“I wanna go back to Ohio State, to old Columbus town”

It is such an exciting time here at Ohio State! Everyone has started moving in, and you can almost feel the anticipation of a year full of opportunities. As a combined BSBA/MAcc student, I am returning to OSU for my fourth year but am doing the graduate program. As implied in the song I quoted in my title, it is always exciting to come back (or come for the first time) to Ohio State! For those of you who have never been here, don’t get the wrong idea: Columbus is not an “old town;” it is in fact a modern city!

MAcc orientation was so fun! We learned more about the program and learned a lot about and from each other.  The diversity in our class is phenomenal! We have students from 20 states and 8 countries, and everyone has a wide range of experiences and interests.  As I meet other students, I enjoy their stories and senses of humor. At some points, my cheeks almost hurt from smiling and laughing so much. That’s not exactly what I was expecting for the start of a graduate accounting program!

Our team building activities were entertaining, but they also brought us out of our comfort zones. The high ropes course required us to trust and encourage each other, and we also gained confidence in ourselves and our teamwork abilities. The lessons we learned about ourselves and each other will help as we begin classes, form project teams and study groups, and become friends outside the classroom. (You can see some photos from orientation posted here.)

Orientation included a tour of Ohio Stadium (affectionately called The Shoe, since it was first shaped like a horseshoe). This picture shows part of the home of Buckeye football and also two of the buildings in the Fisher complex, home of the College of Business.

I’m excited to be back and look forward to sharing my experiences with you!

Building a Team

I’m a little older than most of my classmates.  Not by much, but I have a few extra years of experience.  I’ve worked more than most of the people in my program, and while I probably haven’t traveled as much as many of them, I’ve been around a bit.  All that to say, the few short weeks that I have spend here in Columbus and at Fisher, I feel a bond with my classmates that I haven’t shared with anyone in a many work or academic settings.

It started during our orientation.  After spending a long day doing normal, orientation things like reading a stack of papers, awkwardly meeting your peers in a “networking” break, and other similar events, we spent the following day together creating memories as a team – the first being a tour of “The Shoe.”  Being from Michigan, I’m not unaccustomed to big sporting arenas.  However, walking around the empty stadium with a group of new students, most of whom were sharing the experience like me for the first time, was very exciting.  The highlight of our tour was “racing” with fellow blogger Eric Dosch the entire length of the field. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and whenever I watch a OSU game I will be reminded of it.

MLHR Students a The Shoe
Fisher MLHR students in The Shoe

After the tour, we moved on to the ARC for a few hours of team building activities.  I am not going to go into the details of the activities, both because they are a little difficult to explain in writing, and to keep from spoiling it for any future students who might be reading.  Suffice it to say that we had the opportunity participate in activities that allowed us to be creatively, socially, and physically active.  We became a much closer group by participating in these actives.

It is now going into the third week of classes.  We are all beginning to feel the pressure of classes, reading assignments, quizzes, getting interviews, finding internships, work, etc.  It is at the same time stressful and exciting.  However, after having the chance to spend time together building our team, I think it is safe to say we are all comfortable looking to each other for support.  We have also decided to have an unofficial “official night out” after our Thursday night class, the last class of the week.  We had our first one last week and it was a great way to continue building those bonds outside of the classroom setting.

We are all going through this together.  We are all having the same concerns and stresses, and I think we are all pulling for one another.  I am more excited for the coming two years now, having gotten to know everyone better. When preparing for, and thinking about all of the things involved in moving to start this program, I never thought about the people I would be going through it with.  Now that I have meet them, I hope we remain friends long after we graduate.

Merry Christmas!

This blog entry is three weeks delayed. I flew back to New York City right after my last final on Dec 10th. I took a five-day road trip by buses and trains to a couple of cities on the east coast to meet friends and family friends (excuse me for a little redundancy in the sentence). Then the other two weeks delayed were spent on meeting family and friends in the city. Oh lord, home is so sweet!

I also sneaked in the pre-Christmas party held by SACC, the tutoring center I used to worked at in Baruch College in NYC, where previous and current “work force” got together to celebrate for the holiday. Some previous tutors are already working as professionals in large companies; some come back periodically to host workshops or to help out during final weeks; some are going to grad school and sneak back, like I did, to reunite with friends. Current tutors introduced “new faces” and update “ex-work force” with news at the center and on campus. We shared interesting stories and enjoyed home-made food brought by everyone. Games and songs were played and all were perfect for the season.

Of course, my new friends in Columbus are not forgotten, especially my groups from the past quarter. Each of the four groups I was in was very special and fun. We worked together many weekends, till mid nights; we did dinner dates, snack dates, and even breakfast dates (mostly for group projects); we went to watch “Mirror Lake Jump”, watched games, and, well, basically all random things. Here are the pictures of my four lovely groups and I wish all my dear group mates merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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By the way, our group gathering involved a number of little cute creatures—pets. Here’s LE. I only have shots from the back though, because she was licking my camera every time I took pictures from the front.

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Refer to Kyle’s blog for more LE’s picture, =)

Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.

I’ve been a member of several different  teams in my life, basketball, track, marching band, theatre, choir, 4-H… you name it, I’ve probably done it. Monday was the first day of orientation, and after the usual introductions of administrators, professors, staff and the like, Larry Inks, one of our new professors had us split up into teams for a team building activity. Now, through 4-H camp counselors, Junior Fair Board and every other 4-H event, we’ve had team building activities. I’ve had my fair share of team building in my life. My first thought was “this will be a piece of cake – I’ve probably done this one a million times”. So we went through the routine of counting off by 8s to split up into our groups of 4 or 5 people and we got our materials: a single nail nailed into a 3″ square piece of wood and 14 additional nails bundled up with a rubber band. Larry gave us our instructions – make all 14 nails balance on the single nail without using anything to make it stay there, no rubber band, it couldn’t lean against the nail, nothing. I was dumbfounded. First, I’d never seen this before, and second, I thought it to be impossible. There was no way we were getting these nails to balance on this single nail. So, my group had the normal trials and tribulations and with no success. Larry then announced that we needed to send one person up to receive a hint. I was the person to go up, and let me just say that the hint he gave was seemingly less than helpful. Another ten minutes went by and Larry announced that the same person needed to come up and get another hint. With the two hints together, the wheels started turning and we started coming up with more ideas that were 10 times more plausible than anything we had thought of before. Finally, we succeeded! I have a picture to prove it! (But for the sake of future MLHR classes, I’m not going to post it, in case you have to do it, too)

My undergrad is from Ohio State in Psychology, I’ve grown up here, most days it seems like nothing here is new to me and I’ve seen it all. But now, I’m entering a field and a part of campus I’ve never experienced. It can be very scary at times and before orientation on Monday, I was more nervous than before I took the GRE. It was a very exhilarating feeling to be put in a situation where I didn’t know anyone in my group, I had no idea how to complete the task at hand, and yet through it all, I was able to succeed. My group worked together as a team, and we succeeded. My MLHR class is going to work together as a team, and together we all will succeed in the end.

I’m scared to death of classes starting next week, but orientation gave me the little boost of self confidence I need to get through those ‘first-day-of-school’ jitters.