Archive Page 3

Time for Electives

The beginning of the SMF program was very structured: everyone takes the basic list of courses, which includes Corporate Finance I, Investment Management I, microeconomics (formally, Industry, Risk & Pricing), and several others. Certainly, one has the opportunity to take a few electives during the first two terms, but up to only three.

There are only two required courses in the third the fourth terms collectively, which are macroeconomics (formally, Global Financial Markets) and Team Projects (which are essentially client projects the program acquires for students to work on with the clients), which allows for up to ten electives in Spring semester.

Because I am specializing in corporate finance, I’ve chosen to take Corporate Finance IV with Professor Karen Hopper Wruck. Professor Wruck is a widely published and recognized expert on corporate restructuring. Our first two classes have combined cases that she has written demonstrating how value can be created through different types of restructuring (e.g., borrowing roughly the net worth of a firm, paying the proceeds out as a special dividend, and using the increased leverage to effect prioritizing cash flow).

Another elective I’m taking is Enterprise Risk Management with René Stulz. Dr. Stulz is a world-renowned expert in risk management and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Our first two classes have focused on the mechanics of many of the derivatives crises, such as Barings, Lehman Brothers, Orange County, and Metagesellschaft, with the primary lesson that many of these crises came about not because derivatives are inherently bad, but because derivatives, like the machinery of almost any profession, need to be handled with care and with full knowledge of the associated risks.

In terms of fascinating classes and distinguished professors, the list goes on, and I continue to both broaden my knowledge of the various areas of finance and dive deeper into corporate finance and how firms create value for creditors and shareholders. 


Back To Life, Back To Reality.

Firstly – and hopefully not to your chagrin – as a stay at home mom, I’m not going to post about the events happening around campus as much as other students because there is a shortage of babysitters (especially during the day) who will take pity on this broke mom drowning in student debt and babysit a wild 2 1/2 year old for free. The intention of the majority of my posts is to provide helpful information for potential students about the MHRM program (WHICH IS AWESOME. Not biased at all). BUT, I will include an adorable picture of my husband and son at Zoo Lights (a must see around the holidays) in this post. Bonus: my kid recently got glasses and looks like Ralphie in the picture.

Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights

After a nice long, break, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. I’m intimidated by the workload of this semester but am also incredibly excited by my courses.

The first semester of your first year is generally filled with pretty basic, introductory-type stuff. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to work hard, but it may not be as mentally taxing as you’d expect grad school to be. Don’t let that fool you.

This second semester will be filled with data analytics, hours long excel assignments, an apparently huge project (some students have told me their final group paper was 60+ pages), an impossible change project (the word “impossible” came straight from my professor. According to him, the harder the task will be to complete, the better), and Employment Law.

While that all sounds intimidating – ahem, and I’m speaking for myself here – I’m thrilled to be learning useful information I’m not already familiar with or that is less intuitive then, say, “Business Basics.” (*Disclaimer, the professor of the aforementioned course is entertaining and makes the material fun and interesting even for students familiar with the content.)

Data Analytics is an interesting business function that hasn’t always been utilized the way it can/should be and still isn’t utilized in many companies to its full potential. At the risk of sounding like a brownnoser (I doubt my stats professor will see this anyway because, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”), I’m genuinely excited to learn how to use data in my field. Despite the challenging and time-consuming assignments in this course, I’m enjoying myself. While I do like to solve difficult puzzles (including some math problems), I never actually enjoyed my math classes in undergrad because I didn’t see any realistic application in my field of study – and, I like to efficiently use my time. Give me information I can use. In this stats course, I will learn exactly how to apply what I’m learning in my field. I don’t even know how to adequately explain how excited this makes me. Plus, the hugeness of Big Data and how data analysis can be used in business intrigues me.

Which brings me to my staffing class. Did you know the most common staffing methods are almost no better than hiring people at random? With the use of data, businesses can more effectively hire the right people for the right job. My group and I get to turn in a hefty book paper that explains this in detail. Saweeet!

Employment Law is also a highly interesting class and has brought up issues I never knew existed. The group project for this class will be time consuming but fun.

With that said, I gotta go study/write/work on a project/play with my kid. You might not hear from me for 3 months.


Student-Client Pairing Projects

 

As the first semester of my second year as an MBA comes to a close, I would like to reflect on how the curriculum has been different between my first and second years in the program. As first year MBAs, we take classes concerned with the most traditional areas of business: from Accounting to Marketing, from Finance to Strategy, and beyond. But as second years, we get the opportunity to dive deeper into these topics, and sometimes this comes in the form of student-client pairings.

In my Advertising class, for example, our class has been partnered with Crimson Cup, a consulting, wholesaling and specialty roasting independent coffee company. The lectures for the class come from creative people at the largest independent creative agency in the country: Resource/Ammirati. Using their agency’s approach to digital advertising, we, students, are designing a digital strategy for Crimson Cup to grow their business.

ssss

Another student-client pairing that I have been a part of came from the Business and the Environment Class in which I am enrolled. The client our class is working with is1111
Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that has high awareness and a strong global presence. Our class was split into groups to focus on solving Marketing, Recycling and Repurposing, Product Procurement, Domestic Micro-Enterprise, and Viral Campaign problems that their organization is currently facing.

Perhaps the most valuable part of this pairing comes from the fact that each group was instantly connected to a C-Suite executive at Soles4Souls. For example, my group was connected with Kevin Cherep, the Chief Development Officer, who was in attendance for our final presentation. With his direction, my group took off on a journey to draft a creative marketing strategy for their organization’s Travel Program.

While it’s important to get touch all of the bases of business through the first year of the MBA program, I feel that the most learning comes from these kinds of projects where we get to work with an organization through student-client pairings. Through these pairings, we, as students have the opportunity to develop connections with existing business leaders, and we get the opportunity learn on the job, if you will. While internships provide us with real-life experience, so too do these student-client pairing opportunities. And as a student currently on the job market, I know that these pairing opportunities will be an invaluable way for me to show what I can do in any future interviews.


The Internship Search Has Finally Come to a Close

As many of my classmates and friends are aware, I started my internship search back in August. It’s been a long journey, but I am very excited and could not be more pleased with my decision to accept an offer with Anheuser-Busch. Fisher’s Office of Career Management has helped me along every step of the way and I have the wonderful staff to thank for that.

AB is America's leading brewer

AB is America’s leading brewer

My experience interviewing with Anheuser-Busch was great. I first saw the company at the Fisher Fall Career Fair back in September, and was able to develop a good relationship with the recruiters through networking. I then did a first-round interview and was fortunate enough to be selected for the final panel interview in St. Louis. Because AB is headquartered in St. Louis, this was a great opportunity for me to really evaluate the organization’s culture and assess if I’d be a good fit for the company. I traveled to St. Louis in October with another one of my MHRM classmates, Natalie, who would also be interviewing on the final panel. Neither of us had been to St. Louis before, so it was a treat to explore the city and see all the different sights the day before our interview.

The morning of our interview, we arrived bright and early and met the other interview candidates from other schools across the country. I had never done a group interview before so I was not entirely sure what to expect. There were definitely some tough questions and it was interesting interviewing in a group setting with the other interview candidates right beside me, but I ultimately enjoyed the experience and found it extremely rewarding. After the interview, they took us on a tour of the headquarters and then on a brewery tour. We even got to see the Clydesdales! Overall, it was a great interview experience. Natalie and I both ended up getting offers to join AB’s People Department this summer, and we’re very excited to join the team!

Natalie and I before our brewery tour

Natalie and I before our brewery tour

Learning about the mashing process

Learning about the mashing process

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.00.06 PM

Learning about the seven-step brewing process


Buckeyes on Bourbon Street

As the first semester of the MAcc program came to a close, some students had more than just finals on their minds.  The last week of finals corresponded with the announcement that The Ohio State University’s football team made the first ever College Football Playoff and would be playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on New Years Day.  Hearing this news numerous MAcc students had their sights set on making it down to New Orleans to be part of the game and support the Buckeyes.  Luckily, around 10 or so MAcc students got tickets for the game either through the student lottery or other various ways; I was lucky enough to receive a free ticket from the student lottery provided by Taco Bell.  Through group messages and talking at lunch, we were able to plan the drive and hotel situation.  Since we were on break, many people were driving from different parts of the country (including one person who took a 16 hour megabus trip).

10922559_10153670335254657_6125634139079698939_n

Cafe Du Monde

Once we all got to New Orleans we made a plan for the trip.  We spent all of New Years Eve day in the city, seeing the sights and fully exploring the culture of New Orleans.  We stopped by Cafe Du Monde to enjoy some beignets and coffee, which is a must if you are ever there.  We also enjoyed an early dinner on Bourbon Street and were able to get some signature Louisiana dishes you always hear about.  New Orleans is without a doubt a city worth visiting if you get the chance (go to Pat O’Briens).

Jackson Square

Luckily for us we weren’t there just to see the city, we went for the Sugar Bowl.  New Years Day we got to the Superdome early to pick up our tickets and check out the pregame festivities.  The atmosphere surrounding the game was unreal and the streets were packed with both Ohio State and Alabama fans.  Having won a ticket in the student lottery I was able to be part of the student section and had seats only 11 rows up from the field.  It was a great game to be a part of and Ohio State was able to come away with a win, putting them in the National Championship against Oregon.  The whole experience was something I will never forget and it was wonderful to be able to share it with some of my best friends from the MAcc program.

10898225_10155071708930323_5433188474572164802_n

Script Ohio

10906343_2687442990618_4595907955271544409_n

Ohio State side of the Superdome


Fisher Follies: Fostering Community, Inspiring Creativity & Having FUN!

One of the greatest things about Fisher, which seems to come up quite often when I speak with prospective students, is the unique and supportive culture that we have here among students, staff and faculty. I truly believe it is rare to find a culture of collaboration where, for example, you can prep for an interview with a classmate who is interviewing for the same job. And, to have a community that truly cares about each other, their successes and their well-being.

That is the community that Fisher Follies, our unique social and non-profit organization here at Fisher, aims to foster. We raise money for the Fisher Follies Fund, which is a relief fund that make gifts (both monetary and in-kind) to any graduate student in the Fisher community that is facing extreme and unexpected hardship. Students are able to anonymously nominate themselves, or they can be nominated by two of their peers.

Each year, we hold a Fall Auction event that raises money for this fund. All auction items are donated by students, staff and faculty and range from dinner and desserts with other students or faculty, to your own personal “hype man” for a week, to a lavish trip to California to visit the “sea and c-suites” with one of your favorite professors. At this year’s event, which occurred on November 21st, we had over 110 items donated for our silent and live auction and over 200 people in attendance. Considered our “cocktail” event in the fall, it was a great time for everyone to dress up, take pictures at the photo booth, and socialize with their friends and professors.

In addition to it being an incredibly fun event for everyone, it was tremendously successful. We raised over $23,500 for the Fisher Follies Fund, which is the most money we have every raised at our annual auction! All of which goes directly back to students in need. This year, we unveiled the launch of our website, www.fisherfollies.com, so I encourage everyone to check it out to learn more about the Fisher community and the great things that we do as an organization.

Now that the auction is over, Fisher Follies will move on to begin writing and directing skits for our annual Variety Show in the Spring (February 20th), which celebrates our success and camaraderie as a community, and essentially enables us lampoon each other after a year of taking ourselves way too seriously.


Aaaaand, We’re Done! And we’re starting up again soon …

I’m having a hard time comprehending how quickly last semester flew by – especially the second portion of it. Here we are, roughly 7 weeks from our other 7 week courses and I genuinely feel like it’s only been two to three weeks.

I can’t say it enough, but I’m fully enjoying this program. The information learned so far has been invaluable. In addition to information passed to me from instructors, the different perspectives of my peers have added significant value to this program. The Fisher College of Business is very deliberate in their selection process and the unique perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures of my fellow classmates have made that clear. The friendships I’m developing will most assuredly follow me through life.

Winter Break has been be a nice, *almost* month long break. I spent my time indoctrinating my 2.5 year old with Santa Claus and Rudolph, stayed in my pajamas all day, everyday, playing with my dogs, and not cleaning my house. It was a successful break.

Happy Holidays, everyone! And welcome back to campus (shortly)!


Beat *ichigan Week!

One of the best times of the year to be an Ohio State student is during Beat *ichigan Week, it is a time when all the students rally to beat TTUN (that team up north)! One of the biggest events before the game is to jump in Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake is normally a peaceful place to walk around on campus right by the South Oval, but on the Tuesday night before everyone goes home for Thanksgiving Break it transforms into pandemonium. Students are everywhere partaking in the event and jumping into the freezing cold lake! This year was my fourth year jumping and it was a lot of fun to go with some of the other MAcc students because they had never jumped before. Needless to say, we were frozen running back to North campus from the South Oval but it was definitely worth it! Below are some pictures from that night.

Jumping in!

Jumping in!

OHIO

O-H-I-O after we jumped!

While mirror lake is an exciting aspect of Beat *ichigan Week, the best part of the week is the actual football game! Normally this game is one of the toughest of our season but Michigan football has fallen on some hard times. I went to the game with my sister who also attended Ohio State for undergraduate and graduate school so we were pretty invested in the outcome. My first game as a student was with my sister and now I have officially gone to my last home game as a student with her, bittersweet! We stayed through Carmen and rushed the field after the game, overall a great experience!

On the field!

On the field!

This weekend I will be traveling to Indianapolis to watch the Buckeyes take on the Badgers in the Big 10 Championship, hopefully we come out victorious! Go Bucks!


Merger Simulations!

Dr. George Pinteris, academic director for the Specialized Masters in Business Finance program at Fisher College of Business, wanted to try out a merger simulation with his Corporate Finance II classes. He assigned us the Wrigley-Mars merger cases to analyze. Half the class read the information to which Mars was privy, the other half Wrigley. My team and I were assigned to Mars (the buye), in the transaction. Dr. Pinteris used one lecture period as an initial discussion of the information to which both parties had access and to emphasize that there was more to this transaction than the price Mars paid to acquire Wrigley.

Source: http://store.darden.virginia.edu/

Source: http://store.darden.virginia.edu/

My group based our negotiation strategy on five factors, in addition to the price: the placement of the current target’s CEO; the plans for one of the target’s most treasured and iconic assets (Wrigley Headquarters in Chicago); the naming of the merged company; the independence of the target’s management post-merger; and the extent to which the acquirer can impose efficiency measures on the target after the merger. As the buyer, we packaged three deals with varying premia over the current share price and over the intrinsic value—an initial offer, a target offer, and a walkaway offer.

When we began negotiations, because we were the buyer, we made the first offer: a meager control premium over current market value, with a number of conditions that granted the target substantial operational independence. The target’s counteroffer was revealing: they mentioned that they wanted a more equitable share of the synergies from the merger and countered with a very high offer outside our acceptable range. We came back with a larger control premium, with a number of more restrictive terms than the initial offer. For example, we did not place the target’s CEO in as important a position and we insisted on greater efficiency measures. The target countered with $79, still intent on capturing larger portions of the synergies in the transaction, but this time they disapproved of our demotion of the target CEO. We offered to increase our price to $75 and place the target CEO on the Board of Directors. They offered to go down to $77 with the same conditions. My group did not want to increase our price, but we had reached a set of conditions with which we were very pleased. When we offered an additional board seat, the other team acted utterly taken by surprise. After about five minutes of hushed discussion in their group hunched over their own valuations in Excel, they accepted. It was a term that neither of our groups had seriously considered, but it was something that ultimately allowed us to close the deal at a price more amenable to us, the buyer.

We had begun the negotiations with the goal of getting the lowest price with terms that would preserve Wrigley’s independence. Instead, we walked away by paying $3 over our target, but the counterparty had practically given us as much as we needed to achieve synergies by ceding decision-making authority over its Chicago headquarters, over its management and employees, and general operational aspects of the business—Wrigley had practically handed us all the synergies we needed to make the deal worth it.

In Dr. Pinteris’ next lecture, we discussed our experiences in the merger. All of our negotiation experiences had been quite different, and Dr. Pinteris used this lecture to illustrate the different scenarios that play out with different zones of agreement on price and to illustrate the importance of qualitative factors in the negotiations. I thoroughly enjoyed this simulation that Dr. Pinteris set up for us—it was hands-on and engaging, and I think I learned more about M&A negotiations than if I had simply read the case and participated in the class discussion.


The North Market

One of the staples of Columbus is the North Market. The North Market is basically a farmer’s market, and a fantastic one at that. You can buy fresh salsa (AMAZING), fresh fruits, homemade chocolate, homemade bread, different cultural foods, homemade popcorn, and fresh spices.

Spices Salsa

 

I would like to touch on the salsa and spice shops. The salsa shop has a vast array of salsas, hot sauces and a few other things. The salsa is the best I have ever had. I usually like salsa with a kick, but I have taken a liking to roasted garlic and mild salsa. Both of these are very sweet and VERY good.

The spice shop is by far my favorite, though. The spice shop has a vast array of spices. Most of the spices do not contain salt which keeps them from being “diluted.”  These spices are very potent and very good. A recipe for chili I had called for 2.5 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon was more than enough. Their chili seasoning has won multiple contests. They also have extracts, peppers, sticks of cinnamon, etc. What you can buy and the combinations are almost endless.

A full list of vendors can be seen here.

I highly recommend visiting this place!


« Previous PageNext Page »


The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.