New City, New School, New Adventures

Hello, everyone! My name is Caitlin Duke, and I graduated with my B.B.A. in accounting from East Tennessee State University. I’ve lived in the mountains of East Tennessee my whole life. But six weeks ago, I packed up everything I own and made the six-hour drive to Columbus. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, to say the least.

My beautiful mountains in Tennessee

Many people have asked me why I chose Ohio State when it would be much easier to go somewhere closer to home. After all, Columbus is about thirty times the size of my hometown and OSU is four time the size of ETSU. The easiest answer to that question is, “Why not?”

I’ve lived in the same place for 22 years. If there was ever a time to take a risk and move, it’s now. The MAcc program offers countless opportunities. This year is especially exciting as students have the chance to take classes in data analytics. It’s challenging, frustrating– and one of the coolest things I’ve ever attempted to learn. I’m more engaged with my education than ever before.

There is also a heavy recruitment schedule, including the Big 4 and other large, national firms. I would not even be on the radar of many of these firms if I had chosen to go to school closer to home. There is a wonderful team in the Office of Career Management who will work with you to find a job to fit your goals. And everyone here understands how difficult it is to start a new program and search for a job, so there’s tons of support.

I have no regrets about taking a chance and applying to a school so far from home. To anyone out there wondering if it’s worth it, yes. Just look at the people in my class: from Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, China, and more. If we can survive the transition, so can you.

My Five Steps to Home, Sweet Home

My search for a place to call “home” in Columbus while a student in the Fisher MLHR program was both stressful and rewarding.  I think of my process in 5 different phases: looking for an apartment, looking for roommates, moving in, settling in, and being settled.  Looking back now, it was all worth it to finally have a place I consider my home, sweet home!

  1. The Search – I began looking for apartments during the fall of 2011.  Even though I wasn’t going to be moving in until August, I wanted to get a good feel for the Columbus neighborhoods, the rent, and the freeways.  I did a lot of searching on Craigslist and different websites since the majority of my search was from a distance.  At first I was considering a one bedroom; however, I began to broaden my search to multiple bedrooms.  My hope was that if I found a great place, I could turn around and find a great roommate or roommates.  After touring apartment buildings in Clintonville, Upper Arlington, and other areas, I decided on a fantastic four bedroom just south of campus.  I was worried about filling the four bedrooms, but was willing to take a risk.
  2. The Roommates – Now that I had found a place, I needed the roommates.  I grew up in Missouri and went to Davidson College, so the number of people I knew in Columbus was less than a half dozen.  I posted an advertisement on Craigslist, but it was difficult to find someone compatible.  That’s when I discovered the fantastic roommate resources offered by Ohio State!  I joined a Fisher Student Housing Google Group and created a profile on the off campus roommate matching resource for all Ohio State students.  Creating my profile felt like joining a dating website.  I described my lifestyle, interests, and what I was seeking in a roommate.  Using these resources, I was able to find 3 fantastic roommates!  All 3 are graduate or PhD students at Ohio State.  Although we are from different parts of the country and different undergraduate colleges, we share a lot of the same values and interests.
  3. Moving In – The next step in my process was actually moving to Columbus.  I had to move my things both from Davidson College in North Carolina and from Arkansas, where my parents live.  Nothing makes you want to stop shopping like moving!  After driving my things to Columbus, storing them for a summer, and then moving them once more, I swore that I would never buy another thing in my life!  After much heavy lifting and the help of my friends, I was officially a Columbus resident.
  4. Settling In – My oath to never purchase things again was short lived; soon after moving in, I had to buy new bedding and furniture.  I put together a dresser with the help of my boyfriend and a bookcase all by myself.  I spent longer than I care to admit shopping for just the right desk chair that was both stylish and functional.  And then there were the trials of a new apartment building…The washing machine leaked through the ceiling, the cable and internet took three weeks to set up, and the sounds of ongoing construction occasionally drift through my open window.
  5. Home Sweet Home – Thankfully, there have been many, many good moments to outweigh the stressful.  I was finally able to meet all of my roommates in person.  I am adopting a stray cat, and getting to know the area around my apartment.  I am finally able to drive to most parts of Columbus without my GPS.  I have pictures on the walls and books on my shelves.  I have added to my collection of Ohio State gear, have started classes, and have tickets for the first football game of the season.  I’m really looking forward to my next two years at Fisher.  I have a great place to live and some wonderful roommates.  Not only is my apartment my new home, but so is Ohio and Fisher!
This adorable cat, Dagny, found me.