How to Love Your Time at OSU

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I absolutely loved my three years of undergraduate course work here at The Ohio State University.  I was very much in the work hard, play hard mindset and think this really paid off for me.  I tried to take advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities made available to me, both academically and otherwise.  However, I don’t think I fully appreciated my time on campus until this past summer, when I had an internship with PwC (this was, for example, one of the great opportunities OSU made available to me).

My experiences with PwC were incredible.  I worked in assurance, and was lucky enough to work on Hirtle Callaghan & Co (a mutual fund), Mettler Toledo (scale manufacturing), The Ohio State University, and Abercrombie & Fitch.  I got to see so many different industries and really figure out what interested me the most.  PwC also did an incredible job of throwing me into the meat of the work so I could really appreciate what a day in the life of a full time auditor looks like.

Needless to say, I worked auditor hours, which are a little bit different than student hours.  This had its pros and cons, but more than anything was just something different to get used to.  The internship also carried a completely different stress than being a student.  Again, pros and cons but mostly just different.  The biggest difference?  At PwC I was getting paid for my hard work, while at OSU I am paying for it.  But one parallel I was definitely able to draw was the work hard, play hard attitude.  It appears as though this never disappears, so master it early!

This all has a point I’m trying to make, I promise.

While I loved working for PwC and being a contributing member of society, it is an incredibly different experience than what I had during school.  Once I graduate, I’ll be able to work and live in the real world for (hopefully) 35+ years.  Depending on the route you take for college, you get 4-6 years.  During those 4-6 years, its far too easy to get caught up in the rush of things and really miss out.  I’m not saying grades and studies aren’t important – I’m just saying relax and make the most of your time.  The recruiters will appreciate you making the most of your time in college, especially as you master the work hard, play hard balance.

So, as I get ready to begin working at JP Morgan in internal audit, I’m again ready to practice my work hard-play hard skills.  I really have loved every minute at Ohio State, but I’m very ready for the next step.  Ohio State (and the MAcc program in particular) has prepared me so well for what is to come, and I am eager to explore this “real world”.

Thanks to all of you who have followed my thoughts throughout the year – I hope you found them entertaining, quirky, but most of all, helpful and informative!  I really can’t speak highly enough of the MAcc program, and hope you will consider applying.  If you’re already admitted and will be here in autumn 2012, allow me to congratulate you and I wish you the best of luck during the upcoming year.  Don’t be afraid to take chances and explore all of what Fisher can offer – you’ll have a great experience.

New Years Resolutions

Last year I had a long list of resolutions for 2009, thirteen to be exact:
1. Earn straight A’s in Winter 2009, Spring 2009 and Autumn 2009 quarters
2. Get a summer internship in human capital consulting
3. Have a consulting job offer in hand by the end of the year
4. Take 1st place in a national case competition
5. Become president of at least one Fisher College student organization
6. Create from scratch five new things to make the Fisher College a better place (new programs, classes, events, workshops, organizations, ideas, etc…)
7. Take the whole year off from drinking any alcohol
8. Teach yoga again regularly, starting in Winter quarter
9. Get back to a daily personal yoga practice
10. Get to bed by 10pm every night
11. Learn how to do a standing back flip
12. Get back down to 215 lbs
13. Learn Japanese again

Looking back at them, I only accomplished a handful of them (which D-Day loves reminding me), but they were such stretch goals that I still had an amazing year with some great personal and professional accomplishments.

This year I just have one resolution:
1. Achieve balance.

This past year I found myself a little out of balance at times from a number of things, especially this past autumn quarter. Some of these inner struggles included:
Living on a student budget vs. Enjoying life
Going out with friends vs. Getting enough sleep
Taking the lead on projects and groups vs. Not spreading oneself too thin
Getting good grades vs. Trying to find a job/internship
Having time alone vs. Spending time with loved ones
Doing anything on the weekend during autumn quarter vs. Football
Reading for pleasure vs. Reading hundreds of pages a week for class
Eating healthy vs. Enjoying food and drink

The MBA program (and life for that matter) is a constant optimization game. In b-school, the most valuable resource is time, and there is never enough to do all of the things that you’d like to do to the fullest (sleep, go to class, study, work on group projects, participate in or lead student organizations, perform a career search, exercise, go out with friends, spend time with loved ones, travel, go to football games, attend professional development events, etc…).

In 2010, I’m just going to work very hard on balancing everything in my life. No lofty achievement-oriented goals this year, just balance, harmony and contentment.

See you on the middle path,

Mike ^_^

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Fulghum (author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)