A Great Start

After moving to Columbus last Sunday, my schedule has been nothing short of jam-packed!  I attended the Grad student orientation on Monday to better orient myself with campus after missing the MAcc orientation the previous week.  Several hundred first-year grad students crammed into a lecture hall in Independence Hall to listen to a variety of speakers including President Gee.  I felt that the orientation was well organized and a great learning experience.

On Tuesday morning, I attended the MAcc boot camp.  We were initially given an overview of Fisher Connect (the main job database used to sign up for on-campus interviews and a variety of other career tools) and we were then presented with several panels of speakers ranging from experienced public accountants to HR staff to accountants working outside of public accounting.  It was mainly an open forum to ask questions regarding the interview process and to get more details on what a career in public accounting is like.

Wednesday was the first day of classes and because I live a couple of miles off-campus, I decided to buy a green ‘C pass’ to be able to park on campus.  After arriving on campus, it took me roughly a half-hour to find a parking space.  I admit that I arrived on campus at a terrible time and was not very familiar with all of the lots.  Parking on campus went much smoother the rest of the week after I knew where to go and how to more efficiently look for open spots.  My classes all seemed to go smooth and my professors were very knowledgeable (more on this in a later post).

Thursday and Friday were filled with homework, getting everything set up on Fisher Connect and a mock job fair.  And of course Saturday was the Buckeyes’ game…. another shutout for the Bucks.

My awesome classmate, Eva

I am too busy recently. But I really appreciate this status, since it brings me a great stage for self-development. Overwhelmed by the stress from study and new living environment, I also receive lots of help from my friends and classmates home and abroad. Here, I would like to show my sincere gratitude to my close friend and classmate Eva, who I met in the OIA during check-in. She is from India and she came here with her smart and nice husband Renji.

Eva is very easy-going, gentle, environment-friendly and helpful. She took me to the shopping malls and I got a very cute blue T-shirt that makes me very energetic . And she also offered yummy Indian food at her sweet home. Furthermore, she shares her hobby with me. She taught me about DIY decorations. Furthermore, she drove her SUV to pick up my second-hand furniture for my bedroom. Last but not least, she is that helpful that she gave me considerable suggestions about life and study. I don’t know what kind of things I can do for this kind-hearted lady!!!

Now we two are now team members in MHR863- Business Practices and the Human Resource Manager. I was overwhelmed by lots of new information. Eva comforted me  and also wrote an email to the other team members . I attach her email here——–

Lily feels bad that she was not clear about what the auto bailout topic was and is afraid to make mistakes again. So I was hoping we could all encourage her a bit. We are all here to learn and making mistakes is a part of learning. And frankly none of us know the actuals of the issue and need to read a lot about it too… So hope to see more of your mails bouncing in Lily.. 🙂

Then I also received encouragement from other members.

For instance, one of the members told me:

LILY!!! Please do not waste another second of your time feeling bad about anything! On top of Eva’s points, we will only work well together as a group if we are understanding of each other’s limitations as well as working hard, as we are clearly going to.
The point is, we each have different strengths and weaknesses, and I definitely see us taking turns leading on different things. We should strive to create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable putting their ideas out there to contribute, since that’s what is conducive to the collaborative success we will now rely on in this program. It is excellent that you are our marketing guru too! We will all find our niches and become better at developing plans of attack and work distribution as we adjust to this as well, I have no worries there.
Thank you!!!!!! You did make me stronger!

I now have more energy to prepare my program because help is everywhere!

Thank you, Eva!

First Week Lessons and Observations

The first week of classes is officially over.  It has been an exciting week of getting to know my classmates better, figuring out what time I should leave for campus to avoid traffic, realizing that time management is going to be a major factor in my success, and dealing with the fact that I am going to have to get over my fear of public speaking immediately!

Everyone in my program is extremely nice and I love how diverse our group is.  I think the diversity of our group is going to be a huge advantage and that we all have a lot to learn from each other.  Diversity can, of course, cause some barriers, but I have already experienced how supportive everyone can be when one of these barriers becomes evident.  Being supportive of one another is going to be so important.  This is new to all of us and I think we are all a little anxious!

Something else that I find interesting with a group of graduate students is that it seems we are all subtly competitive.  This competitive nature can be used in a productive manner and push us to do our very best or it can cause conflict.  Due to the fact that I have already seen so much support from my classmates, I think it is going to work to our advantage.

So far, I still LOVE graduate school!  I will speak more on time management and public speaking in later posts.  For now, I must go do homework!

The Ohio State University Campus

I decided to take a walk across campus on Wednesday night and take a seat on a bench in The Oval.  Seeing the Main Library, I started thinking about how much the campus has changed in the 7 years that I have been in Columbus. The restoration that has taken place has been nothing short of amazing.

The “Oval Restoration Project” was the first major renovation that I can remember happening while I have been on campus. It started during the Summer quarter of 2004. The oval was completely closed for renovation, and with no walkways available, I had to leave my dorm 15 minutes earlier each day just to make it to class on time. The pathways were opened for Autumn quarter, but fences stayed erect until Spring quarter of 2005. After all was said and done, the grass was greener, the pathways were much nicer, and it will stay beautiful for years to come.

I chose to talk about restoration of campus because there has been a lot of construction around The Ohio State University lately- The Union, The Main Library, 315, the parking garage by Fisher- just to name a few. Although it might cause some delays, or some headaches at the time, the future of The Ohio State University campus becomes much more exciting and beautiful because of the work that has been done.

aerial view

Picture taken from The Ohio State University website

The Oval is one of the most recognizable and favorite spots on campus, and throughout the rest of the year I will be posting some of my other favorites. So stay tuned!

Muddled…

Main Entry: 1mud·dle Pronunciation: \ˈmə-dəl\  Function: verb Inflected Form(s): mud·dled; mud·dling \ˈməd-liŋ, ˈmə-dəl-iŋ\  Etymology: probably from obsolete Dutch moddelen, from Middle Dutch, from modde mud; akin to Middle Low German mudde Date: 1676 transitive verb 1 : to make turbid or muddy 2 : to befog or stupefy especially with liquor 3 : to mix confusedly 4 : to make a mess of : bungle intransitive verb : to think or act in a confused aimless way  — mud·dler\ˈməd-lər, ˈmə-dəl-ər\ noun (from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muddled)

Sitting in my apartment with the windows open, raindrops alter the typical sounds for a football Saturday.  I am sipping my coffee with a spoonful of Graeter’s Pralines & Cream Ice Cream, pondering the long list of assorted to-dos facing me before Monday. (I’m out of milk and not motivated to go to the store – let’s be honest, those of you who know me know I spent the first year buying heavy whipping cream and pouring that in my morning coffee. Ha! Talk about self-indulgence.)

The first week back has been wonderful, meeting new students, catching up with friends on their summer adventures, running errands on campus and, of course, the first day of class.  Mixed in with all of these activities I have met with Kara Albert in Career Management, updated my resume roughly seven times, and started out on my full-time, post-MBA job search.

As the rain continues outside my window, I glance around the living room to see the strategy cases and finance problem sets I am going to tackle before setting out to tailgate with classmates and cheer on the Buckeyes this afternoon.  I know it’s going to turn into a muddy mess, but it will be fun.  Oh, I almost forgot I’m also headed with Vandana to the Columbus Crew game tonight to see David Beckham play with the Los Angeles Galaxy… ok, I must get back to work.

In case the “confusing mix” of activities brought about by the first week of classes isn’t enough – check out some of these fascinating cocktails at Kaiser Penguin’s cocktail blog on muddled drinks:  http://www.kaiserpenguin.com/original-muddled-cocktails/

Why a MAcc

About 2 years ago I made one of the hardest decisions in my life. This decision has two parts to it: 1. To quit or not to quit my job; and 2. If I do quit, should I get a MBA or something else?

The first part turned out to be pretty straight forward. I was dragging my feet to work everyday and when I’m at work, my morale hit rock bottom. I was chatting online and writing emails to friends constantly asking for their opinions because a number of them ran into the same situation and ended up going back to school for their MBAs. So a decision was made: I’m quitting this job. See ya~

Before I sent in my resignation, I had to think really hard about what I want to do after grad school and hence what I need to accomplish and learn from grad school. My ill-fated start-up experience taught me a lot about running a business and brought out my hidden business side. I took on many challenges and really enjoyed the process and the sense of accomplishment. Okay, so definitely not going back for a master in engineering. Now what? Get a MBA?

I wasn’t quite sure what a MBA is for except that it spells Master of Business Administration. I knew many of my friends were pursuing one. So I began my research by going down the list of some of the most prominent business schools according to the USNEWS ranking.  Stanford, Harvard, U-Penn, Chicago, etc, all of them were very dazzling and what amazed me the most was the number of areas they cover in their programs in order to make their MBA candidates successful. I took a step back and thought, well I’m not big on management (at least not yet), I’m really not a marketing/sales person, and I’m not really interested in HR, logistics, PR, operations, etc. So what did I like the most out of my start-up experience? Yup, you guessed it, accounting & finance.

There’s so much involved to start or run a business. You are in contact with numerous entities daily. Vendors, lenders, customers, employees, partners, etc, all of which require some forms of resource going back and forth, which then can all be translated into money. Without a good information system, you go with what you know and hope for the best. However, if you know some accounting or have someone manage and design a sound accounting system for you, then you can base your decisions and strategies on information you can trust. Lastly, if anything, I used to be an engineer and still think like one so I’m very logical and good with numbers. Cliche? Ha, maybe~

So what are you trying to learn in grad school and what are your goals after you’re done?

Orientation, and finding a job

Orientation was great. I will spare the nitty gritty details, as they have been covered, but it was lot of time learning about the program and what is expected of us, as well as a lot of time spent figuring out how we are going to get jobs in this lovely economy. It really was a HUGE help, and the networking tips, as well as other career search tips have already proved invaluable.

We had a boot camp, with a lot of Big 4 and regional firm employees serving as a panel to allow us to ask questions. This has been my favorite day of the program so far, I really learned a lot, and the networking/ability to speak with recruiters has been fantastic so far. I should be hearing back within the next week as to where I will be interviewing.

Classes started on Wednesday, so it was nice to get that monkey off my back,  and also nice that it was a short week, and I was done by Thursday. Sarah has been in Denver all week for training, so I have had the house to myself. She flies back into Columbus this evening at something like 11:30, which coincides with her parents arrival for the weekend to visit. It will definitely be nice to have company, and we are looking forward to taking her parents around tomorrow afternoon to show them the madness that is an Ohio State pre-game tailgate.

At some point, hopefully soon, I am thinking of letting her write a part of a few entries, so anyone with a fiance or significant other can read her comments about the experience of going to grad school as a +1.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and GO BUCKS!

Syllabus Reviews and Laptop troubles: The First Week of Class

The first week is actually more exciting then my title claims but when you get down to it that’s what usually ends up happening, reviewing the syllabus for an hour and then trying to figure out why your laptop won’t work. Needless to say everything worked out but that’s the first week for you.

My first day consisted of two classes, Organizational Behavior and Financial Accounting. All first quarter classes are part of the core requirements for first year MBA students so your classes are filled with familiar faces along with professors I had met during orientation (I wont write about orientation because plenty of other bloggers have and I agree with everything they have mentioned). The one thing that made these classes more interesting then their topics of discussion are the professors. The first class, Organizational Behavior is co-taught by two professors that are not only academics but have also worked in the industry that they teach. They bring anecdotes from their experiences as well as their knowledge making the class seem like a discussion rather then a lecture. Also our accounting class is taught by a professor that had recently came from Booth (University of Chicago) so to all those MBA students at University of Chicago, well I won’t say it but you can catch my get my jist.

Our second day consisted of two other classes, Managerial Economics and Data Analysis. Our economics professor was great at setting the mood for the class and we were able to move through the syllabus quickly and on to a discussion about a case we had to read for class. It was really fun to be able to throw ideas across a room of 75 of your peers and brainstorm out loud while learning about the economics of management structure. The Data Analysis class (a yawn from some) looks like it is going to start out slow but I am actually interested in the class and learning how to play around with excel a little more.

Outside of class there have been a billion things going on. Having worked for a few years (I’ll get into my background in a future post and why I chose fisher) it is a nice change of pace to be back in school but also different in that each day needs to be structured more on your own that by a typical boss at work. Finding time to study hasn’t been hard but as events continue to come up such as EOTWs (Event Of The Week, offered by the B-school on Thursdays after class at a local bar), company meet and greets and club meetings, I am sure finding time to get all my reading in will be much harder but for now it has been OK.

As for social activities there is no lack whatsoever. As I mentioned to a classmate/friend (no longer are we classmates, I think most of us are now friends) of mine the other night, “I think my Drinking Program has an MBA problem.” I kid but there have been more then plenty of times when us first year students have ventured to a local bar to not only explore the area but also get to know each other, over many CHEAP beers. This continues tonight as we have an 80’s themed night where we are all going to head out to the bars dressed as, well 80’s people.

So for now I gotta run and get my elastic banded whitewash jeans with zip pockets and some Reebok pumps. For the next blog post, a review of what’s on High Street.

Working for the weekend?

Applying for interviews takes forever!  I am pretty sure I just spent four hours filling out four applications, but I can’t really tell… because I’m not quite sure when I started, or what time of day it is… or where I am.

The Fisher Fall Career Fair Guide is 58 pages long, I wish I could get an audio version.  When I was little, I used to listen to Russian fairy tales on my grandparents’ gramophone, it was very relaxing.

Jeni’s Ice Cream is Splendid indeed.  The beer flavor is delicious, but would anyone on earth be able to resist some cold goat cheese with cherries?  Didn’t think so.

Anyway, the three-day “weekend” has commenced.  Somehow, I ended up experiencing all of my four classes in the two days allotted to the first week of school.  Not once did I fall asleep, or feel an unstoppable urge to sneak out for a bathroom break.  I even remembered to bring a water bottle.  Here’s to hoping the trend continues.

Next quarter I am definitely going after an early schedule.  Classes starting at 1:30 pm or later sounded like a good idea a few months ago, but that’s just not how I work.

Week one…I survived!

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m finished with what I’m considering my first official week of graduate school….some of the highlights:

-Work wise I finished training and was able to jump in and apply all of the things I learned in training.  My job title is Undergraduate Career Consultant and I work in the Career Management at Fisher.  I give students mock interview, review resumes and present to various classes about career management things! So this week I gave about 8 resume critiques and my first mock interview.  For the first time in well over a year I can truthfully say: I. love. my. job.

-I had two classes this week, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  The night classes are definitely going to take some getting used to.  I’m more of a morning person.  Wednesday night was Fundamentals of HR I which I think is going to be a little bit dry…especially with the first book we need to read.  But knowing the background and history of HR is obviously important to a career.  My Thursday night class is Business for the HR manager, basically business 101.  For the first hour of the class I thought I was in the wrong place–it was Fisher College comedy hour! Everyone went around and did introductions and I was impressed and happy with the amount of diversity and comedic genius.  There are a lot of students in my program from China, others who work full time and go to school part time and everyone in that class comes from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.  We were also assigned into groups for the first of what seems to be many many group projects.  What I like about group projects in grad school is that everyone is here because they want to be, making everyone very dedicated and hardworking.  It’s a nice atmosphere to be in.

-We get name plates to display in class so professors can easily see our names.  My goal was to make it a week without forgetting to take it with me after class.  I made it through two days.  I forgot to take it after class last night…the hunt is on….so if anyone sees it let me know!

This weekend my Dad is coming to visit…I got him an OSU t-shirt so he will blend in with the crowd tomorrow 🙂

Go Bucks!