Class Dinner Time!

One of the things I love most about the SMF program is the diversity of our students. Last Friday, the SMF Council organized a dinner to celebrate the culmination of our capstone class. During the capstone class, all the teams were able to develop an equity research report about a company of our choosing. Two Fridays ago, all teams presented their final report to a panel of professors and the entire class.

SMF Capstone Presentation

That same Friday, the Fisher Indian Association was celebrating Diwali Night. One of the SMF students, Sowmya Mikkilineni, introduced me to this beautiful dress (see picture below).

Kurti dresses!

Our initial plan was to attend the SMF dinner and then head over to Diwali night at Fisher. The SMF dinner end up taking longer than planned—it had been a long day presenting our equity research reports. However, we were able to take a group picture with everyone before they headed home!

Group Picture at Tadka

Big shoutout to Sowmya and Jayaprabha for being kind enough to introduce us to all the exotic dishes. We ordered so much food but I’m really glad we did!  The food was truly delicious.

I look forward to our next group dinner soon!

Ferny

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!

Farewell to Autumn 2018

I cannot believe that my first semester in the MHRM program has come to a close. As I reflect on the past 14 weeks, countless hours have been spent in the classroom, at work, studying, and participating in school-related activities. Though most of my posts focus on the professional aspects of graduate school, I wouldn’t have created a realistic picture of my experience thus far if I didn’t mention the amount of fun I’ve had attending social events, hanging out with my classmates, and getting to know Columbus. Many great memories have been made but here are just a few of my highlights of the semester.

The Friendships

Coming directly from undergrad into the program, I was used to being in a place where I felt comfortable, had a close group of friends and network of supportive professors. Moving to Columbus meant exchanging that lifestyle for a city and university where I didn’t know anyone. I was nervous about how I would make connections and create a similar community for myself.

As the academic year began, I was able to get to know my peers through orientation activities such as a high ropes course, scavenger hunt, and happy hour mixer. Continuing through the semester there were social events organized by the MHRM council that allowed me to develop friendships with my classmates. It was much easier to survive the semester with them by my side.

The Football Games

Another one of my favorite activities of the year was attending the football games. The saying that Ohio State has “The best fans in the land” is no understatement. Buckeye nation is high energy and school spirit all the time and you truly get to experience that by attending a game. Being at the OSU vs. Michigan game was one of my memorable experiences of the semester. 

 

The Opportunities

The Fisher College of Business has afforded me so many great opportunities to develop myself personally and professionally throughout the semester. Each month there are numerous events that graduate students can take advantage of such as networking lunches, internship search workshops, leadership conferences, and skills training series.

One unique example of this was being invited to have lunch with the dean of the business college.  The top three teams from the MHRM Internal Case Competition were recognized for their hard work and able to give feedback on how future competitions could be improved.

The City of Columbus

Perhaps one of the most unexpected things about moving here has been how much I enjoy being in Columbus. There is no shortage of things to do or places to see. In my free time, I love to explore Columbus’s different neighborhoods, new restaurants, coffee shops, and attend special events going on out throughout the city. I’m happy to call Columbus my home for the next year and a half.

Lessons From the Second Session

At the end of the first session, I wrote a post about two things that I learned during the first session. I shared them with you because I believe they are important for you to learn and expect if you are admitted into the program. In this post, I want to share one more important lesson from the second session.

The Importance of Teamwork

The importance of teamwork cannot be overemphasized for many reasons. One big reason being the fact that every organization relies on teams and groups of people collaborating together to accomplish goals and drive results. As a result, the SMF program is structured in a way that simulates real life experiences as most of our assignments are team-based assignments.

For this reason, it is important for current and future SMF students to develop teamwork skills. That is, the ability to effectively cooperate with others in a manner that leads to the actualization of the desired goal. There are many teamwork skills that team members can employ to be effective teammates. These include communicating well with others, contributing equally to discussions, completing agreed upon tasks e.t.c. But, there’s one skill I would like to focus on in this post: the importance of striking a healthy balance between virtual meetings and in-person meetings.

In my own experiences in this program, our team has achieved success by striking a healthy balance between meeting virtually and meeting in person. I believe as tech savvy as our generation is, we are susceptible to overly relying on virtual platforms to plan how we will conduct and finish projects.  But  we ignore the adverse effects of relying on virtual platforms, such as misunderstanding each other and failure to promote the development of deep interpersonal relationships. Therefore, my biggest encouragement to future SMF students is to strive to balance between meeting in person and meeting virtually. This will enhance team performance because it promotes clearer communication between team members and promotes the development of deep interpersonal relationships between team members.

Our team before the core capstone project presentation #greatestteammatesever

Planning and CFA

Hey everyone!

I am back to blogging again! I mentioned I would talk about how planning helps us in grad school. Developing time management and planning skills is particularly useful especially during the holidays. This year many of my peers traveled back home to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Thus many teams had to plan ahead how our schedules would look like, what times would be best to meet, before or after the holidays, dividing up the work, etc.

One thing that was particularly helpful in our planning process was the development of a project management plan. I was given the opportunity to develop a project management plan following a template that we were provided after one of our speaker’s presentations. In this project management plan, we assigned tasks to each member of our group would be responsible for and set deadlines to complete each milestone of our projects.

CFA Planning

I have been amazed by the level of effort, skills and diversity of knowledge that peers bring to class every day. I asked a couple of my peers preparing for the CFA and CFA Research Challenge to share about their experiences. This is what they said.


Joey Nguyen, Interested in Investments Track

How has your experience been getting ready for the CFA exam?

Since I’m taking it in December, while we are overloaded with a lot of projects and I also have to work on the CFA research challenge, I just think I would try my best for the exam. Everything you learn in the exam materials is what you need if you want to work as an equity analyst or break into investment management.

What are some takeaways of studying for the CFA?

Two things I learned from the preparation for the exam: first is stick to your schedule because it’s a big commitment, and second is being patient because you might have to take one level more than one. So just do it when you are really interested in asset management. One good thing is that 70% of the materials for level one will be covered from all courses in Fisher.

How has your experience been preparing for the CFA Research Challenge?

I have applied what I learned from class to a real investments project, also to work and to think as a real analyst. Bloomberg and modeling are two big key skills you can leverage from the classes while working. You also have to read a lot and try to find the key points (conceptualize it), learn where to start while reading a 10K and spot out the company’s problems. The CFA society also asks the company selected for the challenge to give a presentation about their company to all the participant teams so we need to know which questions we should ask to make them disclose some unique information.


Rizvi Bari, Interested in Investments Track

What are some takeaways of studying for the CFA?

I would say start as early as you can and do a lot of practice questions. I’m still trying to find more sources, but I think the professors are good resources. Working closely with the CFA institute helps a lot as well.


Jayaprabha Dhavale, Interested in Investments Track

What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about taking the CFA?

Personally, as I was already working, I studied on weekends only. Many of the topics were not as hard but some topics were new. Topics covered in the Financial Analysis Valuation class are covered in the exam. Regarding planning, I’d say you have to have a time line such as finish studying equity by this date, derivatives by this date.


Thank you to my peers who collaborated on this 😊

Cheers and Go Bucks!

Where to Get Your Caffeine Fix

Like most grad students, something I can’t survive without is coffee. I need my two cups a day to keep myself going. One of the first things I did once school started was scope out some of the local cafes for some good coffee and study locations. I’ve put together a list of some of mine and fellow students favorites coffee shops around Columbus.

Latte form Stauf’s

If you are trying to stay on or near Fisher to get some quick coffee in between classes. there are a few options for you. Right on Fisher’s campus in Mason Hall is Rohr Cafe. It sells Starbucks coffee and pastries there. Speaking of Starbucks, there is a new one right on the corner of High and Lane just a quick walk from Fisher’s campus. There is ample seating for studying as well.

If you are trying to find some places to study farther off campus with some seriously good coffee, Columbus has many great options. One of my favorites I have been to so far is Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. They have a few locations around Columbus and all of them are a great environment to just grab a cup of coffee or get some serious studying done. They have many seasonal drinks as well as a Buckeye Latte which is a must try. If you are in the German Village shop I highly recommend taking a study break and stopping next door to the Book Loft. It has over 30 rooms filled floor to ceiling with books.

Getting reading done while at Fox in the Snow

Another favorite of many students is Fox in the Snow Cafe. They have two locations and has some amazing coffee and pastries. Fair warning this cafe does not have wifi as they want their customers to socialize with each other. It’s a great place for friends to hang out and drink some coffee or to get some reading done.

Some other locations that I recommend are The Roosevelt Coffee House, Heirloom Cafe (on OSU campus and locally owned/grown products), Mission Coffee and Red Velvet Cafe. My friends and I spend many afternoons at some of these shops getting our work done and enjoying some great coffee.

Autumn MAcc Reception

It’s crazy to think I am currently studying for finals and almost halfway done with the MAcc program. It goes by faster than you could imagine. Every year, the MAcc program hosts a reception for the students and faculty at the end of the fall semester. This past week was our reception and it was a great way to close out our semester before everything gets too hectic. Many students and professors from the MAcc program get together and enjoy dinner and drinks before Dr. Zach, our program director, and a guest speaker say a few words.

The event was held at the Faculty Club right here on campus and I have to say it was nice to be somewhere on campus that was not Gerlach Hall aka Fisher Grad student’s second home. The reception was a great opportunity to see some of my classmates and professors out of the classroom setting. Each table had a mix of students and a professor so we all got to interact a lot in a more casual environment over dinner. Dinner was a large spread of options to choose from along with an amazing dessert bar.

Later in the night, we had a guest speaker who was an OSU MAcc Alum come to talk to us about her experience in the MAcc program and her career thus far. It was great hearing from someone who has been through what we are facing right now and hear about her experiences. Overall it was a great evening. Not only did I get to be with MAcc students and professors, but also got a free dinner which is always appreciated.

The Best Holiday of the Season

2560
By Audrey Farber
‘Twas the night before game day, and all throughout campus,
Not a creature was stirring, not even Demetrius;
“Beat TTUN” banners were hung by the houses with care,
In hopes that a “W” soon would be there;
The buckeyes were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of pick-6’s danced in their heads;
And Urban in his white pullover, and I in my hat,
Had just settled down for a long November nap;
When out on the Oval there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But the crew from College GameDay, and students in gear.
Now Herbstreit! now, Fowler! now Howard and Corso!
On Haskins! on Campbell! on Dobbins and Dixon!
We sprang to the Shoe, to the teams gave a whistle,
And away we outplayed them with our might and our hustle.
I heard Urban exclaim, ere he drove out of sight –
“Happy Game Day to all, and to all a good night!”

Storming the field after beating Michigan 2018!

Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Ohio State Buckeye fans celebrate the best holiday of the year from near and far: The Ohio State vs. Michigan game day! This was the third rivalry game I have attended since my freshman year of college, and every game beats the last. Traditionally, everyone brings Thanksgiving leftovers to early morning tailgates before the noon game. It is one of my favorite days of the year, and I felt lucky to spend this one with my fellow MAcc friends! Happy Holidays and 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!

Surviving the Winter Season: Tips from a Michigan Native

It is the end of November and we all know what that means…

It wouldn’t be the holiday season in the Midwest without the expectation of a snowy, winter wonderland. Having lived in Michigan my entire life, I’ve had my fair share of cold, unpredictable weather. Since the Fisher College of Business has a diverse body of students from all regions of domestic and international areas, I thought I would share my tips for conquering the winter season.

Outerwear: My go-to outdoor ensemble consists of a parka (long winter down coat with hood), snow boots paired with fuzzy socks, and gloves. Additional options include a scarf and hat for added warmth or upgrading to a pair of texting gloves which offer the convenience of texting on your phone screen without having to take the gloves off in the cold.

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Layers, layers, layers: Nothing is more uncomfortable than walking into a building with a bundle of clothing on and immediately feeling overheated as you walk up the stairs. I encourage wearing layers to easily be able to adjust to any temperature inside or out.

Hydrate & Moisturize: The cold weather can have adverse effects on the body and skin so it is important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids to avoid getting sick. Keep your favorite drink hot or cold throughout the day with an insulated travel mug. Other items to keep handy that will help you stay moisturized include chapstick and hand lotion.

Imagehttps://www.pinterest.com/shjolly/snowman-love/ result for snowman

Plan Ahead: To avoid being late to class or work, check the weather the night before so you’ll know what to expect the following morning. Don’t get stuck brushing snow or scraping ice off our vehicle with your sleeve and make sure have an ice scraper/snow brush handy.

Enjoy it!: Last but not least, embrace the outdoor activities that come with the snowfall. Go sledding, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or ice skate with your family and friends!

Whether you love or hate the winter weather I hope these tips prepare you for the upcoming season!