Posts Tagged 'trip'

My Chicago SIM Trip

I just got back from an amazing trip to the Windy City (Chicago). Believe it or not, I actually went to Chicago for a class trip on behalf of one of my finance courses, BUSFIN 824 – The Stock Market. It is also known as the Student Investment Management (SIM) course, and it is one of the few classes in the country that puts millions of (real) dollars in the hands of student investment managers. As a class, we are responsible for managing about $22 million, currently, of the Ohio State Endowment Fund that has been allocated to the class specific SIM Portfolio. Each student in the course is responsible for monitoring one stock in the portfolio over the duration of the quarter, and at the end of the quarter, we must decide as a class on whether to buy, sell, or hold our positions in these various stocks. For example, I have been closely monitoring our position in MasterCard (MA) over this quarter and am currently in the process of writing my final report and making a final recommendation on how to change our position in MA.

These final reports are another interesting opportunity of this course in that all of the students’ reports are considered for the “Rosenfield Family Prize” at the end of the quarter. The student with the best report is awarded $2,000 and there is a $500 runner-up award to the next best report in the class. Like any good Fisher MAcc student, I enjoy submitting a good quality report just for the sake of trying my best… but $2,000 is not a bad additional motivator.

The Cloud Gate

The Cloud Gate

Now back to this class trip. The SIM class actually pays for the flight to Chicago (or New York, depending on the quarter). Our trip consisted of several meetings with some higher-up individuals in various finance-focused organizations throughout Chicago, including: GEM Realty Capital, Mesirow Financial, Oak Ridge Investments, and Goldman Sachs. We met with either former OSU alumni or people with ties to Ohio at each of these firms, and they shared their varying experiences and advice. We also had the great opportunity of visiting the famous Chicago Board Options Exchange, and we even had a chance to see the trading floor.

CBOE

CBOE Trading Floor

Overall it was a great and unforgettable trip to Chicago, and I just want to say thank you to all the individuals who took the time to meet with us. For any soon-to-be MAcc students reading this, I would highly recommend taking the SIM class. Keep in mind that it is a Finance MBA course, but even for those students with just an overall curiosity about the world of finance, this has been a great course. (Successful completion of the course counts as a non accounting elective toward the MAcc degree.) For more information, check out the course website here.


How to Make the Most of your On-Campus Spring Break

Last week, I was solely focused on anything that was mid-term exam & project-oriented.  My tiny brain was inundated with meeting deadlines; reading…reading and…RE-reading Harvard Business Review case studies; agonizing over how to piece together several 2-15 page, 12-pt, Times New Roman, double-spaced, 1-inch margin explanation and recommendation papers; and, the COUP DE GRACE, cooking up ways to describe amazing broad topics such as competencies and balance scorecards.

Now that mid-term week is officially over for me, its time to focus on Spring Break.  Yes, I do realize that I’m not “out of the woods” yet. And yes, I still have final exam week to command and conquer.  But whats the harm in dreaming for a blog or two about how great, wonderful, amazing and awesome a well-deserved 9-10 day break from classes, papers and people will be.

For me, I really don’t have anything significant (e.g. trip) planned.  Mostly, I just wanted to get myself thinking about how I make the most of my spring break…even if I’m only in Columbus.

1.  Take a Break. Sounds crazy, huh?  Well, its true.  Everyone of us needs to detox our brains & bodies from “trying to do it all”.  Take a day, do A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y nothing and feel good about it.  There is no sense in feeling guilty about having to “do something” when there is nothing to do.  For me, its a 9:53am wake-up and a date with some Cap’n Crunch and CSI Miami re-runs all day.  Horacio…such a bad man.

2.  Think Outside the Bar. This might cause some graduate students to blow a gasket.  Its fair to admit:  there are “other” forms of entertainment and socializing other than ritual ‘mug night’ at the local hole-in-the-wall.  Punxsutwaney Phil said spring is coming early this early.  I believe him and so should you.  Go for a bike ride or take on the hiking trails at Alum Creek.  Maybe hit up a new part of town and see what else Columbus has to offer.  It might be worth your while.

3.  Tie Up Loose Ends. Now that you’ve done “nothing” for a whole day, its time to be semi-productive.  Try to tie up all those loose ends  you know you have been putting off for quite some time.  Schedule that drug test for your internship (um, that’s me), clean out your car or play catch-up on your DVR.  You’ll  feel better when you do.

and

4.  Me time. Embrace the solitude of just having a week off.  Everything and everyone has been pulling at you for the last 12 weeks.  The demands of grad school have taken their toll on your body and its time to recharge your batteries.  The best thing I’ve found to get my swagger back (other than use Old Spice Swagger body wash) is to spend some good ol’ time with three people I know best:  me, myself and I.

Go Bucks!



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