Posts Tagged 'MAcc'



Got Cabin Fever? Hit the Gym!

We’re just four weeks into the first term of spring semester, and I’m already longing for spring break!  Midterms are coming up next week, and I’m itching to do something other than sit in class or study at home.  I’ve found a great way to escape this cold weather by hitting the RPAC!  Here are some of the great amenities this workout facility has to offer:

  • Cardio Canyon – a ton of treadmills, ellypticals, and bikes
  • Countless basketball courts (they’re literally stacked on top of each other)
    • also used for volleyball, badminton, and cardio classes
  • 10 racquetball courts
  • 4 squash courts
  • Four-lane jogging/walking track
  • Weights, weights, and more weights (I avoid these areas, but I assume they have anything and everything)
  • Lap pools

A beautiful shot of the RPAC at nighttime!

This is by far one of my favorite buildings on campus, but there are plenty of other workout facilities across campus.  JO North and the ARC are a couple of popular spots for Fisher grad students.  The ARC even has climbing walls, which I intend to check out later this semester!  We’re not going to be lucky enough to have access to such great workout spaces when we leave Fisher, so I recommend checking some of these out this winter.

Now, back to studying for these midterms.  Just three more weeks and I’ll be onto my last term in the Fisher MAcc!  Could time slow down, please?!


As Tax Season Begins, MAcc Students Serve

It’s finally here!  VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – has begun!

Each winter for six weeks, Fisher MAcc and select undergraduate students volunteer at Godman Guild and the OSU Law Extension Center in Columbus to provide tax preparation assistance to low-income individuals and families.  After weeks of organizing training and compiling schedules (with much help from other volunteers), we kicked off our first volunteer session on Friday at Godman Guild.

A great group of volunteers for our first week of VITA!

We had several individuals come in and were able to prepare their federal tax returns to be submitted at the end of the month.  These Columbus residents are able to obtain refunds through several different credits including the child tax credit and earned income credit.  What is more important than learning how to complete the tax returns is the time we spend hearing the stories of these people who are really our neighbors.  For many of the people we help, their tax refund will be the largest sum of money received in the year and will help them make it through the winter.  We had a few familiar faces as well – people have been coming to Godman Guild for our assistance since the program began ten years ago.

I’m excited to see how the rest of the tax season goes as we continue to complete returns at Godman Guild and the Law Extension Center.  I’ll be sure to give an update at the end of the season to share how many individuals we were able to help in these six weeks of service!


Winter break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part III: Frohe Weihnachten!

(This is installment #3 of 3 blog posts recounting my 2012 winter break trip. See here and here for the earlier installments.) On Friday, December 21, we made it to our final destination:  Nuremberg, Germany.  The first order of business was to walk through the Christmas market, known as “Christkindlesmarkt.”  Hundreds of booths are set up to sell handmade Christmas ornaments, wooden toys and nativity scenes, and plenty of warm wine and sausages.  Shoppers come from all over Germany but also all over the world, so I was happy to learn that most vendors spoke English, too!  Some of the most beautiful displays were the ones containing hundreds of glass ornaments like the one below.

Ornaments hang from a display at the famous Nuremberg Christmas Market

On Saturday, our first full day but also last day in Germany, we walked around the “Old Town,” the part of the city completely surrounded by a wall.  At the north point of the Old Town stands an old castle which provides great views of the city.  The architecture here was much different than that of England and France, but beautiful nonetheless.  We also stopped in a church that stood in the same square as the Christmas market for a short organ concert of some recognizable classical tunes.  Many people took a break from the cold, windy outdoor market with us to enjoy the music.

Bird’s eye view of the “Old Town”

Our last night in Nuremberg was spent again at the Christmas market, where my family and I finished up our Christmas shopping.  Some of my favorite booths to visit were ones containing intricately decorated nutcrackers and little smoker men, seen in the picture below.  It was hard to stop myself from buying something from every booth, but my limited remaining euros and limited suitcase space kept me in line!

German hand-crafted nutcrackers and smokers for sale at the “Christkindlesmarkt”

As I was flying across the Atlantic for ten hours to get back home the next day, boredom ensued and I settled on reading my passport for entertainment.  Yes, there are quotes in that thing – several well-known ones from Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence – and others new to me.  I found one to be relevant to us students, coming from astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka:

                      Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds…to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.

As we Fisher MAcc students return to campus for our last semester of school, we should keep this in mind.  We are the future our profession, and we have an obligation to make progress and push farther to reach greater heights than before.  With that, I’m looking forward to a great spring 2013!


Winter break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part II: Parlez-vous Anglais?

The second stop on our tour of Europe (aka “winter break 2012″) was the beautiful city of Paris!  We kicked off our four days in the French city with an “Illuminations Tour,” where we took a cruise along the River Seine to view some of the most beautiful buildings, bridges, and statues lit up at nighttime.  One of the coolest buildings in the night lights to me was “La Conciergerie,” which was a prison during the French Revolution and held prisoners before they were sent to the guillotine.  Dark history, I know…but beautiful building!  The tour also allowed us our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night – what a beauty it was!

La Tour Eiffel glowing bright in the Paris night sky!

Another highlight of my time in Paris was walking up the steps to the top of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, or better known to Americans as the Notre Dame.  My knowledge of the cathedral was limited to what I could remember from the Disney movie (which wasn’t much), so it was great to hear a little bit about its history, dating back to its construction in the 12th century.  There were a couple of huge stained glass windows in the cathedral that contained colorful glass that dated back to the 13th century, which was a little hard to wrap my head around!  What was amazing was all of the people who had come to see this Parisian piece of architecture that once represented a sanctuary of safety and hope during the French Revolution, and still serves as a place of peace for people today.  The views from the cathedral weren’t too bad, either!

View of the French city from the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris

A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the palace at Versailles.  I don’t have enough space to go on about all of the history of the palace, its surrounding gardens, and former residents, but I will tell you about my favorite room.  It was called the “Hall of Mirrors,” and it was literally just that – a long hallway lined with mirrors and windows.  Giant chandeliers hung all along the hallway so that it was completely full of light.  There were beautiful scenes painted on the ceiling that seemed to glow from all of this light.  This was one of many stops on our tour that reflected just how detailed and grand this palace was – just like the gold accents on the palace in the picture below.

My sister and I outside the grand Palace of Versailles

Our trip to Paris was complete with a stop at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, the Musee d’Orsay for some Monet and Renoir, plenty of shopping on the Champs Elysees, and quite a few baguettes and bistros.  Much too soon, it was time for us to hop on another train – this time heading to Nuremberg, Germany!  Au revoir, Paris!


Winter Break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part I: London Calling

What’s the best Christmas present I’ve EVER received?  And the best way I’ve EVER spent winter break?

Well, that would have to be our family trip to Europe!  My mom, sister, and I traveled to London, Paris, and Nuremberg, Germany, from December 13-23.  Lots of travel, sightseeing, shopping, eating, and simply spending time together made for an unforgettable experience.  I’ll be breaking my re-cap into three blog posts – one for each destination.  So, here’s LONDON:

Tower of London on a bright, sunny afternoon near the River Thames.

To prevent myself from carrying on and on (you should see my 500+ pictures on FB), here are a few great moments:

1.  Les Miserables – no, not the movie – the on-stage performance!  This is one of my favorite musicals, adapted from Victor Hugo’s novel depicting 19th-century France on the brink of revolution.  We enjoyed this spectacular show on our first night in London.  Check out this video of my favorite song from Les Mis, performed at the 10th Anniversary Concert by Lea Salonga:

“On My Own” from Les Mis

St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background as we strolled across Millennium Bridge.

2.  Double-Decker Sightseeing Tour – this was the source of about half of my pictures from the whole trip!  Having never been outside of North America, I was excited to see buildings that were more than one or two-hundred years old. London did not disappoint!  We saw Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Elizabeth Tower (often confused with Big Ben, which is actually the name of the bell inside the famous tower), the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and countless other well-known sites.  Our tour guide gave us a great historical overview of the city – including the Great Fire of 1666, the reign of Queen Victoria, the construction of Shakespeare’s Globe, and many other significant points of history to the Brits.  She even pointed out fun sites like JK Rowling’s apartment and Margaret Thatcher’s home.  I definitely recommend tours like these if you want to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.

3.  Carols at Westminster Abbey – what a concert this was!  A young boy’s choir sang Christmas carols on the evening of Sunday, December 15, our last day in London.  The church is not only home to normal worship services, but also major events such as Prince William and Kate’s wedding a couple of years ago.  The building looked even more beautiful at night than it did on our tour during the day!

The beautiful Westminster Abbey lit up on a cold winter’s night!

4.  Tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury – oh the desserts!!!  The three of us enjoyed afternoon tea and a huge tiered platter of desserts at this little tea shop in London.  The Brits take their tea seriously, and as I was recovering from strep throat, I had to take the green tea seriously as well.  We enjoyed vanilla caramel cupcakes, scones with strawberry jam, double chocolate brownies, chocolate meringues, and many other delicacies.  If your mouth isn’t watering yet, check out their website for pictures that will certainly do the trick!

5.  Shopping at Harrods - the world’s greatest department store!  If you think Macy’s in New York is the best, what with that great big parade in November and all, think again!  Harrods has to be the most luxurious, grandiose shopping experience on the planet.  I’m not just talking multiple stories, but rooms across rooms of perfumes, furs, fashion boots, Christmas toys…and then you have the food!  An ice cream parlour, a room dedicated to seafood, another to wine, and the list goes on and on.  Unsurprisingly, we had quite the task in trying to simply find the exit!

Overall, London was a great way to kick of our trip to Europe!  On Monday morning, it was time to take the “Chunnel” to Paris, where the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees awaited…

 


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!!


Lots of Lasts for a Buckeye Fan

What a sentimental week for a senior…

As a combined BSBA/MAcc student, this is my fourth and final year at Ohio State.  This past week was what I would fondly refer to as an epic one – complete with the Mirror Lake jump, my first OSU men’s basketball game of the year, the Michigan game, and of course Thanksgiving and all the food and napping that may imply!

The epic “Beat Michigan” week started off with the Mirror Lake jump on Tuesday night.  Let’s put it this way:  tens of thousands of students jumping into a waist-deep, unclean pond in what was actually mild weather for late November.  Words really can’t describe the experience, but it’s a great way to feel some Buckeye pride and pump yourself up for the big game on Saturday.  I’ll leave the rest to the imagination…

The first of many basketball games this season!

After spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, it was back to campus on Friday evening for the OSU men’s basketball game versus UKMC.  I’ll play the role of stereotypical accountant here and refer to the numbers by pointing out the final score of 91-45 does indicate that our boys scored more than twice as many points as those “Roos” from Missouri.  Some people to watch out for this season:

  • Aaron Craft – our star point guard…yeah, not much else needs to be said there
  • Deshaun Thomas – so glad he came back this year!  Look for him to become the 49th player in OSU history to hit 1,000 career points…he’s only 7 away!
  • Sam Thompson – one word:  aerodynamic
  • Lenzelle Smith Jr. – this kid knows when to light up a game.  He had some great moments in the playoffs last year, so I’m looking forward to more this year!
  • Evan Ravenel – yep, he can dunk
  • Amadeo Della Valle – our only freshman and the kid with the coolest name ever

After a nice win on Friday, I was ready for the THE GAME.  The Buckeyes’ big win over TSUN (“that school up north”) was the perfect last OSU football game as a student at Ohio State.  It was bittersweet singing “Carmen Ohio” in the stadium after our big win; I felt so proud of the team and so proud to be a Buckeye in that moment.

Big win for OSU against that team up north to complete a perfect season!

Before I start tearing up as a realize all of the “lasts” that I’ve experienced in the past few weeks, I should probably wrap this one up.  So, after a great weekend for sports, here’s to being a Buckeye!


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!


Fisher College of Business – The Happiest Place on Earth

That is, unless you have a class at 8:30 AM. But somehow my early morning tax class is also my favorite class in my schedule.

I have to say that life as a MAcc graduate student at Fisher is just on a whole other level compared to life as an undergraduate. It starts with orientation – three days of getting to know the people you’re spending the next three quarters with. My classmates are the most educated, interesting and diverse group that I’ve met at Fisher. Orientation provided the perfect environment for getting to know as many students as I could. In undergrad I might not have taken advantage of such an opportunity – I’m glad I didn’t make that mistake this time. We have a group with very diverse backgrounds, from other states or countries and with different academic and professional experiences. As a graduate, I feel really prepared and even psyched to become accounting masters with the people I’ve gotten to know over the first three days of the program.

Gerlach Hall - my new center of learning.

It’s a different vibe from undergrad, sharing the same courses with the same tight-knit group. Someone I have in one class can always provide input on what happened in another. There are always MAcc students doing something together outside of classes as well, whether it’s going out for hamburger specials or attending a recruiting event. I’ve become especially close with the students who took the Pre-MAcc program with me – three weeks of eight-hour class days will do that. We made it through a crash course on more accounting rules than you can shake a ledger at and now I’m guaranteed a close friend in any one of my accounting classes. In undergrad, my closest friends were in my dorm. In graduate school, my closest friends are my classmates, and it makes school work and projects a lot more entertaining and insightful. You get closer to your classmates when you work and play together.

My mother told me undergrad would be the best years of my life. She was right. Towards graduation, she told me grad school would be the best year(s) of my life. I think she might be right about that one, too. While I’m just barely into classes and the recruiting cycle, I’m confident this year at Fisher will be the richest and most entertaining year of my education, and it’s all because of the people – both students and faculty. I hadn’t planned on becoming a master of accounting, but right now I’m very glad I did.


Who wants to be a Doctor of Philosophy?

phd comic

I thought I would write to all of you future MAcc students who are contemplating a Ph.D. I know there are at least a few of you guys. If you’re looking at a MAcc from the Fisher College of Business, then you’re a bright kid… and everyone asks themselves how far they want to take their academic career. There are several benefits to obtaining a MAcc from the FCOB if you’re wondering whether world of academia is for you. Specifically, you can look forward to the flexibility of the program, the world-renown faculty, and Professor Zach’s accounting policy and research class (AMIS 844).

Part of the reason I decided to attend Fisher was because of the flexibility their MAcc provides. Outside of the three required core classes, the program really is open for you to study whatever fits your future. With the wonderful approval process here, classes that may help you prepare for a PhD program are available to you. For instance, a few of my good friends took an intermediate economics class during the winter quarter. One particular friend is studying throughout the summer and she’s taking an econometrics class to help her prepare for a potential career in academia. Having these courses available and counting towards your MAcc degree provide a strong foundation for future researchers.

As with any top-ranked accounting program, the faculty are known for their gifted research, published works, and wonderful teaching. There are obvious benefits that the faculty will provide you such as increased human capital; however, there are also some less apparent benefits that may be available to you. Some of the best accounting researchers in the profession will get to know you and your capacity to learn and expound upon ideas. These relationships can come in handy if you ever need letters of recommendation as you apply to competitive Ph.D. programs.

This spring quarter, I had the opportunity to take Professor Zach’s AMIS 844: Accounting Policy & Research class. The class is designed to help students obtain a general understanding of academic research. Structurally, the class assigns several research papers that help students familiarize themselves with several accounting ideas being studied today. Students are then asked to write reviews and critiques. This iterative process really helped me figure out (in at least one sense) what research is about. Professor Zach is as fun as they come to boot! If you want to learn about research or see if its for you, I highly recommend this course.

One of my strategies in facing the unknown is to keep my options open. In this regard, coming to Fisher has been a brilliant move. Accounting students rarely know that their passion is audit, tax, industry, or research before they actually do the work. If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone!


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