Jan 29

Grad Life!

Hello everybody,

Life is just sweet because it is the start of the semester and work is starting to pick up.  I could not be any happier to be in the CSPA program because I enjoy working with college students and I cannot wait to start my career in Higher Education. My passion has always been this field since my involvement in my undergrad and life at Canisius could not be any sweeter especially with all the fun programming that goes along with it.

In the past couple of weeks, there has been some awesome events that took place on campus. I have to say “Welcome Week” was such a success here at Canisius College, I have no words to describe these events. My favorite events that took place during the week were Laverne Cox’s presentation and Petey’s Birthday Party. I had the pleasure of getting my picture with Laverne Cox after she talked about her life, which was absolutely amazing. For those of you who do not know who Laverne Cox is, she is an actress on the television show “Orange is the New Black”, which can be found on Netflix. I just started watching the show and it is pretty amazing! Anyway, Laverne Cox is also a transgendered woman and an inspiration to all. It is not just about writing papers and reading as a grad student at Canisius, but also enjoying the finer things in life too on campus, such as these wonderful events. The picture below was me with Petey at his birthday party event. This was also an awesome program if any of you on campus had a chance to attend. These programs were well worth it and it is nice to take a break from grad life and enjoy campus life as well. I will continue my posts about whats new in Student Affairs and my upcoming trip to my ACPA conference in Florida that I will be attending with my cohort in March. I am excited for the trip!

 

Jan 28

Can you Tell if Someone is Lying?

For those who claim that accounting is a dry subject and that it cannot be exciting, I suggest taking one of the Forensic Accounting classes at Canisius. While our definition of “fun” may differ, I can confidently assure that these courses will exceed your expectations. The classes are designed to incorporate current topics of white-collar crime by tackling how an investigation takes place and the specific laws applying to the cases. What I have found is that the topics are fascinating and the professors incorporate exciting ways to teach.

One example involves a mock-case that was assigned through-out the semester. The assignment was to conduct an investigation on a fictitious company and see if a fraud was occurring at the company. The process of gathering evidence and discovering the crime was a fun process! The case provided a first-hand example of what a fraud investigation truly entails. As the cases were coming to a close and the suspects were narrowed down, the professor added an extra element that transitioned the projects from good to great. In class at the time we were learning about different interviewing strategies. These strategies included certain mannerisms to look for as it may indicate a person avoiding the truth (something applicable to both investigating and the poker table!) Getting back to the project, once the suspects were identified, alumni who were familiar with the case came into class and acted as one of the suspects. The next step was to interview the suspects and try to get a confession. While this was a fun exercise, it cemented the different techniques used for interviewing.

Again, our definition of “fun” may differ but the classes in the Forensic Accounting program are not your typical classes. Each class has presented an interactive way of learning about an extremely interesting topic. Currently, I am roughly half way through the Forensic Accounting program and I am excited to see what the second half has in store for me! Be sure to check back for more!

Jan 27

Growth

Greetings, Canisius friends!

I hope you all had a great first week of classes! The first week is always scary, exciting, overwhelming, and every other emotion thinkable. This being my LAST semester, I found myself having a little bit of “senioritis.” I am taking a few classes that seem to be a repeat of what I already know, but I am keeping an open-mind! There are always new things to learn.

Once class that I am taking is “Advanced Couples Counseling,” which is a realm of counseling that is a) VERY foreign to me and b) something I may never actually “participate in” being a school counselor. Well those were my perceptions anyway. However, the professor explained that the course is not simply about “couples” it’s about working with families and people. I know that I will be co-facilitating conversations among students, teachers, parents, and other professionals. So these are skills that I will find necessary in my practice. I am also learning more about myself in my own relationships with my family, as well as more about myself in past relationships.

Another class that I am taking is “Principles of Mental Health Counseling.” ANOTHER class that is not required for me as a school counselor, but one I wanted to take to gain greater perspective. My professor asked us to explain what “stepping outside of our comfort zones” meant to us. I find “stepping outside of our comfort zones” one of the BEST concepts for counselors. Personally, I feel like this is what has made me a better, happier, and more successful person and counselor. I disclosed that moving here to Buffalo and having lived here for 2 years now was way out of my comfort zone, but living here has honestly been the best 2 years of my life. As I spoke those words to my colleagues, I felt it necessary (and appropriate) to add that these 2 years have not been without struggle. My professor then asked what I learned about myself from the “struggles.” I explained that I realized that I am capable of more than I think and I have the resources within myself to overcome challenges. My professor then said something very interesting that has since stuck in my head. She said “How empowering.” After she said that, I realized that everything was coming together.

That being said EMPOWERED is my feeling toward upcoming semester. I feel empowered to continue to grow as a counselor, teacher, and person.

As I reflect over my last year in the program, I realized that due to personal circumstances, I feel like I stopped growing. And I never want to stop growing. I never want to be at a stand-still. In my career or in my own life.

Jan 23

Starting Right

Doin’ It Right

 

 

Here is the second week of the second semester of the one year MBA program. The long winter break was much needed; the first few weeks were spent in hibernation and recovery. I think I am much more prepared for this semester — organizationally speaking. There is a closet/office in my apartment that I have transformed into a study  complete with a full wall of cork board, floating dry erase boards, and shelving for each of the five classes I’m taking this semester. I expect this semester to be the meat to last years potatoes and with momentum and expectations in my favor I expect things to run smoothly!

Last semester was a slam dunk, with the exception of shortcomings with my blogging! I will make it up this semester for sure.

 

 

Some things that are on the agenda for me this semester: I need to find an internship for over the summer; this is indeed a case of the early bird getting the worm. I’m also seriously considering moving onto a graduate PhD program in accounting – I’m going to start to research more on that front and interview individuals in the trade to see what it might be like for me. In addition to interviewing, I also plan on looking into the American Journal of Accounting to see what the experts are researching these days. My cousin is a professor of economics at MIT and he said that accountants, especially accounting PhD’s, are in short supply and high demand these days – so, who knows, I’ll see if I like it!

 

 

Jan 22

Winter Break!

Hello Everybody,

It is that time of year to get ready to go back to classes yet again. I hope everyone finished strong before leaving to go home for the holidays, including those who are in graduate school. Winter vacation is that magical time of year when you get a much needed break from all those long assignments that are due and finals all crammed into one week, which itself can be very exhausting. . During Winter Break, I acted as the Lead Mentor for Campus Ministry and participated in the Winter Service Week.

As a current graduate student at Canisius College, this trip for me was very rewarding and reminded me why I am preparing myself to be a future Student Affairs professional because I love helping people and putting a smile on a person’s face for those who are less fortunate. During my trip, I helped empower the student leaders who took point on planning everything we were doing. We traveled to Syracuse, NY to help settle in refugees who were coming in from Somalia and Burma. This was quite an amazing experience for me because I never participated in something like this before! Several of the participants that went on this trip are truly a wonderful group of students who made a tremendous impact on their lives, as we were helping them learn english and help give them new clothing so they stay warm during the winter months, It was very sad to see some these families who came to America with nothing but only clothes on their back due to having to leave all their belongings behind because their lives were in jeopardy.

One of the most rewarding experiences I had attending this trip was hearing some of their stories . It was truly amazing  how much they learned  and it was just absolutely breathtaking to see how far they have come since their arrival in the United States. Overall, this trip was absolutely an experience I will never forget as a grad student and I encourage to those who never did something like this to do it.  I guarantee you it would be one of the most rewarding experiences you will have here at Canisius College. There are a lot of opportunities here at Canisius to take advantage of and I suggest a service trip with Campus Ministry is one of them.

 

Jan 21

Cheers to a New Year!

Hello friend of Canisius! I hope this new year has been treating you well and that your holidays were filled with joy and happiness spent with family, friends, and loved ones.

But are YOU ready for classes to begin?

It seems like just yesterday, I was loading up my Subaru, hugging my mother and sister goodbye and heading to Buffalo to begin the next chapter of my life. Now, 2 years later, I am entering my FINAL semester of graduate school. “What is my life?” has been the question I’ve been asking myself.

Am I ready to graduate and begin my career? Well I know that regardless of me “feeling ready” it’s going to happen anyway.
Throughout my professional experiences of both 2013 and 2014, I have continued to build relationships with students and other professionals and further developed my counseling skills. Through my recent internship experience, I have realized that while Buffalo is a great place, students experience great tragedy, disappointment, heartbreak, and distress. \

During 2014, I completed a practicum placement, half of an internship placement, and ten courses. Personally, I fell in love, met great people along the way, experienced heartbreak, and continue to gain emotional strength. I ran a half marathon, a quarter marathon, and several 5ks and 10ks. Personally and professionally, 2014 was a year of commitment and accomplishment.

As you reflect on your 2014 year, what did you learn? How did you grow? What goals did you achieve? What goals make you excited for 2015?

Jan 20

Home stretch

Hello everyone!

Last week I had my last first day of school! Unless of course I take on the challenge of obtaining my PhD in later years. If all goes well, I will be graduating in May!

A lot of exciting stuff has been happening here in my world at Canisius. We welcomed around 12 new international students for this spring semester.  There was a week long orientation before the rest of the students began classes. Our orientation covered a variety of topics but what I enjoyed most was the fun stuff and getting to know our new students from all over the world.

Students in the Global Lounge

We wanted our new students to see what kinds of things true Buffalonians enjoy during the chilly winter months. Students enjoyed seeing a movie at North Park Theatre on Hertel, a little driving tour of Elmwood Village and a warm-up at Spot Coffee, and we finished the week by celebrating at Winterfest at Canalside ice skating and eating dinner at Pearl Street Grill.

Taking a break at Spot Coffee on Elmwood

North Park Theatre

We had some first time ice skaters on our hands!

Also, in the CSPA program here at Canisius we have the choice between writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam during our final semester. I chose to take the exam and have been busily preparing and studying for it. I feel like I’ve been up to my eyeballs in flashcards and highlighters, but it has served as a great review of all the things I have learned the past two years. It will also help me when I start interviewing for jobs in the higher education field. One more step towards becoming a master of science and a student affairs professional!

I wish everyone the best for the semester and check back with us soon!

 

 

 

Jan 19

10 Awesomely Corny Accounting Jokes!

You know the feeling!

 

 

10 Great Accounting Jokes

(Because stressful times of studying call for funny accounting jokes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Why did the accountant cross the road?

-Because she looked in the files and did what they did last year.

 

2. An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. “Doctor, I just can’t get to sleep at night,” he says. “Have you tried counting sheep?” inquires the doctor. “That’s the problem!  I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it.”

 

3. What do accountants suffer from that ordinary people don’t?

-Depreciation.

 

4. An accountant is reading nursery rhymes to her young child. When she is finished, she answers her son’s question: “No, son. When Little Bo Peep lost her sheep that wouldn’t be tax deductible “

 

5. What do you call a trial balance that doesn’t balance?

- A late night.

Ben Wyatt...again HaHa!!

 

6. Why are accountants always so calm, composed, and methodical?

- They have strong internal controls.

 

7. A young accountant spends a week at his new office with the retiring accountant he is replacing. Each morning, as the more experienced accountant begins the day, he opens his desk drawer, takes out a worn envelope, removes a yellowing sheet of paper, reads it, nods his head, looks around the room with renewed vigor, returns the envelope to the drawer, and then begins his day’s work. After he retires, the new accountant can hardly wait to read for himself the message contained in the envelope. Surely, he thinks to himself, it must contain the great secret to his mentor’s success, a wondrous treasure of inspiration and motivation. His fingers tremble anxiously as he removes the mysterious envelope from the drawer and reads the following message: “Debits in the column toward the file cabinet. Credits in the column toward the window.”

 

8. Four Laws of Accounting:

1. Trial balances don’t.
2. Bank reconciliations never do.
3. Working capital does not. 

4. Return on investments never will.


9. How do you drive an accountant completely insane?

-Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him and fold a road map the wrong way.


10. Why do accountants make great lovers?

-They’re great with figures.

 

Poor Dilbert!

 If you’re looking for more funny accounting jokes,                                                                                                                check out where I found these at Business Insider or Crush the CPA!

Even breaking out a bad Chem joke! Woah!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS: Here’s a funny, non-accounting video of Andy Dwyer Vs. The Dinosaurs: Jurassic Parks and Rec

Jan 13

Winter Break: Beach and a Book You Should Read

EXCITED FOR THE NEW SEMESTER!!

 

 

 

 

So…..how was your winter break??

 

 

 

 

Mine was busy!  Despite what you may believe, Grad Assistants still have to work over Holiday Break, because the campus only shuts down for about a week and we have lots of students to help!  (We’re looking for a new grad assistant too! If you’re a new or continuing grad school student in the School of Business, totally apply by sending cover letter and resume to the Director of Graduate Business Programs!! It’s great because the grad assistantship pays for classes and makes the cost of grad school wayyy more reasonable.)

 

For this last week of break before spring semester, I have been on vacation with my family in Florida.  We went all the way South to Ramrod Key of the Florida Keys.  This past week has been awesome!  Jam-packed with fresh fish and sandy beaches.  There was lots of kayaking and we explored the Dolphin Research Center.  Of course, we had lots of Key Lime Pie!  I even made a super yummy Lion Fish Ceviche!

 

 

 

Kayaking in the canal!

 

 

 

 

 

Desire2Learn, our online course communication system, has finally opened up for the new semester’s classes and I am super pumped to start!  I just purchased all of my textbooks and am ready to hit the ground running for next week’s first week of classes.  I’m taking Intermediate Financial Reporting, Accounting Information Systems, Cost and Managerial Accounting, Marketing Management, and Doing Business in the European Union!  I am excited about the new challenges and knowledge to be gained from these courses!

On top of all the homework assignments and reading to do over break for spring semester classes, I have been reading a great book that I want to recommend to you, as a future accountant!  Or even as a future MBA, because it was great even if you are in the finance sector :-)

Double Entry: How The Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance

By Jane Gleeson-White

It’s an awesome book, detailing the history of accounting (finance too).  From early 7000 B.C. Mesopatamia with the settled farming communities keeping track of trade with clay tokens to Luca Pacioli and the Venetian Bookkeeping, this book is a great glimpse into the start of the accounting field.  The biggest part of accounting history is heavily discussed in this book, Pacioli’s claim to fame.  He published in 1494 the Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportione et proportionalita,  which included the most famous bookkeeping treatise,  Particularis de computis et scripturis or Particulars of Reckonings and Writings.  This publication was eventually re-printed in English in 1914 by Professor John B. Geijsbeek, around the same time when the CPA certification was created in the United States and required a university level accounting education.  What I could relate to the most in this book, was how Bookkeeping and Accounting were influential in the Sociolgical Sciences.  Having my Sociology degree, I truly have a soft spot for the fathers of Sociology, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.  It was great to see that two of the founders, Marx and Weber, used accounting for their sociological theories on Capitalism.  As mentioned in the book, Max Weber heavily uses double-entry bookkeeping in his support of Capitalism in his 1904 book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  Also, Karl Marx as been well-known to use the double-entry bookkeeping of nineteenth-century Britain for his theoretical works on Capitalism in his various publications.  Even though you may not have your undegraduate degree in Sociology, I give 5 stars to this great book on the history of accounting!  It gives a detailed and historical perspective on the field and further fuels the passion of pursuit in the accounting career path.

 

Local Key West Wildlife...A Rooster trying to steal my fish taco!

Dolphin at the Dolphin Research Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for Spring Semester?  I sure am! See you soon around campus!

PS: Here’s a hilarious Top 10 Tax Tips from The Late Show with David Letterman.  We have to take two tax classes in the MBAPA program (and you need a course in tax to sit for the CPA exam), so I bet you can relate!

Dec 17

A different place…

Hi all,

This week, I was working with a student one-on-one at my internship and I had the craziest epiphany! The student expressed having some difficulties forgiving people who have wronged him and having “resentment” toward them. Everyone can relate to forgiving those who have done something to them. But this conversation was different than any other I’ve had with a student. This young man expressed feelings of anger toward former “love interests” in his life who had conducted a form of “cheating.” I’m sure we’ve all been there, and dealt with those types of feelings at some point. Myself included. This conversation really hit home for me. But where this conversation went really surprised even me. INSTEAD of this conversation bring up thoughts of my OWN feelings, I used ideas and concepts with this student that people have taught ME.

This session took place on a Monday and the day before that, on Sunday I attended church where the sermon was about forgiveness. While, I did NOT use religion ideas with this student, I used a strong concept that hit home for me. When someone wrongs US and we hold on to feelings of resentment, anger, and frustration with those people. But when WE do that, what happens to THEM? Nothing. Those who have hurt us are UNAFFECTED by what they have done to US.

After I brought this to his attention, the student seemed almost stumped by my statement, but agreed it was true. Giving students concepts like this to think about, is what internships like mine are all about. As a former professor said to me last semester in Practicum, “It’s about planting seeds.” And I feel that is EXACTLY what I did.

 

I was able to use something that I was taught through someone else, and that was an amazing feeling!

Be well, Griffs and STAY WARM!

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