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!

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Hello everyone. This week I felt it would be fun to give you a glimpse of how I felt orientation went recently.

While there were several other auxiliary type events going on (such as association fairs), orientation primarily consisted of three days of activities. The week before classes began, we gathered within the Gerlach hall to initiate the adventures. As you would expect, there were some “get-to-know-you” games going on throughout the morning with a promise of prizes to those who participated the most. After a continental-type breakfast (very popular in the program), we began a series of presentations and discussions designed to help us ease our way into the program and feel out the atmosphere. Professors introduced themselves, administrators gave great advice, and it was incredibly fun to get to know those who shared similar ambitions as mine. Later that night, the MAcc program put together a welcoming social mixer that was held in the president’s box at the buckeye football stadium (Ohio Stadium). As was promised, prizes were given for the games earlier that morning and I won a gift card to Kroger (score!). All of the prizes were sponsored by firms that would be having a recruiting presence during the quarter. While it was fun to network with professionals from different corporations, I think most would say the best part of the evening went to the outstanding tour of “the Shoe.” Many alum would love to see the press box or walk on the field (I think there was even a wedding going on that same night between a couple of true buckeyes).

The next day was just as great. The morning began with a couple more presentations. We were familiarized with different resources available to us along with some handy information concerning the CPA examination and how to prepare. After a brief lunch (no, we did not eat underwear… get it?), we all hopped on buses and were taken 20 minutes north to begin our summit vision. The summit vision was first and foremost an incredible time. The MAcc students were divided into teams of about 12 to 15 and we were tasked with different challenges. Some tasks were designed to build teamwork skills such as a timed three-dimensional puzzle. Others were meant to simply get us out of our comfort zones. One of my team’s high-element challenges was jumping off a platform and swinging 40 ft above the ground. Other teams had to balance on the top of a pole nearly as high. While many lessons were gleaned from the summit vision, I feel one that stood out to me was that I was among an incredibly talented group of individuals. While I think very highly of my undergraduate education, I always considered myself as a top-performing student and often sought to lead on team assignments. After confronting our challenges alongside my classmates, I felt as though any single person in the group was more than qualified to lead. I learned to trust.

The third event I would consider meat and potatoes of orientation was the MAcc boot camp. This day was filled with guest speakers and panel discussions. Working professionals gave advice on careers, succeeding in life, and professionalism. Of our panels, one consisted of former MAcc students all working in different areas of accounting. It was great to see that some were still working their way through ranks of large public firms while others had the flexibility to move into industry and get into corporate accounting. Another panel was filled with only individuals working in industry and that had a background in accounting. Most of the topics discussed dealt with the corporate world and how accounting helped those in it. A third panel was composed of public accounting firms (recruiters specifically). I was amazed to learn how hard the big 4, other national, regional, and local CPA firms worked in order to compete for the talent coming out of the Fisher School of Business. The big 4 even hold office hours on campus with open door policies designed to help us get a feel for the atmosphere present within their respective companies.

As I navigated my way through these different events, I was gratified knowing it was far more than a pleasantry to truly tell those that surrounded me, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

A Guide To Recognizing Nameplates

If you spend any amount of time wandering the halls of Gerlach, and staring into lecture halls, you will probably see many students sitting at attention diligently paying attention to class. If you look in front of the students though you will probably see the most important item that is issued to them during their time at Gerlach… their Nameplate Dimensionsnameplates. These nameplates are 9 inches long, 1.88 inches high and 1/16 of a inch thick with the student’s name routed into the front with capital letters. The name plates are useful for the professors to cold call you and make sure that you are in class… more importantly though it is helpful for your fellow students who may be very forgetful with names to be able to quickly remember your name. It is one of the worst feelings in the world if you forget your name plate (or even worse, LOSE IT!) and are forced to be represented by a piece of loose-leaf paper with your name scrawled on it with a sharpie.

Gerlach is home to several graduate programs and each has its own specially designed nameplate. The Masters of  Business Administration (MBA) program is designated by a black plate with white type.


The Masters of Accounting (MACC) is designated by a yellow nameplate with black type.


And the Masters of Labor and Human Resources (MLHR) is designated by a purple/blue  plate with white type.


I also recently discovered a special nameplate while working at my Graduate Assistance-ship position for a special event for alumni. Apparently if you are a VIP you get a super special Silver name plate with black type. One can only dream!