What’s Up, World?

Hello there,

My name is Brett Hornung and I am a Specialized Master in Finance Candidate at Fisher, with a focus on Corporate Finance. I am one of the Graduate Ambassadors this year for the SMF program and will be blogging throughout the year to give you all some insight into what goes on in the world of an SMF student. In the meantime, here is my story.

A picture of me as part of an introduction to who I am.
This is me, the man behind the blog posts.

A couple of random fun facts to start it off:

  • My career goal is to be an Investment Banker.
  • Go Browns, Go Tribe, Go Cavs. Go anything Cleveland really.
  • My favorite type of food is steak.
  • I speak Mandarin at an intermediate level and have been to over 10 cities within China.
  • I enjoy outdoor concerts, (of most genres) with my favorite being EDM, and my favorite artist being Flume.

Born and raised on the West side of Cleveland, OH in the beautiful town of Westlake. Ended up attending St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland and ultimately choosing Marquette for my undergraduate studies. At Marquette, I double-majored in International Affairs & Political Science, and double-minored in Economics & Asian Studies. In addition, I also played NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse for the inaugural team, and last year we won the Big East Championship, so, as you could imagine that was a great way to cap off my undergraduate career.

This is me with the trophy after we won the Big East.
This is me with the trophy after we won the Big East.


When I realized I was interested in graduate school, specifically programs revolving around finance, Ohio State was a natural choice. My older brother was a 5-year student of Fisher, my best friends all went to Fisher, and I had only heard great things about the place. In addition, I had probably visited a million times at this point and knew the campus as well as I had known Marquette’s. So, when I received the offer to come and enroll as a member of the class of 2017, I knew it was the place for me to be.

Since our program starts in the first week of August, I have been on campus for about a month now and have been loving every aspect of it. Classes and professors are interesting, the weather on campus is beautiful, and the people I have met so far have been awesome. Really am looking forward to the next 8 months as a Buckeye, especially with the start of football season upon us. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more posts of mine throughout the year. Take it easy.

Finish Out Strong

For the last couple of weeks, I have had to be “on guard” against the temptations to shirk (Thank you, Prof. Chuck S. ) my graduate student responsibilities.  For the most part, the weather has been cooperative at best — cooperatively trying to lure me into postponing some of my final papers and presentations in order to indulge in some short-term fun in the sun now that the swimming pool at my apartment building is open :/ Amidst all the lures of life, the last two weeks have sweetly and politely reminded me of this one thing:  I am not done…yet.
Like any graduate student at this time, I have contracted an acute case of GMTHOH-itis.  For those of you who aren’t terribly astute, here is the more pedestrian exegesis:  Get-Me-The-Heck-Outta-Here-itis. As much as I “want” to be done with spring quarter, I must come to terms with the fact that I am not.  Despite my course workload being easy, it still can be tempting for anyone (even yours truly) to avoid, dodge, duck, cheat, evade, eschew, elude, skulk, malinger, slough, sneak, snake and/or pussyfoot the last leg of the race we call graduate school.
So while I cut this blog short in order to attend to my graduate student responsibilities, let’s remember to finish the final two weeks of graduate school out strong!

Oh Hey There Grad School

So I just completed my first week as a grad student (CRAZY!) and, my oh my, it  has been different from my typical first day of school in college.  I did my undergraduate career at Ohio State and the first day of fall quarter always starts on Wednesday (well, it does while OSU is still have the quarter system).  I normally only had class 2-3 days of week, so basically the first week of class meant “Syllabus Week,” aka not even buying books until the following Monday.  I have tried to be a little more prepared for graduate school, so I have all my books except one (because apparently my address doesn’t exist to the shipper).  I even bought a netbook, so that I can have something smaller to carry around with me to take notes in class!

So I will make a few highlights of this first week:


BOOT CAMP.  I mean MLHR Career Boot Camp (I’m not the “drudging through trenches” kind of person).  It was a long day but EXTREMELY informative. One of the companies recruiting Fisher MLHR students sent each participating MLHR student a box of goodies (it actually looked like a happy meal box from McDonald’s sans any color or art or food).  Inside there was a notebook, a fancy pen, and a SWANKY flash drive.  There was also a note that basically invited us to look into interning or working for the company.  This was still two days before class and companies are putting work into recruiting me and my classmates.

A variety of HR professionals came in to speak about the field which was a very excellent opportunity to network and rub elbows to get future internships.

The entire program was great, but the end of the day was my favorite part (no, not because I wanted to be done).  Near the end of the bootcamp, there was a panel of 2nd-year MLHR students to talk about their experiences with class and their internships.  I was RELIEVED for two reasons.

1) Recruiters know that many people in our program do not have that much HR experience, and are looking for a lot of leadership experience (thankfully I have both).  One of the recruiters even said that even though they have been talking to semester schools, they don’t even start sending out offers to those students until they have had the chance to interview with us (AWESOME).

2) When we had orientation, I believe one of the speakers said that 2/3 of recruiters are done hiring for their summer internships MID-NOVEMBER.  Since then I have been on a light to medium simmer freak-out since then.  I was SO RELIEVED that of all the panel members present, the earliest that one of them had secured their internship was in January.  Many received them in March and some not even until June.  I mean I definitely don’t want to have to wait that long, but I was afraid I was going to be weeping at the Thanksgiving table because I didn’t have an internship to complete the requirements of my program in order to graduate.

The last part of the bootcamp was the mock interview which was very helpful.  I got good advice on my strengths and weaknesses (which I had in the back of my head always thought of and now I’m glad a career coach finally confirmed them to me).

It was a great day, and I’m glad Steve (the MLHR career services director) let me in (even past the date one was supposed to sign up/RSVP).


I was just about to leave work to go to class (because I’m going to try to be 10  minutes early rather than late like I was in undergrad this time around) and it started to rain hard and tornado sirens started to go off.  Now every Wednesday, at least in Columbus, they check the tornado sirens and they go off anywhere from 10am-noon.  But it was like 5:25 pm.  I was like “Great.  My first grad class and I’m going to be soggy and be swept away by some crazy cloud.”  Lucky, neither of those happened.  Class started at 6.  Class got out 35 minutes later.  I was so happy that we actually had a Syllabus Day (I thought those would have been over by now).  But believe me, as soon as I got home I started getting to work on the 102 pages of reading due the next week.  I have broken it down so that I only have to do 15 pages a day which isn’t so bad…but it is the history of Industrial Relations.  History is really not the bees knees for me.  I actually started blogging because my mind started to wander as I was reading.  I’ll get through it though.


That was business stats.  Let me tell you.  I had to use Freshmen Forgiveness for Algebra and Trig, and I passed regular stats with a C (not a fan of those).  I’m hoping that since this is business stats (something that I will actually be able to apply to future coursework and my career) and not just regular stats (something I am forced to take to meet a GEC requirement and get into my undergraduate program) that I will like it better.  The first day wasn’t that bad.  Professor Ven-kat  Ben-da-Pudi (venn*cat, ben*duh*poo*dee) is really nice.  I spell his name out like that because he randomly picked me as the person to help the entire class learn how to pronounce his name right.  “He’s such a good leader.”….points for me YES.  He lectured for about 2 hours. When we were done with the notes he asked the class if it was okay for him to go on to the second chapter…there was just silence.  I thought he was joking until he kept lecturing, but then he let us out 3 minutes later.  We got out around 9:05ish so I was so glad that I could get home in time to watch Jersey Shore.

This week has been pretty low-key.  I am not going to say it has been easy.  I am not going to say it has been hard.  I am just managing graduate school, but so far I have no complaints!