Need a Study Break? Volunteer!

Feel like you’re swimming in notes, practice problems, and formula sheets?  That’s certainly how I feel when the end of the term rolls around and I start to look over everything we’ve learned over the past seven weeks in the MAcc program.

In all honesty, we’re given plenty of time to study for our finals.  Enough time, in fact, that twenty of us MAccers took a break on Thursday to volunteer at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.  We wrapped up a holiday season canned food drive by packing a total of 647 boxes of food for the CSFP program.  The food bank’s Commodity-Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides a monthly box of nutritious food to low-income seniors.

A great place to do some community service!

After community service, I wrapped up the week with all of my friends at the MAcc Autumn reception.  We enjoyed dinner with Fisher faculty and staff, which was followed by a keynote speech by MAcc alumnus Jeff Howard and the recognition of two autumn graduates of our program.  It was an especially nice way to end the semester and see classmates and faculty before leaving town over break.

My apologies for the short post, but it’s back to studying for me.  After finals, I’ll be traveling to London, Paris, and Nuremberg, Germany, so no worries – there are many exciting posts to come!!

Finals week – survival tips

This one goes out to all of my MAcc classmates…

First of all, let me say that I CANNOT believe this is the last week of classes for the first term of the MAcc program.  The past seven weeks have flown by, and now it’s time for finals.  So for now, here are some tips to succeed this week:

1.  Remain calm – you will study much more efficiently if you’re not thinking about every class, scheduling for next term, when you’re going to sleep, etc.  I find it best to list out what I need to study or practice for each course and then create a schedule I can follow easily.

2.  Get comfortable – but not too comfortable!  Set up some place where you won’t be distracted and you can sit undisturbed for a generous length of time.  That being said, I would not suggest bundling up in bed and attempting to read anything on a Sunday afternoon.  That only resulted in a wasteful, albeit enjoyable, nap.

3.  Review, don’t re-do.  Theoretically, it should be easier to go through notes and examples now that we’ve been over them once in class.  For example, don’t spend hours recalculating every number from every case in Financial Reporting, one of the autumn term 1 core courses.  Review each of the topics and focus on the ones you don’t understand.

4.  Ask for help!  It’s not too late to reach out to your professors or classmates.  Each one of the MAcc faculty members is very understanding and will make themselves available to help you.  Study groups are also a great way to prepare for finals.  Chances are you’re not the only student who needs help with a problem and studying in a group also makes it more likely that someone else will know the answer.  It’s not a bad idea to reserve a room in Gerlach or Mason for some group study time.

At this point, we’ve all been through this before as undergrads.  Finals aren’t anything new, but we seem to be stressed out each time finals week rolls around.  So for now, don’t stress, study for a few days, and before you know it we’ll all be celebrating the completion of our first term as MAcc students!

The end (of the quarter) is near!

We have finally reached the end of the quarter!  It’s the time when classes are wrapping up and finals are near.  Whether you have a final paper, project or exam, here are a few tips to get you through the next couple of weeks.

  1. Back to the lists.  Make a list of everything you have due, the requirements and the deadlines.  It’s easy to forget something for a class when things are due and sometimes a final for the class might not be at the same time as your regular class.
  2. If you have a final paper(s), ask someone to proof your writing.  As it’s getting down to the end of the quarter, your writing might not be as strong as it was at the beginning, so find a friend to proof your paper.
  3. If you have exams, study…then study some more.  Figure out your best means of studying and go at it.  If you have multiple exams, study for one for a time frame, then take a short break and study for the other.
  4. If you have an open book/note exam, be organized.  Flag chapters or important material and highlight relevant terms in your book/notes for easy reference in the exam.  Time is valuable.
  5. Set the DVR for the next couple of weeks.  You will have plenty of time after finals to catch up on television shows, but for now, focus on improving your final grade.
  6. Do not check Facebook while you are studying.  A quick look inevitably takes 10-15 minutes.
  7. Sleep and food are important.  Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a good meal before an exam are two keys to help your focus and concentration.  You do not want to be the person with your stomach growing all through an exam.

Good luck on your last week of classes and finals!

Finals week (winter 2011)

It’s finals week. My initial reaction is to cringe. Forget that some classes effectively differentiate on this one exam. Forget that the reward of an entire quarter’s worth of effort may hinge upon a couple hours. Heck, you can even forget the fact that you’ll be studying ridiculous amounts of time just to combat the cascading effects of relative grading. I think I cringe because I won’t be in class learning interesting ideas and working with some of the best friends I’ve come to know and respect.

Take, for instance, my financial statement analysis class; group work was a considerable portion of the curriculum. Besides learning a great deal about how financial analysts approach stock valuation (fascinating stuff, in my opinion), I was able to learn with some of the best minds the accounting program attracted this year. I cannot say enough to express how impressed and lucky I was to work with them. Professor Van Buskirk truly wants students to understand the material and it’s reflected in his actions and teaching style. Finally, the multifarious backgrounds of the students in the class (accountants were in the minority) added value and insight to the study. I will genuinely miss the dividends I receive from my undoubtedly meager contributions to this class.

For those of you who are future MAcc buckeyes, you will no doubt have the pleasure of getting to learn from Professor Arya in his required (rightfully so) accounting foundations class. I’m sure most share my sentiments when I state that the class expands the student’s understanding to new horizons. The class also involves a good deal of group work and I was able to once again glean far more than I could impart. My group members were reliable and always had a spring in their step.

Finals week takes that away. My greatest consolation is that after a week of (spring) breaking, I will have the opportunity to do it all over again. Here’s to wishful thinking!

It’s Time to Get Cleaning, I Mean Studying!

There’s a spot on the wall I haven’t seen before and a disorganized drawer in the bathroom. The coasters need scrubbed and the ironing needs finished. The chicken coop isn’t looking real inviting either. All of this can only mean one thing: It’s finals time! Ugh.

In an undergrad galaxy far far away I started cleaning my apartment to distract myself from studying for finals. It was productive and necessary, so it really wasn’t procrastination, right? My roommate and I would tidy everything. We still joke about it today whenever there is something we don’t want to do. She’s a teacher now, so sometimes she prefers grout work to grading papers. Speaking of which…I think the bathroom tile needs to sparkle. Besides, I’ll be hosting a big family get together in a few weeks. No time like the present to get cleaning!

On the plus side, studying has begun, no matter how much I would rather have my wisdom teeth pulled while still wide awake (yeah, I did that!) or spend the weekend washing dog cages with my toothbrush. Surely in these modern times there is an alternative to finals as a means of evaluation. Whenever I start grousing around like this, I try to think of children who will never have access to higher education and the limited opportunities of my grandmothers. How can I really pout and whimper about studying? It sounds so pitiful.

So as I clean, er, study, I will keep the end of the quarter in sight. One quarter of grad school is nearly finished, and that’s a great feeling. Now quick, someone do something about this little dust bunny that’s been hiding in the corner! (No animals were actually harmed in the creation of this dust bunny, although she is requesting a cleaner cage!)

Happy Holidays everyone!

Hard to believe … quarter 4 of 6 is almost over!

It’s the last week of classes again… it’s pretty astonishing to think that this is the fourth time our class has finished a quarter!

I remember listening to the second year students last year – they promised that the second year of the program was easier than the first. After the first quarter of my second year, I’m pretty sure they were all playing a trick on us – it hasn’t gotten much easier!

In fact, time-management is even more critical now! It’s a balance of doing well in classes, performing research on companies, interviewing, making time for friends & family, and, for me at least, a fair amount of introspection.

I think it’s important for each of us to take time to be alone, and do a “health check” on ourselves. Some of the things I recommend thinking about are:

  • What are your priorities?
    • job search? grades? spending time with family? something else?
  • What are your values?
    • loyalty? honesty? integrity? earning trust? being there for people?
  • What are you NOT willing to compromise on? I find this especially critical when the job search heats up…
    • Will you work in any industry? Is corporate social responsibility important to you? Sustainability? Do you care if a company gives back to the community?
  • What drives you?
    • Money? Power? Recognition? Feeling safe and secure (cultural fit)? A personal mission?
  • How can you give back?
    • This is key… think about it… all of us are very lucky to have gotten to this stage, and I would find it very surprising if no one, at any point in time, gave you a chance or a leg up. I understand that many of us will not have the financial ability to make donations to causes right away, but I think time and effort are extremely valuable gifts.
  • What are your areas for personal growth?
    • Be honest with yourself. Are you a good friend? A good family member? Can you be relied upon? Do people feel comfortable with you? If you had to write your obituary today, what would you want it to say? What actions do you need to take, starting today, to make that happen?

Enough philosophical thoughts for the day. I wish all students the BEST of luck studying for finals, writing papers and presentations, and preparing for anything else they have coming up in the next week! You can do it.


Unexpected Surprises

I logged into Facebook this morning, just like any other morning. And as I was perusing through my typical “stalker” routine, I noticed that the Fisher MLHR page had a link advertising the MLHR students’ blogs! After my initial excitement that we were being publicized, I clicked on the link and noticed my latest blog was the first to pop up. And not only that, but I had TWO comments! That’s pretty exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had comments before, but most of the time, it’s only one comment per blog, and typically happens about a month after I write. These comments were within 27 hours of my blog being posted. That’s pretty awesome. A shoutout to Urmi and Amelia for writing such wonderful notes.

Last night marked the completion of our Compensation course. Thank goodness. I’m pretty sure if I had put one more hour into my studying I could have done better, but I’ve done really well in all of my projects and exams in that class so far, so I could stand to have a few points deducted. At least my slacking wasn’t due to doing unimportant stuff. Working two jobs, packing for the big move and finishing everything for the wedding is taking a toll on my time allotment. But the countdown continues to the end of my first year in graduate school. All that I have left are 1 class, 2 papers due (one is done, minus final edits, the other is 3/4 of the way done) and one final. I still have to email some poor professor and sucker them into being my internship advisor. I may wait for that requirement for Winter quarter because my boss at GE said that it will probably carry through into the fall. And, I already have enough courses on my plate for the fall.

So, straw vote. With my internship and graduate assistantship, there’s no way I can take both electives I’ve signed up for. I already have one of my elective credits, so I only need one more in the fall. I need help deciding which one to drop.

The first, MHR 869: Strategic Management of Human Assets.

  • Description – Acquaint students with theory and research regarding teamwork and leadership, and apply concepts to enhance understanding/build skills in team leadership, membership, change and follower-ship.
  • Positives – really goes along with what I want to do later in life (convince people the company really does care about them, train and develop them, and hire the right people for the job); the professor is apparently really awesome; I had to beg and plead my way into the class; no exams, just papers and projects; It’s on the same days as my 2 night classes, so I would only have to drive into campus twice a week.
  • Negatives – Well, it’s two days a week, in the early middle of the day, so I wouldn’t be able to work as much, or my work at MSE would be really choppy.

The second, MHR 870: The Business of College Sports.

  • Description – Course provides business analysis of intercollegiate athletics, including an in depth look at OSU athletic program; develop understanding or college sports administration, educational, business missions.
  • Positives – It’s with Gene Smith! The OSU Athletics Director!; It’s at 8:00 in the morning, so I could work all day, without interruption; no exams, just a paper or two and a project; all of the people who have taken it say it’s a lot of fun, really relaxed and you learn a lot; Jaimie’s in the class; Gene Smith teaches it!
  • Negatives – It’s at 8:00 in the morning and I live 20 minutes away; It’s on opposite days as my night classes; It doesn’t really have that much to do with what I want to do in life.

So…do I take the class that’s bound to be more fun, and I’ll learn a lot of unrelated knowledge from? Or do I take the class which is probably more applicable to my future, but will be a lot more work in an already shaping out to be very busy quarter? Help!

Happy Thursday to you all, and for all of the business students, Happy Weekend, because we don’t have classes on Fridays! Good luck studying for finals!

Counting Down

Well, the school year is almost finished. I almost feel like I’m in high school or even elementary anxiously anticipating the summer so that I would be done with school and also to have a blast during the summer. This summer looks to be a lot of fun, possibly stressful along the way, but enjoyable none-the-less.

There are 5 actual class days left. Two of them are finals, then there’s a final during finals week. It’s hard to believe. It’s been such a stressful quarter, and I can’t wait until it’s over.

Here’s a brief picture at what my summer looks like:

  • Continue working at CMS
  • Continue working at MSE for my GAA
  • Start working at GE! (Official internship announcement!)
  • Get married
  • Go on honeymoon
  • Go to Denver to see Benjamin present at a national conference
  • Go to 4-H camp as a dean
  • Relax at the State Fair instead of having to work the whole time
  • Visit the Hartford Fair
  • Drive to Washington D.C. to see the Hope Diamond and the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond
  • See Wicked for the 3rd time

All in 2 1/2 months, and then school starts again. Geez.

Tonight is my group’s presentation for our compensation class. I’m looking forward to it being completed. I just need to write my portion of the paper which is due next week. And, I also have to write my portion of the paper for 854, which is also due next week. It’s my project for tonight during presentations and also tomorrow before class. I’ll be hard pressed for time this weekend because on Saturday we’re having an assembly day for all of the favors, centerpieces, etc for the wedding. Sunday is Benjamin’s sister’s senior recital.

For now, time to continue working. Hope everyone has a great day out in the sun. Don’t overheat.

Oh, and our engagement pictures were finally posted online. Here’s one of my favorites so far. More to come!

Oh yeah...mad monkey bar skills!

And then there was one

Slight digression before my ramblings even begin, but when I was in London 5 years ago, I saw a slew of theatrical productions and one of them was “And Then There Were None”. This may or may not be where I got my title, but none-the-less, it was really interesting to see a ‘suspense-thriller’ on stage.

Anyway, I have one final left. Woot. And, I only have one paper left to write, then it’s freedom for two weeks. Well, at least freedom from course work. My psychology class shaped out to be the easiest – I have a perfect 100% in that class, and even if I hadn’t turned in my final paper, I still would have received an A. But being the perfectionist that I am, I needed to get that perfect grade. After the stress of last quarter, it’s nice to know that all of the extra hard work I put in for this quarter has so far turned out to be 2 A’s. The other two are still up for grabs, but I’m expecting an A- and a B+. We’ll see if I can pull out an A- for both.

Spring break should be nice and relaxing. I’m spending most of it in Michigan with my fiance. Friday will be an intensive “nothing but wedding planning” day with my mother who has taken the day off of work. And, after all the hard work we put in on Friday, Saturday we’re getting manicures. It’s a long overdue Mother’s Day gift from two years ago which my mom has yet to use. I’ve only had one manicure in my life, so it will be good to start getting my nails in shape for the wedding.

And finally, since the picture is getting so much publicity on Facebook, I figured I would add it for a little bit of pre-finals humor to lighten everyone’s day. The picture is me with a spartan helmet I made for my fiance who, since he is an MSU spartan, and loves to sword fight with his little brother (nerf swords, not real ones), loves it very much.

Happy studying! Oh and Go Buckeyes! Way to pull out the Big Ten Championships with both men’s and women’s basketball teams. Good luck in the NCAA tournaments!

Sweet helmet, no?

Moving Up in the World

Today in my inbox, I received the reports about the ‘My Fisher Grad Life’ web analytics. As a semi-pro math geek, I find all of these statistics fascinating. Not to mention, I like to see where my blogs lie in the whole scheme of things. On the first ‘top content’ report, I was on page 5 of 14, with only 12 views to my author page. Now, for February, I am towards the top of page 2 of 10, with 52 views. Woot! Moving up. Hopefully by the end of my blogging, I’ll be towards the top. Thank you to all of my readers who continue to boost my standings.

In other news, it is my fiance’s spring break. He is home in Columbus and able to enjoy the beautiful weather, while I must sit and work on my 2 presentations, 1 paper, complete my take-home final, and study for my last two finals. T-minus 12 weeks when I complete my annual “spring quarter finals studying in the park”. It has been a tradition of mine since freshman year to study in Antrim Park off of Olentangy, north of Bethel Road. And, also a tradition for me to completely burn because I study longer than my sunscreen lasts. This year, however, there will be careful application of sunscreen, because my wedding is a few weeks after finals, and there can be absolutely no tan lines. If anyone foresees in their future the want to study with me in the gorgeous weather by a lake, you are more than welcome to do so. I recommend bringing a towel, sunglasses and an MP3 player.

I had an interview this morning for a graduate assistantship. There are 6 GAs in the center I would be working for: 2 business, 2 statistics, 1 psychology and 1 economics. I had the chance to spread my “I’m a psychology nerd” wings this morning, which I haven’t done in a while. It felt really good to talk about what my passions are and what in psychology encouraged me to step into the Human Resources field. I don’t know if I’ll get the position, because it’s geared towards MBAs, but here’s to hoping I have enough of a tri-fecta to pull it off!

Monday is almost over, and by 7:00, I’ll have one of my presentations done and over with. Yay for that. Have a great afternoon everyone!