OSU Sites to See Before Graduation

It’s not too late to see some of the best spots on OSU campus!  Here are some of my favorites from undergrad and this past year in the Fisher MAcc:

Orton Hall

I love hearing the chimes of the Orton Tower bells when I’m walking along the Oval on campus.  If you’re lucky, you can hear them playing “Carmen Ohio,” our school’s alma mater.  One of my favorite memories from my time here as an undergrad was walking across the Oval back to my dorm on South Campus with my sister one winter evening.  It had just snowed, so there was a foot or two on the ground.  We proceeded to drop our backpacks and make snow angels in the fresh snow when “Carmen Ohio” started playing on the bells.  I’ll never forget times like that when I felt so happy to be a Buckeye!

For anyone interested, you can actually climb the Orton Bell Tower next Wednesday, May 1, from 6-9 PM, as part of OSU Commencement Week!

The beautiful Orton Hall (photo courtesy of Ohio State)

Ohio Stadium

I can’t think of any fall quarter or semester here at Ohio State without recalling some incredible football games in the ‘Shoe.  I walked across the field at convocation to start off my freshman year at Ohio State, and I cannot believe it’s already next Sunday when I’ll be crossing the field again, this time as a graduate.  This is definitely a must-see on any tour of campus, and I highly suggest taking photos outside the ‘Shoe on graduation day!

The ‘Shoe at night (photo courtesy of Ohio State)

Mirror Lake

This area of campus is special to me, because South Campus was my home as a freshman.  I crossed the South Oval and saw the fountains of Mirror Lake every day walking to class.  Although the most memorable time at Mirror Lake for many students is the Mirror Lake jump before the Michigan game, it’s definitely still a great place to check out on any spring day.

Thompson Library

Any tour of campus is incomplete without stopping into Thompson Library to see the giant book stacks and take a trip to the 11th floor Reading Room.  The 11th floor offers 360-degree views of campus and downtown Columbus.  But be careful – this is a quiet study room, so you might get glares from students trying to study during finals week if you’re too loud!

Thompson Library on a spring day (photo courtesy of Ohio State)

There are plenty more special spots for OSU students.  That’s one of my favorite things about being part of such a huge campus:  50,000 students all love something different about this university.  You can actually take a “Things You Never Got To See” Tour during Commencement Week as well to check out some of the more popular buildings.  For all of you graduates – don’t leave campus without at least taking a stroll through the Oval and soaking up some sun with your fellow Buckeyes before taking off and starting your new careers!

TGI Football Season

Saturday saw the beginning of the Urban Meyer era at THE Ohio State University. A slow start was followed by several exciting scores (if you’re a Buckeye fan, that is). Without looking at the archives of the 2010-2011 season, I can’t say with certainty that the Buckeyes scored 56 points in their first 4 games combined last year (they must have, but the fact that I’m not certain should tell you something about my recollection of last year’s offensive prowess). All in all, it was an exciting game to watch as a Buckeye fan. Braxton Miller (whom my wife calls “B” like they’re BFFs) set a single-game rushing yardage record for an OSU quarterback. Devin Smith had what LeBron James tweeted was the catch of the year (The King may be right), and the oft-maligned Travis Howard had two interceptions.

So why have I recounted all this for you, my captivated reader? Because at Ohio State, football matters. An ESPN Sports Poll in 2011 revealed that the Buckeyes are the most popular football team in the country (follow link, scroll down to last paragraph of the story). That, plus the football program brings in about $35 to $45 million in profit, some of which goes right back to the University’s general fund. None of that even takes into account the economic benefit conferred upon the city of Columbus by 100,000+ people huddled into The ‘Shoe and countless (OK, they’re probably countable) others who come out of their hovels to simply be near the action.

But I digress… I don’t really, deep down in my soul, care as much about any of that financial/economic benefit mumbo jumbo as I care about the football games themselves. I grew up in the suburbs of Columbus, less than 20 miles from Ohio Stadium. Buckeye football is on Saturdays… Church is on Sundays. Let’s just say… I’m a fan.

Some of you may be unfamiliar with Ohio State football, college football, or even American football altogether. If you’re thinking of visiting campus this fall, I encourage you to schedule your trip to coincide with a home football weekend (assuming you can get a hotel room). If nothing else, please make a point of walking by the stadium just to bask in its glory (ok, I’ll stop gushing now). And if you’re like some of my classmates of international origin and have some questions about American football, just ask. People who love football love to talk about football.

GO BUCKS! Here’s another picture of my rascally animal from his youth…

We took this on the day we got Captain home. I think this is still set as the wallpaper on my wife’s phone.

What I Took from Orientation

I have always loved Ohio State.  Whether it be the academics, the athletics, or the countless traditions, I am always amazed by what this University can do.  The 2011 MAcc Orientation lived exactly up to these standards.

I’ll be honest – I was a little bit skeptical of what I would gain from orientation.  I am a combined BSBA/MAcc student (a great program that Fisher offers, for any of you who may be accounting or finance undergrads at OSU right now!!) and thought I was pretty well versed in the ways of Ohio State.  After all, I’ve spent the last three years of my life on campus at Fisher and the last 18 years of my life in Columbus.

I was so wrong!

True, I may not have needed the facilities tour (which was still fun, and for those who do not do their undergraduate work at OSU will be extremely helpful!), but there was so much more for me to gain.  I think what impressed me the most was how interactive each session was, and how well I got to know some of my classmates before classes began.

Throughout orientation, I was given opportunities to see how diverse of a class I will be a part of.  This diversity is not only based on physical locations but extends to the way we each think and act.  I have classmates that will think completely differently than me, as this is really their first exposure to accounting!  Being able to see this as one complete MAcc class, rather than in bits and pieces once we meet each other a few people at a time in class, was incredibly interesting and really got me excited to work with everyone in the program.

We also got to meet all of the people at the University present to help us throughout the year.  Alisa downstairs in the Programs Office said she will help with anything from scheduling meeting rooms to Halloween costumes, Samantha (our advisor) will help us all find the courses best suited for what interests each one of us, and Dr. Dietrich (the department chair) will (attempt to) provide us comic relief if we’re feeling stressed.  The best part of who I’ve just listed is that they’re the tip of the iceberg.

Before signing out, I want to share one of the most rewarding portions of orientation.  Our class took a trip to Summit Vision, a high/low ropes course, for some team building.  We all walked away with much more than we thought we’d get though!  Throughout the day, we learned to communicate creatively, think diversely while working towards a common goal, and to really trust one another.  I think I can safely say too, that the high ropes course left us all extremely motivated and confident to begin classes.  Climbing over 35 feet in the air and jumping off a platform attached to nothing but a rope is not exactly in my comfort zone, nor was in the many of my classmates’ comfort zone.  Yet so many of us did just this.  Each of us that jumped absolutely loved it.  I can’t think of a better way to learn that stepping out of your comfort zone can be INCREDIBLY rewarding.

So – whether you’re a diehard accountant looking to expand your expertise or a soil scientist interested in studying for a MAcc degree, the MAcc program at Fisher can help you step outside of what is comfortable to you and really develop you as a person.  I can’t wait to keep stepping out of my comfort zone this year and sharing all my experiences.


This is me at the MAcc Mix'n'Mingle - one of the great parts of our orientation experience. We got to tour the Ohio Stadium and mingle with our professors and recruiters!




My First Football Game

I went to my first football game on October 9. It was a game between Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Buckeyes. Buckeyes demonstrated their dominance on the field and played an exciting blow out game for all the home fans. By the way, after that game, Buckeyes became the No.1 team of the country.

the Horse Shoe

As a foreigner, I have heard thousands of times from my friends who had worked or studied in the United States that Americans are crazy about football; however, it was not until I came to America that I realized the fascination of football for Americans. It’s not only a game or an activity, but an all-day event for people to enjoy the exciting games and spend the weekend with their friends and families. You can see many people tailgating along the road and around the stadium. Especially, for the people in Columbus, Buckeye football must be one of the most important parts of their lives. Buckeyes football is famous and reputable nationally. Also, this traditional strong team bears the expectations and the pride of the city.

Tailgate outside the stadium

As a Buckeye, you must go to the “Horse Shoe” at least once. Ohio Stadium, with the seating capacity of 102,329, is the fourth largest on-campus football stadium in the U.S. I was fascinated by the atmosphere in the stadium as soon as I stepped in. The marching band played before the game started and at the halftime. People jumped and yelled during the game. The fans would also do stadium waves. It is common to see people do fan waves at a game; however, it is totally different when 100,000 people do the stadium waves at the same time. The most exciting part of the game to me must be the time when the marching band came up to our deck. They played the marches right in front of me and it was so exciting!

Overview of the stadium
Marching band at the halftime
Marching band came to the upper deck

The more I know about the American football culture, the more I understand why Americans love football and why it is the biggest pastime. The game itself is up tempo and very intense and the game also provides a great chance for people to get together! I am now really looking forward to the last game of the year, the traditional classic rivalry battle between Buckeyes and Wolverines!

a blow out game

Buckeye Fever

If you haven’t spent much time in Central Ohio, it’s difficult to appreciate the scope of Buckeye Fever here.

Ohio Stadium During a Pre-Conference Game

Ohio Stadium seats over 100,000, and is quite often full. That’s a larger crowd than some professional teams, and the Buckeyes frequently set the NCAA record for attendance.

In addition to the fans in the stadium, an additional tens of thousands attend nearby block parties large and small. Beyond that, many more watch from home or from bars. If you do go out, but are not in the OSU area, this metro area of 1.5 million is eerily quiet and traffic is light, as everyone is planted somewhere cheering on their team. (If you don’t care for the hoopla, games are a perfect time to go grocery shopping – there are no lines anywhere.)

The local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, dedicated its entire sports section and a large teaser on the front page after a win over the Eastern Michigan Eagles – it wasn’t even a conference game, and the result was pretty much a given (so where’s the news?). Whichever local television station has the game typically dedicates at least an hour afterward to coverage, including an extended interview with head coach Jim Tressel. Several of the local news broadcasts have daily segments on the Buckeyes, are there are at least two radio stations that have mostly Buckeyes content all the time.

It is often said that professional sports could never make it in Columbus, due to the Buckeyes absorbing all of the demand. That’s not entirely true, as we now have a moderately successful hockey (NHL) team, a soccer team (MLS), and a minor-league baseball team (AAA). But past attempts at arena football never caught on (although it did last four years before the entire league folded.) An NFL team would have a hard time pulling attention away from the Buckeyes.

The picture above was shot at my very first Buckeyes game. It was a great experience, being there in person and feeling the energy multiply. I have a ticket to four more games this year, including the all-consuming and all-important Michigan game. I have a wedding to go to this week (Indiana), but I’ll be at the others (Penn State, Purdue and Michigan).

Growing up in Columbus, I should be used to this by now. But it still amazes just how aligned the entire city is behind the Buckeyes. The fire hydrants in Gahanna, a suburb, are painted scarlet and gray.

A friend of mine, whose undergrad is from OSU, tells a story: She had a great job interview in New York. She had researched the company thoroughly: their history, achievements and challenges. She knew the industry. She was ready. She had it cold. The first question was, “how about those Buckeyes?” But she hadn’t studied for that one and went away disappointed.

If you don’t like football now, you’ll have to learn to when you get here. It permeates the culture in central Ohio. I’ll bet you can even find Buckeyes-themed fine art at the Gallery Hop.

If you don’t want to spring for a ticket, you can always watch at the VC or at one of the many block parties such as the one shown below. But you need to make the acquaintance of  your Buckeyes one way or another.

A giant mob peacefully waiting for the Buckeyes game to begin

Front Row of Ohio Stadium

Being at The Ohio State University has its privileges. A great education, top-tier professors, and an alumni network around the globe. Then there is Ohio State football. Tickets to the game are discounted for students, and given the fact that I went to Ohio State for undergrad, and I’m still here, I ended up with some great seats.

I never had the opportunity to experience front row seats before, so when I showed up to the game and realized I was sitting front row, I was very excited. The game featured The Buckeyes vs. The Bobcats, OU vs. OSU, or The Battle of Ohio. Anyway you spin it, the game featured the #2 team in the nation, so excitement was bound to happen.

Check out the video below to see what happened when I spotted Brutus!

[youtube FU1A9tu3CX8]