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!


Around the World in One Small Program

I was really looking forward to meeting all kinds of people in the MAcc program.  Reading about the program on Fisher’s website indicated that I would be working not only with students from all over the US, but all over the world.  While I definitely got these experiences to an extent in undergrad, I knew the experiences would have a much larger impact as a graduate student.  (Check out this link to see more information on our diversity)

I participated in the Fisher Connections program, so I did meet an international student right away.  By communicating through email, I was able to help this student get a feel for Columbus before he got here, and more importantly, give him some tips about OSU (e.g. ordering textbooks, etc).  Then during orientation I was introduced to so many more diverse backgrounds – and I don’t just mean geographic location anymore.

I think the most fascinating aspect of the MAcc program so far has been that we do have students from all over the world, but even the students I’ve met that studied at OSU for their undergraduate degrees, making them just like me, contribute just as much to our diversity.  Each of us has a different way of thinking about the problems we face in class, which makes classroom discussions and problem sets incredibly fascinating.  There are so many creative solutions flying around that you forget there’s only a handful of people in the room.

Thinking about these creative solutions made me realize what I wanted to write about this week: MAcc council elections.  We recently elected our President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Social Chair.  These four individuals will be responsible for ensuring that we MAcc students get the most that we possibly can out of our year here.  They will help us bond with one another, learn from outside speakers, and give back to our community.

There were numerous candidates for the four positions, and I can honestly say each and everyone candidate was more than qualified.  During their candidacy speeches, we were given the opportunity to listen to their fantastic thoughts and plans for creating an incredible year.  I was so fascinated by the diversity of ideas, and by how different each candidate’s background was!  Everything I had heard and read about the diversity of the MAcc program came true in that short hour of speeches.

In the end, only four officers were elected and I know that they will do a fantastic job.  Like I said earlier, every candidate would have been incredibly successful and I am sure will continue to contribute their great ideas in other ways.

So – the MAcc program here is a great way to meet all kinds of people.  You will be introduced to those that think the opposite of what you are thinking, those that are from the other side of the world, and even those that could almost be your twin.  You will be given the opportunity to work with these individuals and learn from them.  You will be given opportunities to lead teams of these students and there will be times you will follow.  Most importantly, you will develop relationships with a variety of people, not only making your year in the program a ton of fun, but helping your professional network expand.

A Whole New World

During my military career, I was afforded many opportunities to travel abroad to several foreign countries.  My most memorable overseas trip was traveling to Germany.  At the time I was 19 years old,  fresh out of basic training and ready to see every inch of this planet as I could.  So, as luck may have it, I got the opportunity to do a 3 week stint in Germany.  I was ecstatic!  It was my first “official” overseas trip and I couldn’t wait to see all that Germany had to offer.

Now, I must remind you, fellow readers, I was 19.  I guess I could’ve been excited about the fact that I would be walking around the famous Nuremberg City Walls, touring St. Peter’s Church Cathedral in Munich or even renting a sports car and going bananas on the Autobahn for a while.  But what really excited me was the fact that I was able to, shall we say, “sample”  all the fine German beer I wanted to…legally.  I’m not sure I would classify this as a “dream come true”, but in my little world at the time, I thought it to be quite an accomplishment.  So, I lined my pockets with Deutsche Marks (that was the currency type at the time) and made sure that while I was touring Germany I hit every local pub I could, making the most of my so-called 3 weeks of  legality.

The most interesting part of my Germany trip was being able to interact with an entirely different culture.  Up to that point, I spent my entire life growing up on the rolling plains of South Dakota.  I had never been outside of the USA, let alone in a foreign country were I now was considered the minority.  I had a blast sitting down at local restaurants in various German cities ordering food I have never eaten before.  The German locals were very accommodating and did their best to interact with the “American Tourist”.  At times, I almost felt they were more excited to interact with me than I was them.  The locals would always try to practice their English with me – which is what I found hilariously interesting.  The most eager participants were the  local pub owners.  They were always trying to learn the simple English phrases and, at any opportunity, learn our trendy “slang”.  If my memory serves me correctly, I think it at the time it was trendy (at least in Germany) to say Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” or something ridiculous like that.  I was astonished to find out that they were big on American TV programs and they all loved MTV and Hollywood.  All in all, I had a great time connecting with someone half a world apart that I barely knew anything about.

This experience taught me at an early age how important it is to connect with other people form different cultures, countries, ethnicity groups and backgrounds.  I learned how much we as human beings all have in common, no matter where we come from or what geographical distances separate us.

FAST FORWARD……After a late night of statistics class, some of the MLHR class decided to journey across the street to the Varsity Club (VC)  for a time of “socializing”.  I knew this would be a great opportunity to connect with my classmates and also it would give us all a chance to wind down after 4 hours of classroom fun.  While at the VC, I got a chance to interact with a lot of our international classmates.  I had such a great time talking with them and learning about their first experiences in the US.  Listening to all of them say they like it in the US and how friendly everyone has been to them was very rewarding.  Sitting in that booth on Thursday night reminded me a lot of my first time in a foreign country.  Thinking back, I am so glad that people I didn’t know very well (ha, that being local pub owners) took the time to make me feel welcome in their home country and took a genuine interest in me even though I was just passing through for 3 weeks.

I am glad I got an opportunity to meet our international classmates.  It was fun laughing and letting them share their thoughts, feelings and experiences so far at Ohio State University.   I am sure it, as it was for me, a whole new eye-opening experience which, at times, can seem overwhelming.  I am glad as an MLHR class we have made our international students feel welcome and a part of the Fisher College of Business academic family.  I challenge everyone to get to know their fellow international classmates.  Trust me, you’ll have a lot more in common with them than you think…and you’ll have a lot of fun as well.