Just a quick blog post before my Thursday 8:30 AM class (BUSFIN 6221: Industry, Risk & Pricing with Prof. Brandl… I’ll probably write a post about him at some point… he’s a lot of fun in the classroom)…
Most of you may not know that I got my BS in Electrical (& Computer) Engineering from tOSU in 2002 (I put the “& Computer” in parentheses because that was a name change implemented AFTER I chose Electrical Engineering as a major… I assure you that I am not qualified to program a computer, build a computer, or fix a computer). During my time at tOSU from 1997-2002, I probably ate Adriatico’s pizza half a dozen times and never really thought it was great (though it was the favorite pizza of many of my friends at the time). Then I went about 10-12 years without having it, until last Friday, when the Fisher Graduate Finance Association (FGFA) provided Adriatico’s pizza for free at their Info Session. (Aside: If you want “college kids” to attend anything, provide food. If you feed them, they will come.) Though I love pizza, and especially free pizza, I didn’t truly appreciate Adriatico’s until recently. It was AWESOME!!!
Yesterday after class, a number of my SMF classmates and I couldn’t help but notice some tables set up out in the “quad” (I actually don’t know what the open area in the middle of all the buildings is called). There were large open boxes of pizza (again, Adriatico’s) on the tables. It was free; provided by the good folks at Ernst & Young. They also gave out free t-shirts (“I <3 EY”).
In light of all the free-food opportunities at tOSU, my classmates and I have decided to found the Fisher Finance Food Association. Do you like Finance? Yes. Do you like Food? Yes. Welcome!!!
On to class… Prof. Brandl doesn’t like technology out while he lectures. Computers and phones in their cases, or incur his wrath.
I just got back from an amazing trip to the Windy City (Chicago). Believe it or not, I actually went to Chicago for a class trip on behalf of one of my finance courses, BUSFIN 824 – The Stock Market. It is also known as the Student Investment Management (SIM) course, and it is one of the few classes in the country that puts millions of (real) dollars in the hands of student investment managers. As a class, we are responsible for managing about $22 million, currently, of the Ohio State Endowment Fund that has been allocated to the class specific SIM Portfolio. Each student in the course is responsible for monitoring one stock in the portfolio over the duration of the quarter, and at the end of the quarter, we must decide as a class on whether to buy, sell, or hold our positions in these various stocks. For example, I have been closely monitoring our position in MasterCard (MA) over this quarter and am currently in the process of writing my final report and making a final recommendation on how to change our position in MA.
These final reports are another interesting opportunity of this course in that all of the students’ reports are considered for the “Rosenfield Family Prize” at the end of the quarter. The student with the best report is awarded $2,000 and there is a $500 runner-up award to the next best report in the class. Like any good Fisher MAcc student, I enjoy submitting a good quality report just for the sake of trying my best… but $2,000 is not a bad additional motivator.
Now back to this class trip. The SIM class actually pays for the flight to Chicago (or New York, depending on the quarter). Our trip consisted of several meetings with some higher-up individuals in various finance-focused organizations throughout Chicago, including: GEM Realty Capital, Mesirow Financial, Oak Ridge Investments, and Goldman Sachs. We met with either former OSU alumni or people with ties to Ohio at each of these firms, and they shared their varying experiences and advice. We also had the great opportunity of visiting the famous Chicago Board Options Exchange, and we even had a chance to see the trading floor.
Overall it was a great and unforgettable trip to Chicago, and I just want to say thank you to all the individuals who took the time to meet with us. For any soon-to-be MAcc students reading this, I would highly recommend taking the SIM class. Keep in mind that it is a Finance MBA course, but even for those students with just an overall curiosity about the world of finance, this has been a great course. (Successful completion of the course counts as a non accounting elective toward the MAcc degree.) For more information, check out the course website here.
The second quarter is officially complete… unfortunately, so is Spring Break. Despite only having one week off (and the fact that it snowed), my spring break was a much needed escape from the hectic life of an MBA student. During my vacation, I was able to schedule two interviews; one with Cardinal Health and the other with Battelle Memorial Institute. I was also able to return home to Cincinnati for several days to spend some time with my family.
Overall, I really enjoyed my second quarter at Fisher. I actually thought the second quarter was easier to manage than the first quarter (probably because I’m use to student life). Hopefully this positive trend continues since I am planning to take some challenging courses this upcoming quarter. Those courses are International Business, Strategy, Services Marketing, and Corporate Finance.
Tomorrow is the first day of the second quarter. Christmas break was great, but I’m glad that it is over. Three weeks is a long time off and towards the end I started to feel restless.
This quarter I am taking five classes. Four are mandatory: Cost Accounting, Finance, Operations Management and Marketing. The elective that I’ll be taking is Negotiations. Even before taking a single class, I think I can say that I’ll prefer the second quarter over the first quarter classes. Marketing and Operations are two areas that I am considering as majors.
I wish I had better news to report. I am writing this blog as I watch my beloved Cincinnati Bengals get crushed by the NY Jets. Fortunately the Bengals are in the playoffs and it just so happens that they’ll be playing the Jets in Cincinnati next weekend in the first round of the playoffs. I’ll need to make sure to get all my reading done during the week so that I can return home this weekend to attend the game. Who Dey!