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

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After my seven-day trip to San Francisco after our finals, I came back to Columbus on Christmas Eve. Well, a very useful tip is that you definitely want to store some food in your refrigerator or ask someone to kindly buy you some food if you plan to arrive home late on Chistmas Eve, since almost every store and restaurant is closed on Christmas. To celebrate Christmas, I bought tickets at Ticketmaster for The Nutcracker, a traditional Christmas-season ballet show,  performed by BalletMet on Dec. 26, 2015 at the Ohio Theatre. The adventure with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Sweets is wonderful, especially with the score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (op. 71) played by the Columbus Symphony, conducted by Luis Biava. Many parents brought their children to this show and surely those young kids enjoyed it a lot!


Golfing in Naples, Florida!

After I thought all of the presents were opened this Christmas, my littlest brother (Wyatt) brought out one more envelope for me to open. I was a little nervous but extremely excited for what may be inside. After opening it, I read his 13 year old scribbling and the biggest smile came across my face. He, with the help of my mom, had put together a golf trip to Naples, Florida for me, my dad and my other younger brother (Patrick). That wasn’t the only surprise though. My mom decided to add an extra ticket for Wyatt to go with us too!

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Two days after Christmas, we were packed and ready to make our way down south. We arrived in Naples around 10pm so Patty and I ordered pizza because nothing else was open. I would say it was a great start to the trip. On the first day of the trip, we woke up at 7am to grab some breakfast and head to the golf course. We walked on the first tee box and I was just in awe at how incredible this golf course was. The greenest grass I’ve ever seen paired with some of the bluest water. Now came the hardest part of the entire trip…Trying not to embarrass myself. My first tee shot was miserable. The golf ball popped straight up in the air and fell about 20 yards in front of me; I had tee’d it up too high and walked back to the cart, red in the face.
The rest of that first round was better than the first shot but I still finished above my average score. I also lost more golf balls than ever before (thank god for Santa). After getting cleaned up, we adventured to downtown Naples to try and find a cool place to eat. We settled on an authentic Mexican restaurant that barely had enough room for 20 people. The food was incredible! After that adventure we made our way around to different shops and stores before taking off for the hotel.

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Day two was similar to the first but I shot a little better. After the round of golf, Patty and I relaxed on the beach for a few hours as the sun went down. Sitting on a beach in December is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it! On the last day of our trip, I shot the best nine holes of my life on the back. What a great way to finish the trip! Patty and my dad beat me on every round except those last nine holes and I will be proud of that for months to come!


MAcc MEET & GREET BREAKFAST

As one of the nice traditions in the MAcc program, students and faculty have the chance to sit at a round table and enjoy breakfast together. These gatherings provide a lovely way for students to get to know the MAcc professors. And it is always enjoyable to hear some funny stories and jokes from our professors.

So last time, when I was invited to the breakfast, I was so excited. Professor Stephanie Lewis, Arya, Tzachi Zach and Rebecca Zurek and some other classmates were there. The breakfast is quite relaxing, starting from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. If students happen to have class at 8:30, they could still come, grab some food and enjoy a short talk with others before class. It is quite pleasant to start a day like this. We covered a lot of casual topics, such as weather, games, and culture. You can’t really imagine how funny it was to hear Professor Tzachi Zach actually say Chinese words such as 猴子 (monkey) and 猫头鹰 (owl) in such an authentic way. I was totally surprised. I hope this MAcc tradition continues.


Basketball Game: OSU vs North Illinos

On Dec. 16, I watched a basketball game with my friend. The game was between our very own OSU and North Illinois University. It was the first time that I watch a basketball game. Although I was not very familiar with basketball rules, it was still an exciting experience to me.

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When we arrived at Jerome Schottenstein Center at 6:45 p.m., many people were already there. As we entered the center, I found people walking around, holding food and drinks and talking excitingly. It was hard to describe the atmosphere. It was like people were waiting for something exciting, but the atmosphere was more like a festival. When we found our seats and sat down, I was shocked because I had never seen so many basketball fans, which reminded me of the Quidditch games in“Harry Potter”. When I was young and reading “Harry Potter”, it was hard to me to image why wizards have such great enthusiasm in a sport game. Now I understood.

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Thanks to my basketball courses in my undergraduate university, I knew the basic rules of basketball. When the game began, people were caught by the game. They cheered for every goal and sighed for every miss. The first half of the game was quite exciting because the goals were so close. The beginning of the second part of the game was even more tense. I could feel a desire to win the game. At about the last 10 minutes, we gradually achieved the dominant position. The atmosphere changed again and it now became exciting. But it was different from the beginning of the game, as at first people were excited about the basketball game but now they were excited about the results.

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I was excited about the game, too. It was so different from watching a game on TV. I could hear people cheering, feel people’s excitement, and got exciting myself. But what impressed me the most is one small thing that happened during the game. Two men who sat on my right were loyal basketball fans. One of them was eager for a souvenir T-shirt given out by cheering squads members. Sitting on my left side was a father with a child. During the game the father introduced the game rules to his son patiently. When the guy threw the souvenir T-shirt for the last time, the father got a T-shirt and he gave it to his son. But later, the son gave the T-shirt to the man who sat on my right. The father explained that his son wanted to do so. It was so warm.

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As we won the game, people left with a sense of pride and excitement. When my friend and I waited for the bus, a car passed by and people in the car shout to us “O-H”, we responded by a loud “I-O”. Before the game, I never thought I would be so excited. But now I understand why people all around the world are crazy for sports: sports are really exciting and inspiring.


Finals, Baseball and Sushi!

What a whirlwind it has been the past two weeks. It’s mostly my fault for procrastinating quite a bit but I can honestly say I spent more time in our computer lab over the past two weeks then I did in my apartment. As we approached finals week, I knew that I had a lot of work to do but wasn’t entirely sure how much. Finally, I sat down to get organized and realized I had two Corporate Finance case briefs due, a paper and presentation on the Norwegian economy, a HUGE Financial Modeling project due and a test in Derivatives worth 75% of our grade. It was time to get it in gear! With the help of my team, we crushed our Corporate Finance case briefs and presented our project on Norway like we were natives! Financial Modeling on the other hand was a bit more time consuming. We were responsible for creating a model in Excel that would provide flexibility and user-friendliness for anyone who was trying to price out a business trip to Honk Kong. After a combined 100 hours between four people, we had created a model that we were incredibly proud of. I needed a little break before starting to study for Derivatives so I took the night off and watched the original three Star Wars movies to get me pumped for the newest episode! Then it was back to the grind. I believe I could have prepared a little better for what I consider the busiest two weeks of my life, but everything worked out ok!

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It was time for a little fun. The other day I was asked by one of my international classmates to play some baseball. Naturally I was very interested having played ball for a majority of my life. We met at Anheuser Busch Sports Park and split into two teams consisting of two domestic and three international students each. I wont lie, I was a little over confident and was brought down a few pegs when I hit an easy pop up on my first pitch. The rest of the game was much more competitive than I thought it would be and my team ended up losing by only a few runs. Needless to say, I had an absolute blast and am excited for the next time we get out there. With this weather though…who knows when that will be.

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After our game of baseball, we took an adventure to Tensuke Market! I was told this was the absolute best and most authentic place to get sushi and traditional Japanese dishes in Columbus. We walked in to the market and I was instantly overwhelmed with foreign sights, sounds and smells…I was excited. I ordered a crunchy salmon roll, a jumbo spicy tuna roll and raw conch prepared sashimi style. The conch was the most exotic thing I have tried in quite some time and I loved it. If you are ever up on Henderson Road just off 315, I highly recommend you go check out Tensuke Market, you will not be disappointed!


Sweet final week

“Final” might be a terrifying word for students. But as usual, OSU updated my impression again.

After the international food sharing class, our final class ended with a talk with our classmates in the bar, beer provided by our professor. We reviewed our first semester and shared our new great findings about our classmates’ presentation styles and so on. It was really fun!
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Another class is harder because of the strict requirement of the exams, in which we must be very accurate and clear to get a high score. We have covered a wide range of topics about organizational change and development, but the professor perfectly wrapped it up by drawing two boxes and several lines between it. And he has invited several senior students to talk about how they have applied what they learned in real work. They all looked confident and happy about what they are doing. It makes me feel excited about my own future.
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There are students studying late for their finals, but for us, we mainly got take home exams. They are not easy, but we have more flexibility in doing it. It really drives me to think about how I can turn what I have read and lectures into my tool-kit to analyze and solve problems.

Also, there were people giving out candies, good luck notes, and coffee near the Ohio Union on campus. “Good luck with your final” is just 5 simple words, but you have no idea how encouraging it can be during finals week.
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Finals are Over….Finally!

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I am going to be honest, I did not think that I would make it this far. Project after project, test after test…..add that a finals week and you have a recipe of no sleep, caffeine, subway (I have a subway card now!!! and I love their double chocolate chip cookies), and lots of back and forth bicycle rides from my apartment to Gerlach Hall. Riding the bicycle in the fresh cold air to clear my mind was probably the most value adding activity. It helped me strategize and put together my plan of action.

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First on the list was finalizing the last project for Financial Modeling. It was challenging because my group members have different schedules, and because the project itself was open ended. We had our variables and our goal was to present both a dynamic and user friendly model for a firm to send employees overseas on business trips. Though challenging in itself with the added constraints of our schedules we accepted the task at hand and sat down, strapped in, and got to work. The feelings of relief and excitement we had after we finished and ran our model were unparalleled as we all thought “This might be the best model hands down.” We put the finishing touches on it, presented it, and walked away with our heads held high because we had done a good job.

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Second and last order of the week were the Finals in Econ and Derivatives. I happen to love both those classes so the studying process was not as challenging as I thought it would be. There were times though that I thought to myself while studying especially for derivatives: “This is a lot of material to cover and my brain might not make it to see the light of day to post about this great experience on my blog.” All in all Finals were challenging. Some of the questions on both Finals were hard and a small percentage of the questions caused my mind to go blank. I thought hard and marked them and moved on to the next questions in the hopes that I would remember to come back and see if I could solve the questions. When the professor said time’s up, I was actually relieved and glad that it was all over…..for now at least. I was able to get through this which should make the next time easier as I shall be more prepared.

By
Didier H.


Places to Work Out on Campus

Whether it is a new years resolution or trying to rid your self of your extra holiday indulgences, there are a plethora of places to exercise on or near campus. And the best news, all options listed below are available to students at no extra cost!

The RPAC

Recreational and Physical Activity Center

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The RPAC is located at the center of OSU’s Main Campus (about 4 blocks south of the Fisher College of Business). After opening in 2007, the RPAC was one of the nation’s largest exercise faculties. Offering gymnasiums, racquetball courts, squash courts, putting greens, exercise classes, a full aquatics center, machine and free weights, and plenty of cardio equipment, the RPAC is more than likely to offer any form of exercise your heart desires!

Jessie Owens

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There are three Jessie Owens (JO for short) located on campus: South, North, and West. Jessie Owens North is located just behind Gerlach Hall, where most graduate business courses are offered. All of the Jessie Owens facilities offer a smaller selection than the RPAC consisting of cardio machines, machine and free weights, and a couple of basketball courts!

The ARC

Adventure Recreation Center

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The ARC is arguably the most unique of all of the activity centers. The ARC sports a rock climbing wall, indoor turf soccer fields, basketball courts, as well as cardio and weight lifting equipment.


SMF Council!!

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About a month and a half ago, the SMF student body group got to select the SMF council that would represent them and serve as a liaison between the students and faculty as well as staff and other councils within Gerlach Hall. I am proud to see that I was elected and received a seat on the council. I think that the SMF student group is very diverse and has a lot to offer. I want to tap into that as a council member and build stronger relations amongst students within the program as well as with the faculty and the staff. Many a times I think that we get caught up with assignments and forget to learn from each other which I think is very important. Additionally, there are other programs in the building whom the SMF students can benefit from and whom can benefit from the SMF students. There is nothing that I enjoy more than walking through the hallways of Gerlach and running into Mike Dean from the MBA program and talking “John Cena jokes” or Dan Simak from the MACC program and talking class schedules, or running into Carolyn Wong showing MACC visitors around, or talking music with Danny Combs from MHRM. Getting to know our fellow students is always a rewarding experience.

I remember the other day I was at the Buckeyemart and I ran into Professor Sullivan and we had a fifteen minute conversation. I cannot stress enough how great of a conversation that was especially knowing that the professors frequent the same coffee shops as we do. I hope to cultivate more relationships like this as a council member and help my fellow SMFs do the same as well. I remember after finals last Friday, the majority of the class met up after finals for a drink and to my pleasant surprise there were a couple of MBA students there as well. We all had a good time and people who had sat in the same classes across from each other for a semester got to interact with each other.

I am proud to be part of this council and what it will bring. I think Unity strengthens the bonds amongst people and I cannot wait until the semester starts and brings opportunities to strengthen those bonds.

Go Bucks,
Didier, H


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