A little about me

Hello everyone!

My name is Jayaprabha and I’m a SMF student at the Fisher College of Business. I’m from Pune, India. It’s a beautiful city in western India. And it is also known as “Oxford of the East!”

With this post, I’ll begin my adventure as Fisher Grad Life Blogger!

My educational background

I did my undergraduate study in Ayurvedic Medicine. If you have ever heard of yoga, it’s a part of Ayurveda! You might be wondering if I did my undergrad in some kind of medicine then what am I doing in finance? It’s an interesting story to share.

While working as a clinical assistant to a rheumatologist in India, the clinic organized an international rheumatology conference where we managed everything from guest reception to research paper presentation. I enjoyed it a lot and after some time decided to pursue a program in management. I always had passion for equities and used to invest in stocks. This was one of the major factors behind my decision to choose finance as a specialization.

After my MBA, I worked for three years as an Equity Research Analyst covering pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry. While working I passed passed level I and level II exams of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Two years ago, I moved to the US to accompany my husband.

How did I select the Fisher College of Business?

So many of you might wonder, if I’m already MBA and pursuing CFA, what am I doing in the SMF program? After moving to the US, I decided to experience the American education system. I spent some time researching universities. And I found The Ohio State University during my research! I noticed that it is a highly ranked university with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) recognized SMF course. The 10-month course sounded rigorous and exactly something I was looking for. I liked the course curriculum, flexibility and the four different tracks offered by the program and here I’m!

My first football game

I attended my first football game on Saturday, September 8. Although it was raining, it was fun to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes Football vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights game. I really enjoyed it!

I like traveling, cooking and hiking. I hope to explore Columbus more and share my experiences with you!

 

My Journey to MHRM-hood

As a MHRM student, a question I get asked a lot is “What made you want to get into HR?” So, here we go.

I came to Ohio State as an undergraduate in Engineering. I had a rough couple semesters when I realized thatengineering was not for me. So I started looking into the business school, and once I finished my general courses I had to choose my specializations. My choices? Operations Management or HR.

I picked Operations Management.

And I don’t regret that one bit. It led me to the teachers who helped me realize that I wanted more. It gave me a very solid background in the inner working of an organization. I learned about efficiency, lean principles, maximizing flow through a production line, and continuous improvement. I learned so much about operations, and I really enjoyed it. But somewhere during the program, I also realized that an organization can churn out production and services at its highest efficiency, but without people, they wouldn’t be able to do any of that. People are the heart of your organization.

Me upon graduation in 2017 in front of Gerlach Hall, my home for the next two years (one left, now!)

Studying Human Resources has opened my eyes to a whole new side of organizations. HR isn’t just firing people, and we’re more than the “people employees go to if there’s a problem.” Yes, those fall under our descriptions, but as the workplace is changing, our role is becoming more strategic.

Expectations for HR professionals are leading towards knowing how to analyze and interpret data, how to lead change in the workplace, and how to combine standard business practices with HR metrics to help lead the organization to their goals. To do that well, we must know about our departments, our business, our customers, our C-Suite leaders, our culture, and our vision.

My professor, John Shaffner, once told us that “as an HR partner, you will be expected to know everyone else’s business while such a consideration will not be extended to you.” And maybe that’s the case. But I didn’t go into HR to be cared about: I went into HR to care about people—more specifically, our employees and future employees.

I love the path my education has taken me on. However, I was able to combine both facets of my education into the best profession I could ever want. But no path is the same and no story is the same. Maybe you even have your own story to share. But if you’re thinking about HR, or wondering even what a “MHRM” is, ask me, ask anyone in the program. Because maybe it could help you with your own journey.

My journey to the SMF

Hi everyone!

My name is Ferny Angeles, I’m a current SMF student and one of the Fisher Graduate Student Ambassadors. I’m excited to share my Ohio State experiences throughout this academic year with all of you. Since it will be my first time blogging, it will be quite the adventure for me but I’m up for the challenge!  In this first post I wanted to briefly introduce myself and explain how I decided to pursue the Specialized Master in Finance degree at the Fisher College of Business. I hope you guys enjoy it.

I am originally from Lima, Peru. See picture below. If you already know where Peru is located, I congratulate you for being a geography savvy!

Map of Peru from geology.com (https://geology.com/world/peru-satellite-image.shtml)

You might have heard of Macchu Picchu, the Inca Trail or Ceviche. Yes, you can find all of these in Peru!

Machu Picchu. Cuzco, Peru

So how did I end up in Columbus, Ohio, you may ask?

I came to the U.S. about five years ago to complete my bachelor’s degree. I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to play tennis at Ohio State. Attending OSU has been one of the most extraordinary and enriching experiences I’ve had so far. As a Buckeye, I have been able to meet many wonderful people from different backgrounds, develop my academic and athletic skills but also grow personally and professionally. As an international student with no family in the U.S., I found support on the extensive network and large Buckeye community that have made my time at Ohio State and Fisher truly remarkable. My teammates, coaches, classmates, OSU professors and the University staff definitely helped Columbus feel like home.

Picture of my team at Purdue, after capturing our first Big Ten Championship in program history (2016)

After graduating with a BSBA in Finance and Economics, I decided to come back to school and complete my master’s degree at OSU. Knowing that Fisher College of Business has one of the top Master of Finance programs in the nation, I felt like it was the right place for me to pursue my graduate degree. My past experience at OSU as an undergraduate encouraged me to apply and the wonderful admissions team made the process very smooth, answering many questions I had throughout the process. Believe me, I had a lot!

Picture of me, taken at the Graduation event organized by the Office of International Affairs (OIA)

It has been a month since the SMF program started, and I’m really enjoying getting to know my SMF classmates. We just completed our pre-term class, Financial Analysis and Valuation, where we went over concepts such as DCF, Relative Valuation, APV, as well as Start-Up and Private Company valuation.

Stay tuned for more about my Buckeye experience and SMF journey in the following weeks!

The days are long…

…but the years are short.

This is my last day in my second home Gerlach Hall. To be candid, I’ve been avoiding this blog post for weeks now. I sat down to write on multiple occasions only to be overcome with such nostalgia that I couldn’t ever actually begin writing.

The last two years have absolutely changed my life. I’ve learned more about the field of HR in terms of technical knowledge than I knew existed. What’s more, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever could have anticipated.

I know I’ve talked about this point for some time now, but to be explicit: I believe grad school is about so much more than classes, exams, and projects. Grad school is about pushing yourself to think in different ways. It’s about confronting the anxiety of presenting in front of 50 people. It’s about managing through the hurt of not getting that internship you thought you’d nail. It’s about sleepless nights, and not having the right answer all the time, and learning to dance in the grey area. It’s about learning to fight fair with your classmates and professors and respecting each other at the end of the day. It’s about failing small, learning from your mistakes, and remembering how to be a beginner again.

It’s about all this and so much more. But I wanted to challenge myself to choose my most meaningful learnings from my time in the Master of Human Resource Management program. Here’s my triple-distilled final list of takeaways:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. The business world is fast-moving and always changing. People move quickly and shake things up and make mistakes. Grad school has taught me that doing something is almost always better than doing nothing. Don’t know the answer? Give it a shot anyway. Don’t know how to start that paper? Just start. One of my classmates has often said: “you either succeed or you learn.” Grad school is about learning how to use your energy and effort in the direction of productivity.

Take care of yourself. What recharges you? Do that thing, and do it often. This year, even when I thought I’d run out of hours in the day, I made time to exercise–for just one hour. I knew I’d be able to think more clearly afterward. Everything that needs to get done will get done.

You get out what you put in. As I move through life, I realize that in nearly every organization, team, program, and job there are going to be two groups of people–1) those who put in discretionary effort, and 2) those who do the bare minimum. On paper, these two groups will look virtually the same. They’ll have the same credentials, degrees, and experiences, and positions, and they’ll probably have access to the same opportunities as a result. The difference is in the amount of time and care they have invested into each of these items on their resume. Did they do it to check a box or did they do it for the challenge, learning, and growth? I can tell you with confidence that merely checking boxes will catch up with those folks, so choose wisely which group you want to belong to.

How you do anything is how you do everything. Don’t wait to put your best foot forward. I run across people every day who are so engrossed in the next “thing,” and admittedly I am also guilty of such future-tripping. It was said best by MHRM class of 2017 graduate (and my good friend) Kacielife happens now. It is so easy to get caught up saying, when I nail that internship, get that job, graduate this program, get married, have a family, that is when my life will start. Try to remember your life is happening every day and all around yoube present for it.

To all my followers over the last two years, thank you for the honor. Best of luck in wherever your future endeavors take you! And to all my graduating classmateslet’s do this.

Is it Possible to Study for the CPA Exam while a Student in the MAcc Program?

Everyone will tell you something different, so here is my own take on my experience with juggling the MAcc program, CPA exam prep, and a part-time job. For reference, I am taking 8 credits this quarter (or 15 for the semester), work 10 hours a week, and study about 20-25 hours a week for the CPA. I am here to tell you, you can do it! It may take an extra cup of coffee in the morning but it is completely doable.

Hogwarts or Ohio State library?
Studying isn’t so bad when the Thompson Library reading room is this beautiful

They will tell you the program is not geared towards the CPA exam and it is not. However, you can make it align a little better for yourself. For instance, one of our first required courses is Financial Reporting. I knew this when registering for the exam and chose to study for the FAR section first. While the financial reporting class is not adding much benefit to my FAR CPA study prep, on the flip side, by studying for FAR CPA it has made my financial reporting class much clearer. We just took our first midterm and because I have been studying FASB rules and very detailed transactions for my CPA class, I had the background knowledge already drilled into my brain. This helped me so much on the midterm because if I ever got stuck I could always remember the basics, think back to my CPA class, and really think about why that transaction happened the way it did. So yes, the program is not geared towards the CPA exam, however, the material coincides pretty well.

What about finding the time to study? First of all, you should be aware that Ohio has a 150-credit hour rule to sit. This means that students hoping to sit for the Ohio CPA exam will most likely not be able to start taking the exam until they have completed the MAcc program. I am an out-of-state student, so I am able to sit at 120 hours. Each state is different. This is important to note for study groups! Because I am only able to study with a select amount of people who are also in the same boat as me, a lot of my study has to be self-disciplined. I aim to study 3-4 hours a day and if we have a football game I’ll give up my Friday nights to make up for those extra hours lost spent tailgating on Saturday. I sit for my first section of the exam in November. More to come on my study experiences as the date gets closer. Go, Buckeyes!

 

A Juggling Act

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“Work-Life balance” is a phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My first two weeks of grad school consisted of 12 hours of class, 40 hours of work, 2 career workshops, 3 informational meetings, 1 career fair and several long hours of reading (exact number unknown). I ate a lot of fast food, slept far less than the recommended daily average, and managed to wash exactly zero dishes. Let me tell you, grad school at the Fisher College of Business is no joke.

I’ve always considered juggling one of my strengths (no, not literal juggling). But by the end of the first week, I already felt myself floundering– barely treading water to stay afloat in the sea of opportunity. I found myself looking around in my classes, wondering how the heck is everyone else doing it?! How do I juggle work, school, and a social life, which are all arguably—and certainly in my opinion— components of a healthy life? Is it okay for one to win out over the others, or even more dramatically, to drop one entirely so the other two can survive? Well, I decided to ask around and collect some data.

The bad news: no one really knows how to do it. The good news: everyone is in it together.

More on the bad news:

Well, it could be more accurate (and less sourpuss) to say that the jury is out on how to best juggle the trifecta of work, school, and a social presence– and everyone has their own strategy. My advice in three simple steps:

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  1. Schedule: Have one. Plan out what needs to be done and do the things you tell yourself you’re going to do. It feels good to deliver in tangible ways and to follow-through—for yourself. In the words of a wise Morgan Hite, “there is no substitute for sanity.”
  2. Make time for the things that reinvigorate you: This is important. Spend time with people you love, have a beer with a friend, watch stand-up comedy, blast the music in your car and sing at the top of your lungs. These are a few things that help me put chaos back into perspective.
  3. Take Pleasure in the Simple Things: Even when you feel like you don’t have time. Get some fresh air, people watch on campus, enjoy the walk home from class, appreciate the full moon and the sound of summer nights while they last. Try not to rush—appreciate the transition times as much as the activities themselves.

More on the good news:

We’re in this together. I’ve known my cohort for less than three weeks, and I already feel we understand one another better than most. There’s something about being stressed together that connects people on a deeper level. I realize now that I’ve missed this feeling from undergrad.

Maybe it’s because we’re like-minded people who genuinely care about helping people become the best version of themselves (call it HR). Maybe I just lucked out in the gamble of grad school cohorts. But when I think about the last few weeks, one word dominates—grateful. I am grateful to be treading water in this sea of opportunity and wisdom that is the Fisher College of Business. It is one of the best “problems” to have.

Paraphrased from the wise Dr. Larry Inks (Clinical Associate Professor at FCOB), there’s only one thing to do with the towel of experiences that make up life—wring it out and soak ’em up.

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The Columbus Arena District

One of my favorite parts of Columbus is the Arena District, and it is located in the northwest area of downtown. The focal point is Nationwide Arena, for which the district is named. Nationwide Arena is the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL team and also the site of many big concerts. Another great concert venue in the district is The Lifestyles Community Pavilion (known as “The L.C.”). They host outdoor concerts during the spring, summer, and fall and indoors concerts year-round.

Not only is the Arena District home to Columbus’s hockey team, but it is also home to the city’s minor league baseball team, the Columbus Clippers! The AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians play at Huntington Park, and the stadium has a capacity of 10,100 fans.

The Arena District has a nice balance of buildings and nature. McFerson Commons Park (or Arch Park) is part of the Scioto Mile Parks System and is named after Dimon R. McFerson, the former Chairman and CEO of Nationwide Insurance. The Arch located in the park was recovered from Columbus’s Union Station.

For movie buffs like me, Studio Movie Grill is located in the Arena District. It is a dine-in movie theater where you can order food to be delivered to your seat at any point during the film.

In addition to being the location of many exciting Columbus sporting, musical, and cultural events, the Arena District has some of Columbus’s best restaurants. No matter what you choose to do in the Arena District, you can’t go wrong!

 

Me exploring the Arena District with my MAcc friends, Pat and Tanya
Exploring the Arena District with my MAcc friends, Pat and Tanya

 

 

 

 

 

And so it begins.. Oh wait, it began three weeks back!

 

Belay On
Belay On

 

Before I begin telling you about my experiences in the last 1 week at Fisher, I definitely would like to share some activities( Read super cool) which we did during our Pre-term program.Yeah,you read it right. PRE-TERM. At Fisher,we believe in truly in our motto ” Go Beyond”. The pre term program exposed us to various facets of the Fisher MBA- Career Management, Core courses, Leadership development opportunities, and of course, the fun ” team” exercise at Summit Vision. This was one such experience wherein you get into it with one set of expectations and you come out with a totally different set of perspectives. It helped us get out of our comfort zone, I mean literally. If you had not earlier considered dangling from a beam 50 feet above the ground as a part of your comfort zone, you would consider reframing it now.It helped us trust our team mates who were acting as the ‘belayers’ and believe me, the word ‘trust’ was definitelyredefined in my mind.During the course of 4 hours, we learned from each other’s mistakes, put aside our individual goals and collaborated as a team to see the task through the finish line. I think we cherished the outing even more because it provided us a much needed break in our hectic schedule.On a side note, I used to think my pre MBA schedule was jam packed and hectic. I am laughing at that thought now.I will leave you at that.

Fun at the Fisher Scramble

One of the greatest games ever invented is golf. There are a building2number of cheesy quotes from either Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, or Happy Gilmore once said in reference to the game. Any way you look at it, golf is the best frustrating game out there. Many of us experienced this last week at the 2014 Fisher Golf Scramble at the Golf Club of Dublin.

I love playing golf and have enjoyed the game for most of my life. For this reason, I was excited to hear that there would be a fun event for students to get together and hit some balls around the course. For me, this would be my third time playing golf since the beginning of business school (I know, where are my priorities?).

One of the best parts of the day was that the weather cooperated for the first time this year. The course was in great shape and the sun was shining. Perfect conditions for golf!

My team started off pretty well going birdie birdie on the first two holes. That’s when things changed, sort of. We double bogeyed the next hole, which was a par 3. I guess I could finish this post there because that’s about the time when you want to walk off the course in a scramble. Anyway, we kept playing and had a great time. Some how, even with a double bogey and a bogey, we came in at four under par.

One of the most memorable moments of the day was when two MBA students (who shall remain nameless) “accidentally” parked their golf cart on the green while they were putting. Needless to say, the marshal wasn’t too happy when he gave them a stern warning.

After the round everyone gathered together for awards and a nice meal. It was fun to relax and enjoy golf with friends and classmates as we wind down our time here at Fisher.

Learning From A Patagonia Executive

Two days ago I sat in one of the most impressive patagoniapresentations I have witnessed during my time here at Fisher. I was able to learn the story of success and failures of a popular American outdoor brand, Patagonia.

Vincent Stanley, the “chief story teller” for Patagonia discussed his 41 year career with the company and how he helped in growing the brand to what it is today.

I was impressed most of all with his humility and passion for profitable sustainability. He spoke of lessons he learned during failures and successes within his tenure at the company. He noted that he nearly bankrupted the company of number of times, but was fortunate that the company’s culture pulled them through tough times.

Stanley highlighted the fact that the hiring process is crucial to the company’s success. The company makes sure that new employees understand the importance of being profitable, yet sustainable. The products that Patagonia manufacture and sell to the public are high quality and priced at a premium, because the company believes in minimal waste. The hope is that customers will use the clothing for 5-10 years and then return the product to be recycled into a new article to be sold as a different product. Stanley noted that the company believes firmly in cradle to cradle sustainability.

I enjoyed not only the stories of the success, but the on-boarding steps taken to increase morale and productivity. Patagonia makes sure its employees are passionate about the outdoors. Many employees participate in a 2 month internship with a NGO. During this experience the company provides the employee with full compensation as if they were working at corporate.

It is no surprise that a company focused on selling outdoor products invests so much time, resources, and money into keeping the outdoors sustainable and beautiful. My hat’s off to this company and its impressive leadership team full of people like Vincent Stanley.