Background Information About Me

Hello, I am Lanny Berlingieri and have been born and raised in Northeast Ohio in the Akron area. I attended The University of Akron for undergrad, earning my Bachelor's of Science in Accounting (Fall 2006-Fall 2009). 2010 was then approaching quickly and I had to decide on what I was planning to do in the middle of my last semester. I have a full-time offer with Crowe Horwath starting September 2011, which gave me around 21 months in b/w graduating and starting. I therefore took the GMAT and began taking graduate courses this semester (January 2010) towards an MBA in Finance.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hey Everyone! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Today marks the end of the 14th week of Class.  I have one more week of the Fall semester remaining, followed by 3 exams the week after during finals.

Our team group for Strategic Financial Decision Making gave a presentation this previous Tuesday evening on our case work.  We are still compiling our report in document format, which is due by December 3rd.  We are pretty much completed with it, just have to tidy it up and make it more presentable to the professors, you know how that goes.  Overall, this class has been definitely the most difficult and stressful classes in Graduate School thus far because of the extreme amount of material that we cover on a weekly basis and the amount of intense assignments that we work on - 3 case memos, 2 cases with group, presentations, exams, etc.  This is all given that we meet once per week for 2.5 hours at a time - therefore it felt as though we had an assignment due weekly  (excluding the first few beginner weeks!).

Financial Markets and Institutions: This class has definitely gotten better.  I didn't do as well as planned on my first exam, therefore, I usually turn it up for the second one we had.  I received a 98% on that exam (I will not display my first exam score, don't worry it isn't all that bad, but for me I am upsate : ) ).  Again, as a reminder, our professor is the CFO of FirstMerit Bank, headquartered here in Akron, Ohio.  What is amazing is the knowledge, experience and first-hand experience he is receiving on a daily basis that he relays back to us, the students.  We have been reading and writing journal articles about what is happening in the business world, such as, the value of world currencies, the bailout Ireland has requested due to their crisis they are enduring, the new quantitative easing the fed is embarking on, to which they are buying billions of government securities on a monthly basis and the like.  What is great is that we are applying actual material we learn in class to events that are happening today, tomorrow and so forth.  One final left to go for this bad boy!

Corporate Taxation:  This year I was on the graduate taxation case study team, accompanied by JD students, and we competed nationally in our Cleveland office provided by Deloitte.  We, however, didn't get to place, but it was such a great experience seeing these intense scenarios of taxation and figuring from each viewpoint the effects of each action.  I did so-so on this exam, but definitely feel I could have killed it - I HAD SIMPLE/BASIC errors that weren't stemmed from lack of knowledge, just lack of proofreading my answers and what not - I was very upset with that.  We have a comprehensive final, so that will be intense on Thurs. Dec. 9th.

Beta Alpha Psi & Accounting Association: phenomenal semester. Service work = Incredible.  Inductions = Incredible.  Amount of students = Incredible.  I am currently in the process of reaching out to firms to see if they want to come to our meetings and present to us as well as networking opportunities for the students and the like.

Student Toastmasters - A successful semester, but we have a lot of work to do over christmas break.

I am taking my last 3 classes next semester, and then, GRADUATION.  Thank the LORD.  I am so exhausted it isn't even funny.  Being involved with so many things is great, but it definitely takes a toll on you.  For example, this is my first post in over 2 months!!!  I am working 40 hours per week and an officer for 2 organizations as well as writing weekly for our paper, The Buchtelite, about financial advice and topics.  Also, I have been volunteering almost every week around 5-10 hours, so it definitely wares you down.  This upcoming semester I want to limit the things I am involved in and really focus on school, friends and life.

I have been investing tremendously lately too.  I will post my new blog that I have had in the works as soon as I have more posts to go with it, details, color and what not.

In closing - Thanks everyone for being my friend, caring for me and others, and showing much interest in the things I am involved in.  If it wasn't for people being interested and eager, life would not be enjoyable.  For family - thank you all for putting up with my busy nature and not being able to fully focus on everything all of the time.  To my Friends - Thanks for everything you do for me and providing the motivation to keep on doing what I need to do and staying focused on the end result.

God Bless Everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!

-Lanny B.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wow.. 4 Weeks Down

Hey Everyone!  Today marks the end of the 4th week of the Fall of 2010 Semester.  It hasn't gone by as fast as the Spring or summer, but the difference in that is there is TOO much going on over these last and upcoming weeks.  To Start...

Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Association - We have had 2 meetings, a Pre-Evening (which I was unable to attend) workshop and we are having our Bowling Social tonight in our student union.  Our groups here are doing phenomenal, and around the second to last week of October, I am going to start notifying firms/companies for speaking at our meetings for Spring.  We have around 50 people or so that will be attending tonight at our bowling social and we are building a resume book as well for all candidates for our event next Tuesday - Evening With the Accountants, which we will have 40+ firms recruit at our University.  I will be there to represent Crowe Horwath as a Student Ambassador, as I interned there and will start Full-Time next Fall of 2011.

Student Toastmasters - I had to miss our 3rd meeting this week due to work constraints, but I hear it went extremely well.  Our meetings here have ranged from 8 - 15 people and all we do is improve our public speaking ability.  We have a LOT of fun in this group as it is very laxed.  We need to do many things to help keep this organization alive, I am going to register us for an official student org., and hopefully we will be able to accomplish other things.

Graduate Group Deloitte Tax Challenge: Thanks to some of my friends, I was asked to be a part of the tax challenge team for the graduate school.  Our advisor, and my corporate tax teacher, is amazing and she even let me borrow her brand new edition of a comprehensive volume of taxation.  Our group is all MTax students and I am the sole MBA-Finance student, similar to my Corporate Tax course.  We will stay the night in Cleveland on the 22nd of October and compete on that Saturday against other schools form the area.  It will be intense, so all my other free time is learning other topics that I was unable to learn at an undergraduate level.  There are cash prizes, dinner events, hoodies, souvenirs, etc., and it all seems like a great experience.

Strategic Financial Decision Making - Tues 5:20-750:  We have a HUGE project due on Tuesday this upcoming week.  I chose Pfizer to do my company analysis, along with the 2 largest competitors and we have to do investment analysis, industry analysis and ratio analysis for the company and 2 largest comp.. This will be a very intense project and I have much work to do for this.  I do love being in this class, as I feel as though I know a great deal on what makes a very strong/strategic financial decision and all my extra/leisure reading has definitely paid off.

Financial Markets and Institutions - The CFO of FirstMerit, again to let everyone know, teachers our course.  We had a group assignment this past Tuesday night (8:10-10:40) and I was paired up with 2 international students, which was an experience.  We performed extremely well and this assignment was to prep us for our 8 chapter exam this upcoming Tuesday.  I know Tuesday is a very crazy day: Evening With the Accountants, Pfizer Analysis Due, and This Monster of a test.  I have been studying off and on and feel as though I will perform well on it.  I will keep studying and make sure that it pays off.

Corporate Taxation: Thurs 8:10 - 10:40.  WOW.  That is all I have to say.  With every tax code, there are exceptions, loopholes, different ways around different things and it is difficult to grasp what is black and white, just too much grey in between.  It is fun working on cases and trying to make sure you get everything right on the cases and problems when we do them in class, but even if I mess up, I am eager and anxious to learn what I did wrong, what I can watch for next time and how to fix it.  I am speaking on a current tax issue come Sept. 30th and I think our Midterm exam is a few weeks after that.  It is a great class, lots of reading, tons of notes and just trying to be able to learn as much as I can about C Corps and the code.

Welllll..... WOW.  Ok. 4/15 of the semester is over.  Putting it in % terms makes it better 26.67% is done.  Thursday is Thanksgiving, which means I miss Corporate Tax that night, so I only have 10 classes left for them, instead of the 11 like the others.  This semester is definitely the hardest and most difficult one to fully grasp, as working full time, being involved in 2 student organizations (an officer in both), getting ready for this tax challenge, and writing for the Buchtelite, ALL WHILE trying to do a few extra things for myself long-term on the side has been so tough.  Here we go.  Week 5 I am coming at you.  Knocking down the project and studying for the exam this weekend as well as writing up another article for the Buchtelite.  Bowling Social tonight.  How is everyone else doing in their studies?  I talk to my undergraduate friends, and it's extremely funny in a way.  The work and studies that they do just cannot compare to what graduate school is like.  It is just a higher level of learning and you are surrounded by professors and students that are there for a big reason.  Take care everyone!

-Lanny B

Friday, August 27, 2010

End of Week 1 of Fall 2010

Well - Week One is Over.  Now starts the extremely fast paced and intense semester of graduate courses.  I am going to run down through each class and activity that this semester is bringing me thus far, specifically University of Akron related.

To kick things off for the semester, the Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Association officers had a meeting from 3:45 - 5:00 on Tuesday.  We talked about the semester, what firms are coming, how our meetings are going to be set up for the students, planning out our first meeting next Tuesday and other reaching out activities that were apart of RooFest on Sunday.  I emailed all of the potential members that we met this past Sunday at the RooFest to let them know about our upcoming first meeting - Meet and Greet Intro, Fashion Show, and also Pizza and Pop for all in attendance.  We settled on doing a Fashion Show for students to display what TO wear and what NOT TO wear.  I will be WHAT NOT TO WEAR.  Hopefully a picture will be taken that I can Post

Also - I booked a room for our Student Toastmasters group which will now be on Wednesdays from 4 - 5 PM.  This is our public speaking group, it is currently a very lax atmosphere, with pizza and pop of course.

First Class: 5:20 - 7:50 - Strategic Financial Decision Making with Dr. Lahey - This class seems very intense with many things going on at once - Group Projects, Individual Case Memos, Exams, Homework Assignments - you know the deal.  What was nice though is that since I have a very nice finance background because of my prior courses and ability to do more on my own learning - I was able to answer many questions and shoot many other answers that the other students seemed "dumb-founded" to say the least, but I will not say anymore.  I chose my firm that I will do research on - Pfizer, happy especially because I own stock in them as well : )    We also formed our group and all we need to do now is establish which semester long case we will be working on.  I will keep updating when new facts arrive.

Second: 8:10 - 10:40 - Financial Markets and Institutions with Professor Terrance aka the CFO of FirstMerit Bank.  How awesome is that?  We have the CFO of a large regional bank (one that I have done business with over the last 8+ years!) lecturing/teaching this course.  The first class was very basic with going through notes etc., but he has the most real first hand experience with the most recent and on going financial crisis which especially hit hard with the financial institutions.  I am definitely eager and excited to hear what he has to say.  I did three quizzes that were assigned for the first 3 chapters 2 days ago, just to stay on top of things.

Third: 8:10 - 10:40 - Corporate Taxation with Dr. Mosebach.  She seemed so awesome and passionate about Tax and has already spread wisdom and expanded my knowledge base on corporate taxation.  Funny thing is - I am the ONLY non-MTax/MSA/JD student.  This was the course that I had to talk to a few of the "big dogs" to be placed in this course.  All MBA-Finance students probably think I am crazy for taking this course in place of a much easier one, well I want to Learn and I am paying for it.  I am EXTREMELY intrigued by this course especially - since it will help determine which type of company I want to start of my own - whether that be C Corp, S Corp, LLC, Lp, LLP etc to name a few.  Very intense course based on reading and keeping up to to date with tax law and code.

Weekend - I have a lot of reading and small assignments to do along with finishing my graduation application for next May 2011.  I will be reading about Pfizer - going through their SEC filings to learn more about them, reading more and practicing Corporate tax, and also reading up on Financial Markets and Institutions.  Hopefully I am disciplined enough to stay on top of the readings for the duration of the semester.

How are all your courses going thus far for the semester?  I feel as though this will breeze by and that next thing I know it - snow will be on the ground and Christmas Lights outside.  Talk to everyone soon and good luck!

-Lanny B.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Class Line up for Fall 2010

Hey Hey Everyone!  Today's post I will focus on the courses that I will be taking this fall:

Tuesdays 5:20 - 7:50 - Strategic Financial Decision Making = This sounds interesting simply because I use financial metrics etc., to analyze and aid in my decision making process.  This will be more on a corporation/business unit level dealing with external factors that can hinder/propel the outcome of a decision.  Definitely interested in the strategy behind making extremely important decisions in a corporation and what type of methods are used to evaluate those decisions.

Tuesdays: 8:10 - 10:40 - Financial Markets and Institutions = All about the different markets out there in the financial world.  I am sure I will deal with laws/regulation as well as deadlines and requirements for companies.

Thursdays: 8:10 - 10:40 - Corporate Taxation = This class is pretty self explanatory.   Learning tax law/code for Corporations, Shareholder information, the reporting, deductions etc.  I am excited for this course more especially because I opted to take this one in place of another course, since it will help me in the long run if I want to run my own corporation.

Next Tuesday this begins.  Oh boy.  I hear this should be the hardest semester of the program.  Eager to learn, hopefully the professors are eager to teach : ).   Talk to everyone soon and I appreciate anyone stopping by.  Question I leave = What classes are you all taking?  Any rumors on the difficulty of the class?  Best of luck to everyone in going back to school as well!

-Lanny B.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

End of Summer & School Sessions, Fall 2010 Begins

Hey everyone,  I have been on a 3 month Hiatus.  I am back however, to speak on my last few experiences and to touch base with everyone.  Here is my summer broken down into sections:

Visitation of Mary Parish - I started working at this Parish in Akron Ohio around mid-April.  I have been there now for going on 5 months and it has been an experience thus far.  I am the administrative assistant and pretty much do a lot of the day to day operations and am striving to save the Parish money by being extremely efficient and to help organize their financial data in a much more orderly fashion.

Summer Session - 6 Credits total - I took 6 credit hours total - 3 one credit courses as part of U of A's LEAP program - Terrorism & Global economy, SAP, and Business Decision analytics.  All were experiences from different viewpoints and I am truly grateful for being a part of their first time doing these courses.  SAP was extremely intense - as we learned how to operate SAP at a minimal in less than 2 days (usually a whole semester to a years worth).  Bus. Decision analytics was pretty basic as it had a lot to do with excel functions - to which I have a pretty large knowledge base on.  I received an A luckily in all courses.
My full class that was worth 3 credits in itself was Operations Management, pretty much an intense more in depth version of Principles of Operations Management, which I took at an Undergraduate level.  We formed an awesome group for our cases, homework and project, to which we excelled very nicely.  We had one midterm and one final exam, along with weekly homework assignments and quizzes.  I definitely learned more and appreciated more of the operations and supply chain side of a business -- definitely can see where there can be jobs from this, as it is a nice way to increase effectiveness and efficiency in an organization.  Luckily, again, I received an A

Grad School GPA as of today = 3.944

San Jose California - Came back from San Jose California late last night.  Best trip in a while.  I love San Jose.  Perfect weather and perfect people.  This was for our Beta Alpha Psi National Conference meeting, to which we presented on Innovative Career Networking.  We offer many activities and events for our students to meet and network with potential employers, it is amazing.  I was very proud to present with my group and I believed we performed very well, as we received many questions and spoke with our moderator afterwards for a while to which we always stated - "you are all on top of this and are on your top game".  We enjoyed the 6 days we were out there, meeting new students from universities across, not just the US, but world.  We had great afternoons and nights, and I have created memories with my friends that will last a lifetime.

August 24th.  First day of Fall Session begins.  I am taking 3 courses, 9 credit hours total.  I will be taking 3 courses in the spring to complete my MBA finance program.  It will be a busy year - as I am VP of communications for BAP, Co President for Student Toastmasters and am currently working 35-40 hours per week.  My class schedule is nice - only there on Tues/Thurs.  Sadly, I am there until 10:40 PM, however.  I am going into this semester with a completely different outlook.  I want to learn and experience as much as I can, with as many people as I can.  I want to attack everything that I do on a daily basis with full thought and soul, to really get everything I can out of it.  I am excited to create new friendships and strengthen current ones.  Here we go everyone, Fall 2010 is going to be amazing.

I will update as soon as possible, thank you for reading and good luck to everyone on the close of their summer!!  When does everyone else start?  What courses are you taking? Post below if you'd like!

-Lanny Berlingieri

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First Semester of Grad School Over as of 5/5/2010

End of 1st Semester
-WHOA.  Really?  Wait, did 16 weeks just go by?  Oh, okay.  Yes, everyone, the first semester of Graduate School had wrapped up for me last week on Wednesday the 5th of May after turning in my final and last paper for Capital Budgeting.

-I love graduate school.  Not only are you taking courses that are to your liking, that you have interest in taking (heck, at around $500 per credit hour, it better be something I want to learn about!), but you are surrounded by like minded individuals and you experience more freedom than one could imagine in terms of more available time, freedom in assignments and paper and the like.  Thank you UA for providing this aspect for me, it is much appreciative.  One thing, I want to be Challenged a tad more.  I feel that I wasn't pushed rarely at all.  I want to feel that my back is against the ropes.  I want to feel pressure in a class.  I really didn't receive any of that, but I guess that is because this is more individual based and the pushing is up to the student not the professor.

Our minds are definitely more advanced than most, no disrespect please to anyone, but there are reasons why we are in this type of education curriculum.  My mind has changed, grown, adapted tremendously these last 4.5 months, words cannot even begin to describe it.  The different points of views that I take any little statement from is making my head spin, finding opportunities in everything is relentless, and my eagerness to learn more is at a height that I have never experienced.

-I have read 9 books, as of recently, outside of the classroom at my own will.  I think I read one book at will my 3.5 years in undergrad.
-Investment Analysis - all the students (about 35-40) gave presentations on the company/stock they believe would be a good move to invest into, our reasonings and explanations of course, to which we voted on afterwards on the top 3.  My investment company I presented (and I actually did invest) won 1st place in voting.
-Went to Chicago with the present and upcoming Beta Alpha Psi offers = Incredible
-Finished another year of coaching High Jump track for Holy Family in Stow
-Leadership course has opened up my eyes more and my desire to experience many different activities in life and help develop myself more into a "leader", more on how to live life in general as well.
-Capital Budgeting was a great course.  Along with this course and many books, it is all about cash flow, in this course we focused mainly on discounted cash flows to valuate companies.  Cash Flow IS KEY.
-I received a 3.91 GPA for my first semester as a grad student, had to throw that in there!
-Made many new friends, have really found some peers that are interested in learning and taking action into what I also want to do = phenomenal when you have that type of synergy.

-I have a L.E.A.P course that is Friday/Saturday from 9AM - 430 PM with Dr Thomas.  Will be a fast credit hour.
-Another LEAP course on June 4th & 5th, similar to above times, topic is SAP
-Summer course from 6/21 - 7/22 for Operations Management, 3 credit hours
-Final LEAP course on July 17th and 24th for another credit hour.
-Total 6 Credit hours in 20 actual days of class = VERY Rapid Paced.
-Going to San Jose with Ian, Mo, Kristian (BAP Officers) for our national meeting in August

Final Words
-Thank you to my friends, family, UA staff and other departments for helping me, following me on here and guiding me along this path.  I can't wait to knock some more books and credit hours out and really focus on some planning in terms of business ventures and the like.  Lets just say the next 7 months should be another life alternating time period for me, I believe.  Of course, I will keep everyone updated!
-Big shout out to my friends that are graduating this semester = Congratulations everyone, you all have worked so hard and made many proud, keep it up and stay focused on your goals.  Shout out to David and Robbie Stein & the Stein family, our prayers are continually with you.  Until next time, enjoy all your summers, enjoy the start of a new career, enjoy the approach of higher education and enjoy every second that we have.  Don't Count the days, Make the Days Count.

-Lanny B

Thursday, April 15, 2010

End of Week 13!

Hey Everyone!  End of week 13 over here for me!  Ended last night at around 7:00 PMish, lucky me!  A recap of this week:

Monday: Just coached at track practice from 6-7:45 for Holy Family grades 3 - 8

Tuesday: Investment Analysis Class - Very interesting, we talked about different trends, about rational investing, ended the class off with just some ending words of advice in regards to using the stock market as your investment vehicle.  Received my paper back and received 100, and picked a presentation day for first up on April 27th.  We have an exam next Tuesday the 20th.
Beta Alpha Psi/Accounting Association: Prior to class, we had our inductions for new members and officers (I will be VP of communications), having pasta, lasagna etc., from Spaghetti Warehouse and having a few faculty join in.  I am pretty excited about the position and to make the group better, the officers standing down were awesome and we have big shoes to fill.

Wednesday: Had student toastmasters, which went well, talked about applications for the iPhone and many people had great ideas for the app store, pretty cool stuff.
Strategic Marketing Management: Had our exam - the essays were pretty decent, but there were 6-8 multiple choice that I just could not narrow down for the life of me!  Again, I hope I get a 50/50 right on the ones that I could narrow and make an intelligent guess on.  I received my Netflix paper back and received 100 again.  He must be getting excited for his retirement at the end of this semester!  Also, if I do semi-well on this exam, I won't have to take the final.  I have my fingers crossed.

This upcoming weekend: Well, today I have track practice to coach at again from 6-7:45.  After that, I just need to plan and get ready for my trip to Oxford for a formal that I was asked to go to from Caitlin.  Pretty excited, but doubt my legs will be able to move like they used to : ).  Looking forward to it, but I feel terrible that I am missing out on our track meet on Sunday and also work on Sunday.  Also, I have to find plenty of time to study for my Investment Analysis exam next Tuesday.  It should be quite a busy upcoming 5 days for me.  And guess what?  It starts NOW!

Therefore I am taking off to read and study some.  Any one have any big plans for the weekend?  Cavs play the Bulls Saturday to start the playoffs - Definitely looking forward to the "extended" season!  Go Cavs!  This is YOUR Year!!

-Lanny B.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Skipping Ahead

Hey Everyone ~ Sorry for the Delay, my blogs were down for some time and I wasn't able to post, my apologies.  I therefore am calling this post, "Skipping Ahead" because I will be fast forwarding a week or so.

April 4th week: I had completed 2 papers - One in Investment Analysis regarding my stock screening task, why I chose the criteria, the top 5 companies that my results "spat" out and what and why I chose the company to invest in, which in fact, I did invest in the company and another 2 by the way : ).  The other paper was regarding Netflix Inc., for my Strategic Marketing Management course which had to describe a new type mission statement for them, about their product offerings and growth strategies and also dealing with the result of technology - whether it was sustaining or disruptive to them - of course technology is really the platform for Netflix, especially when talking about the means of the internet and its capabilities for them and the disruptiveness to Blockbuster, which is trading around 25 cents per share, ouch!

That finished off that Week really, had another evaluation/quiz sort in Capital Budgeting which was pretty easy, we won't be having class this Wednesday night due to a conference he is attending.  He now has changed his final to a report instead of an exam - which really is nice because I love to pour my thoughts, strategies, ideas and understandings of what we are learning than taking a MC or T/F question type test - that just doesn't show that you understand the material.  Also, our intramural team (Gamebreakers) won on Tuesday night, which is 2 wins in a row and actually we have "mercied" the team 2 weeks in a row now.  Oh on another note -> I was front page on the Buchtelite, our University paper, regarding a financial advice section, where I talked about Roth IRAs - Invest Now, especially while you are young - the main principle of the article.

13th Week of Grad School Ahead
-Investment Analysis: I believe we are simply having a lecture
-Intramural Basketball Game at 9PM
-Strategic Marketing Management - Exam #2.  If I do well on this, I don't have to take the final : )
-Capital Budgeting: No Class (Professor @ Conference)
-Miami for Caitlin's Formal Dance on Saturday night - Hope my 180,000 + Mile car makes it : )

We are in the home stretch as of right now and there are still many things to accomplish.  I received a 95/100 on my presentation in Leadership on that last Monday in March and a 94 on my Leadership Development Plan, which I keep revising and reading to really find where I am going on this journey.  I appreciate everyone reading and I truly am curious: How is everyone finishing up?  Summer Plans?  Let me know!  Talk to you all soon.

-Lanny B.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicago with Beta Alpha Psi

Hey everyone ~ long time no talk!  The reason for this huge delay is because I was in Chicago from Thursday until late Sunday evening and have been extremely busy getting settled back in and getting adjusted to the Akron lifestyle again.  I was in Chicago with the current and upcoming Beta Alpha Psi members, we are a business organization at The University of Akron that entails for the majority: accounting students, some finance and MIS students.  We have professional speakers from public accounting firms and industry companies and it is just a really big tool to network, get the face-to-face time with potential employers and it is also an amazing way to build friendships at the university.

Thursday 3/25/10: We departed Cleveland at 8:00 AM on the MegaBus towards Chicago.  The bus ride was awesome as we all talked, made jokes and had fun.  We stopped on Toledo to pick up more people and also made a rest break in Northern Indiana (howe? I believe).  It was nice landing in Chicago and getting the extra hour : ).  Upon landing, we took a cab ride to the Double Tree hotel and the place was awesome.  We received these amazing, mouth watering cookies, so that was a great way to start the trip.

We then got to our floor and parked our things in our rooms, and we decided to hike it to the Willis/Sear's Tower.  The wind was insane!  So I definitely understand why they call it the Windy City.  Nevertheless, we arrived at the tower, received our tickets and started to hike up the elevator to the 103rd floor!  Out here, we were all in awe.  The view from the top of one of the largest buildings in the world, overseeing the city of Chicago was breathless.  MTV was filming an episode for the Buried Life and we got to meet the actors on there which was pretty neat.  The craziest part though is that they installed these all Glass encompassing ledges that stick outside of that floor that you can walk on to.  Bottom-line, it was scary.  We all managed to do it and with a few more turns it became effortless!  In fact, Justin was jumping on them and I was doing pushups - with nothing separating everyone from the bottom but a piece of plexiglass!!!

Giordanos: The BEST pizza I have ever had - American style, that is.  WOW.  The pizza was over an inch thick and was so elegant and perfectly placed together.  It was phenomenal and in the words of Autumn "Life Changing".  Justin, Ian and I ended up taking down 3 slices of the masterpiece.

Friday: To start the day, we headed over to "The Bean" which was also just a beautiful piece of art.  We took many pictures and had a pretty good time checking out the other structures.  We had lunch at The Gage and since it was Friday, I had a salmon sandwich which was actually extremely good.  We also went to Lavazza and had some wonderful gelato - nothing wrong with that!  It's funny because my Nona Gina (grandma) loves Lavazza espresso, so of course, I had cafe espresso gelato!
Then, we had our conference meeting numero uno.  Our keynote speaker was John Blumberg and he is the author of 2 novels.  His speech was about core values and how we "drift" away from them during our careers and our lives.  At my table were Kent State, Notre Dame, Ohio Northern and Xavier students, I was surprised to actually find out we knew some of the same people!  We had a team building exercise where we had to build a tower out of newspaper and tape and relate it to core values.  Our team called ours "The IFRS Tower".  Surprisingly, out of 34 teams, we placed 5th with an honorable mention - not bad.
Afterwards, we went to the rainforest cafe and I ate Mahi-Mahi tacos.  Our server was funny as he knew Akron and was mentioning things for all of us to do in Chicago.  We finished the night by going to a little Irish place, relaxing and walking down by the river.

I will provide the next 2 days on my next post!  Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

End of Spring Break, Start of Week 10

Spring Break and it's lavish/relaxing days are now at an end.  I have come to realize what I love to do - Read.  Not just any fiction type book, but I mean read books that are increasing my intelligence in regards to finance, business and the like.  I have developed a large passion to expand my content and context and am eager to continue to learn - through technical information and also through personal relationships.

Spring break came to end with beautiful weather.  I had track practice to coach on the last Thursday, relaxed and read pretty much the rest of the weekend - started my Leadership Development plan (20-40 pages!!) which is due on March 29th along with a presentation.  I have knocked out 8 pages thus far to it and I can easily see it being way more than the 20 pages no doubt.

Last night: I had a track meeting with the coaches at 7pm because our practice was canceled due to rain and spoke about practices this week and the meet on Sunday.
This week = Chicago.  I will be leaving for Chicago Thursday Morning at 6 AM with Beta Alpha Psi.  We are going for our regional conference meeting and I just found out we aren't returning until Midnight/Monday at 12:00 AM.  Therefore, I need to call and request my Sunday shift off, let the other coaches know I will not be able to make it to the meet and also have most of my leadership plan done by then : (, but it will be all worth it.

I have intramural basketball tonight at 10pm, which just stinks because class for me ends at 7:50, I will write more of my paper and get in a workout at the rec before the games begin I think, simply because I don't want to lolligag for 2 hours and waste the time.  Kind of frustrated because I have been carpooling everyone in my family - the siblings for high school and even my mom because her tie-rod is destroyed - I think it may get fixed today but who knows.  So the last thing I'd want to do is stay on a campus that is 20 minutes away from where I want to be.  But oh well.

Leadership Last night was great.  It's technically the last one where we will have a discussion.  We talked about keeping power when you have a leadership role, when to give it up etc.  and also about ethics and absolute ethics.  There is a lot of what we talked about that touches on many points in the books that I have been reading, which just makes it all the better.  I am excited and eager to finish my report and talk for a few minutes on what I am most passionate bout on the topic of leadership next Monday.

I have a stock screen report due next Tuesday, and another big paper due the follow Wednesday I believe on the 7th of April, followed by a final in Strategic Marketing on the 14th as well.  I have quizzes/in-class assignments for Capital Budgeting for the last 5 weeks I would assume, until the final given during the 1st week of May.  I essentially think that I will only have 1 actual "final" during that finals week.  I will keep everyone posted on that.

How is everyone's semester finishing up?  Getting geared up for finals?  Majority of my friends are graduating in May and I can't help but feel excited for them to finish the chapter that just ended for me and for them to start on some new journey - some will be starting full time jobs in other states starting in June/July/Aug and others are starting their graduate programs in this upcoming Fall as well.  I wish everyone the best of luck, please feel free to comment your thoughts and feelings below or message me! Talk to everyone soon.

-Lanny B.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break Update!

Hey Everyone!  Spring break has been so relaxing!  I have been busy, but with things that I love to do.  So what exactly have I been up to?

Thursday & Friday: Relaxed, Ran outside in the beautiful weather, started reading: Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich by Robert Kiyosaki.  It's a great book and part of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series.  My cousin Brent also came over on Friday and we got a run in, discussed many important topics concerning education, college, life, what we are called to do etc.  It was pretty deep discussion.  Cleveland Cavaliers beat the 76ers, which was always a plus and on Friday Akron advanced to the MAC Championships and My friend Mike and his brother Zach found tickets online for us to go.  Game was Saturday at 6 at the Quicken Loans Arena

Saturday: Got a workout at The University of Akron's Recreation & Wellness center at around 2:15, went back to Mike and Zach's apartment and I made them Pasta and made a pretty good sauce with chicken in it.  We went to the game at around 4:35, Akron was Facing Ohio University for the MAC title and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Damn.  Damn.  That's all I have to say about the game.  It is a shame knowing that you're team is much better than the other, but it just wasn't their day.  OU had 2 very good players, but I would never consider them a team.  We are so spread out and have good overall players that trust and count on one another.  Wow Moment - Steve McNees drains a 3 with under 15 seconds to go to TIE the game and put us into OT.  He Then hit another 3 with around 1 minute to go to tie it 75 a piece in over-time.  His and Akron's efforts weren't enough to stop OU's Bassit and Cooper.  Tough, mentally draining loss.  Next year fellas, next year.  You did phenomenal this year, 24-10, and thanks for a great season.

Sunday: I had work at the Parish Office and just relaxed.  Watched the Cavs beat the Celtics - Always a great recovery from the Akron Zips loss.

Monday: Took my brother & sister to high school and then went to my cousin Brent's house for a run, a little business action to help him build up a donation amount for his journey to Bethlehem Farms.  He is going on a 1 month retreat from Mid-May to end of June.  I may go down for a few days to do some service work.  Before our run, we prepared a Pumpkin/Apple/Banana bread and placed it in the oven and afterwards nibbled at it a little bit at a time.  It was phenomenal.  Then, we played monopoly with him and his gf, which is always a good time.  I then had to coach HF track practice at 6:15-7:45ish, which was just a fun time - 140+ children from grades 3 - 8, it's quite the party!

Today/Tuesday: So far, I have taken the siblings to school again and went over to Brent's for another run.  I just finished the run and am typing this now!  I brought over my book and other things to read and take care of while I am here.  It's weird taking myself away from homework/studies for a few days and relax the mind in that manner.  I think today/tomorrow I will begin back up and prepare for the week(s) to come.  I have my fall semester planned as well, to which I will talk about in a later post once it is finalized.

Other than that, it's been a whole lot of running, relaxing, and eating some nice food.  Pretty good.  Thanks for stopping by!  What have you all been up to on your spring break? Any interesting ideas that I should consider? Please Post!

-Lanny B.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

End of Week 9!

Heyy Everyone!!  It's Thursday which officially marks the end of week number 9 for me.  Only 6 weeks left?  Crazy huh?  The weather is already picking up - here in Northeast Ohio it has been around 45-60 degrees for the last week I would say = Phenomenal running weather and it just gives people an overall better mood.

Another Highlight: As of about 10:40 PM last night - I am ALSO officially on spring break : )  Wahooo!!!!  Thank goodness.  I now can save mileage from driving to akron, have a clearer mind when working on my blogs, free to roam wherever I'd like.  Good Stuff.  I am on spring break until March 22nd, so a solid 11 days for me.

Last night's class overview:  Strategic Marketing Management was fun - we talked about differentiation and low cost leadership type companies, how the small firm can steal market share from the larger firm in a mature market.  We brought out the experience and learning curves etc.  It was, to me, a more in depth version of a few classes mixed together from my undergraduate program.  Our professor released us 25 minutes early which was nice for some students, but that just meant I had to wait an additional 25 minutes for my other night class to start...

Capital Budgeting: Class was good, received 2 "quizzes" back and had another in class "quiz".  The scores I received were: 100, 83, 100; so not too bad.  We learned more about continuing value, how when RONIC = WACC that doesn't necessarily mean there is no value added, because your base of invested capital is still bringing a higher return in.  On another positive note: Our professor let us out 70 minutes early!! Can't beat that?

Grades Breakdown for Week 9:
Leadership: 100%
Investment Analysis: 94% A-
Capital Budgeting: 746/800 = 93.25% A-
Strategic Marketing Management = 90.4% A-

With the grades above - The capital budgeting after quiz next week, I believe will shoot up to 846/900 = 94% A; after the next Paper with SMM I should have around a 92%, Investment Analysis after my paper = Unknown (I have no idea where my grade or what my grade will be on the paper!).

Overall - Fast, Solid Week.  Grades are looking fairly decent, I want to turn those minuses to just solid A's, so I will do what I can to do that.  I will be reading a few books over spring break, which I will post on when I finish.  Any books that you would like to recommend?  What are your strategies for increasing your grades towards the latter part of the semester?  Thanks for reading everyone!!  Talk to you soon!

-Lanny B.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 9 Update

Hey everyone and welcome back to my MBA Finance experience blog at The University of Akron.  We are now in Week 9 of my first graduate school semester and things have gone relatively smooth and I feel well adjusted to the new style of classes (besides a few yawns by 10:15 at night!)  I wanted to talk about a few things today: Business Week Ranking, Leadership Class, & the Week to Come.

Business Week Rankings:  CONGRATS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON!!!!  Last year, I believe, we were ranked 93rd out of the ~1700 business schools and that alone was an accomplishment.  This Year, however, we were ranked...... 76th!!!!!!  A nice 17 positions up is a GREAT improvement, phenomenal if I must say!  I am so excited that our program is finally becoming ranked higher and higher and all while I am experience the education as well.  I think our program is phenomenal hands down (call me biased).  I think it's great because I would say 75-80% of our program is currently working.  Most schools students ARE NOT, I am dead serious.  That is why we have so many night class offerings.  We talk about this in our class lectures all the time.  We are true scholars when one can work 40+ hours and come here at night and earn very approved grades, are involved in organizations - all while improving ourselves etc..  Akron just isn't getting the PROPER respect that we deserve!  I am certain next year will bring new highs as well.  Our Career Service center ranked 7th.  7th.  7th.  Let that sink in.  7th.  OUT OF ALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS.  I was fortunate to really USE the career service center, had 9 first round interviews in the fall of 2008, 6 2nd round interviews and then it came down to choosing a few offers when roaming my way for an internship.  I had my internship last summer with Crowe Horwath LLP and it was amazing, ending with me having a full-time offer.  Who else gets to network, interview, establish wonderful relationships in such a way like that?  Not many.  Congratulations University of Akron - you have earned it.

Now off my ramble... Leadership last night from 8:10-10:40 was great.  Our topics were about Communication, Public Speaking, IQ and EQ.  I love public speaking.  Especially because I am a member of student toastmaster's and have practiced/gave many speeches in my day - I just receive a "high" from it all.  We really discussed the lack of the human element though in regards to communication, how the smartest beings in universities cannot write or talk professional due to Text messaging, email, tweeting, facebooking and the like.  It's really been an obscene thing.  We then broke into talking about public speaking - more specifically - how we overcome nerves,  how to prep etc - came out with a list of around 25 objectives!  We then spoke about our Emotional Intelligence or EQ for short.  EQ > IQ.  Bottom line.  You can be the smartest person with the highest IQ but if you can't relate to people and aren't aware of yourself and your surroundings, success might not be as high as you'd expect.  Being a leader takes a high IQ but even above that - A high EQ.  IQ+EQ = Wisdom.  We had a great discussion about it all but sadly ran out of time when we were in the middle of discussing EQ.  Only 2 more class periods of this left - It's Crazy!

What Comes of This Week: I am working out today at around Noon, We Have a  Beta Alpha Psi/Accounting Association Meeting at 4, Then I have class of Investment Analysis at 5:20-7:50.  I read a few chapters over the weekend.  Tomorrow: Student Toastmasters 3-4.  Class from 5:20 - 7:50 and then 8:10 - 10:40.  Guess what comes after that?  S P R I N G B R E A K!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!  Therefore, technically I am on break from this Thursday the 11th all the way through the 21st.  10 days of relaxation : )

Thanks everyone for stopping by!  Who else is on spring break this upcoming week?  Any big plans?  Please comment!

-Lanny B.

P.S. Today is my birthday.. oh man.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

End of Week Number 8.

Over the 50% (51.4% to be exact 18/35 days of actual class) mark of the semester.  I technically only have 17 actual days of school left this semester.  Strange isn't it?  I have 3 days of school left for the next 3 weeks of class and then finish off with 2 days of class for the final 4 weeks.  I will have 10 credit hours underneath my belt, have one week off and then it's back to attack my goal even harder with 2 summer courses.

8th Week Summary
The 8th week was extremely nice.  Great leadership class as described earlier on monday, I need to start preparing my Leadership Development Plan - I am really interested in doing this as it will help my online passive income dreams I think and help define me on who I am as a person, professional, friend and leader.

Investment Analysis class went great as well, he talked about the article that I spoke to him about which was kind of neat - article dealt with the SEC putting a new "regulation" on short-selling.  We had a great Beta Alpha Psi & Accounting Association Meeting before that class too, in which we had the JM Smucker's Company come and present this week (we usually have a public accounting firm or an industry come in and talk about relevant topics in the accounting/business world etc).  They were great and had a ticket-drawing to which a student won an Apple iPod Nano - good day to go to a meeting huh?  Sadly, I didn't win : (.  It's okay - I got to meet many people from the Smucker's company and actually about 4 of my friends currently work their Full-Time or have internships with them this summer, so they came and helped present.

Wednesday marked the first day I was back with our Student Toastmaster's and I had a nice warm welcome from the president, vice president and the faculty advisor for the organization.  It felt great to be back - I wasn't able to before with issues such as the car.  For those that don't know, Toastmasters is about public speaking and our group is the student edition - it's a phenomenal way to practice in front of people, give you confidence etc..  I was happy to be back and actually gave a short speech on what issues we face today as a country - I quickly came up with the topic to talk about electronic communication such as Facebook, Twitter, Text messaging, E-mailing etc., because I feel as a nation we are declining in the human interaction of actually talking and seeing someone and I think it's crazy that it has become like that.  Talking, seeing is so important because you connect with one another on a whole different level, which I am sure we all know.  I don't want to get into a rant, so it was a great overall meeting and I am excited for next week's meeting.

Classes Wednesday were great too, Strategic Marketing Management was fun and entertaining because we just had discussions about acquisitions and conglomerates with a more focus on strategic fit and creating synergies and why conglomerates, if they don't have some sort of theme/synergy, usually fail.  Followed that class was my Capital Budgeting, where we had 2 "quizzes" - I aced the first one, but missed a question that I am mad about on the 2nd one.  It's okay, I still think I have somewhere between a 92/93 percent so far.  It was a solid class - it was just about forecasting and breaking down financial statements from accounting standards to financial standards to evaluate the future cash flow valuation of a company.

WHOO that was a lot wasn't it?  Thanks for bearing with me on this post as I had much to talk about.  Coming up - I have a discussion topic for leadership due sunday night, a chapter to read in capital budgeting and about 6 in Investment Analysis : ( haha it's okay it won't be too bad.  Regarding the toastmaster's topic - does anyone have any other topics on what issues that we are facing today?  They could be big or small but just post them below - I'd love to hear.  Thanks for reading, get things done and stay focused on your goal/destination!  Have a great weekend everyone.

-Lanny B

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week 8 So Far: Car Fixed, Great Class, Economic Analysis

Hey everyone!  How was the weekend for you all?  Mine was busy and stressful, but hey what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, right?  Well anyways, it's a nice Tuesday morning and I am relieved of a few things.  To Begin:

My Car is FIXED!  Yes -- You have read it, my car is officially fixed!  My guy fixed the brake line and I drove to my Monday night class last night.  That was the first time in over 4 weeks that I drove my car, it just felt weird, ya know?  It took from 12:45 PM - 6:45 PM to get it all completed, but hey we did it, or he did it - but I was there to help.  He was only going to charge me... you ready for this... $80 for it!  I thought people weren't so nice these days?  BUT I couldn't just pay him only $80 for the job, so I gave him $120 - I wonder if he noticed yet - he put the money just right in his pocket w/o counting.  I did receive a call from him during my class, but I couldn't answer, I wonder what he was calling about : ) Parts were under $30 so we can round out the job to being about $150.00  AMAZING.  Anywhere to get a completely new brake line is going to cost hundredS with the emphasis on the s at the end.  My brakes still feel as though there is too much give, but my guess that is the air that will work its way out.  Car is Back. Phew.  I hate Cars still, HATE THEM!

Monday Night Class of Leadership = AWESOME!  We got our open forum where the teacher rarely talked and we just spoke about our "conversation starters" that we turn in online and just speak and listen.  It's awesome.  You hear so many different perspectives on things and it is great.  Plus, the class goes by faster that way and we got out at 10:29 = 11 minutes early!  Overall - Good class time, but I WAS DEAD/EXHAUSTED!

I came home and finally got to eat something, as I was busy all day.   I ended up staying up til probably close to 2:00 AM because my body was just heated from class and working on the car ALLLLL Day.  I thought I'd fall right to sleep but I was wrong.  Woke up at 7:30 today so I am feeling the effects of tiredness.  I will go to bed early for sure tonight, if my body allows.  I will try these new methods that I wrote about in an article: How to Sleep At Night.

Today I finished my Economic Analysis/Forecast for this upcoming year for my Investments Analysis course.  I like it.  I just talk about the federal funds rate, inflation, tax incentives for small business/business owners, monetary and fiscal policies being used etc.  What is great and why I like it is - it all makes sense.  If you'd like to read my forecast, let me know and I can send you a copy and you can tell me what you think!  That report is due tonight in our class, so I AM SO GLAD it is out of the way : ).

Next on the Agenda is studying Capital Budgeting, Going to the Bank and autozone, BAP/AA Accounting Meeting, Get a workout in (I NEED IT) and clean up the garage.  All in All an extremely productive day!

How is everyone's week looking?  For students, some are on their spring break right now, such as University of Dayton and John Carroll, and others - this is their Mid-Term and they are bombarded w/ exams!  Good luck to everyone and keep at it and STAY FOCUSED on your goal/destination!  Talk to you all soon.

-Lanny B

Friday, February 26, 2010

Life Happenings Outside of School...

It would be obvious and easy if I said that it would be nice if one could put full focus on one thing at one time, in my scenario - school.  Paying over 4 thousand dollars for this semester, I think I deserve to put that at full attention.  However, life does not let it.  There are so many things going on right now that one cannot risk putting one focus on one thing, or else, we could fall.

Besides school, my car is currently in shambles - brake line has been out/not right for 4 weeks and it currently is not starting - when it started 2 days ago : (  I am sure that it takes just one good jump, but it's funny - I was having a guy come over to look at and probably fix my car's brake line/hose/whatnot TODAY - that's not happening.  That has been consuming my mind.  Others - Deadlines for other things besides school, track is starting up for the grade school, friends want to hang out (and its extremely difficult when you don't have a car!), groups & associations at school, basketball practice & games, keeping track of my mother's finances and the list is endless - as I am sure all of yours are too.

I also signed up for 2 summer courses at The University of Akron.  One in the first five week session and the other in the second five week session.  I think that will cost somewhere b/w $2,500-$3,000 - so it's exciting, crazy in a way I know, to build that amount up for that.  I have been using online streams of income to help provide funding which is nice, which can be found on my other blog sections.  So I will take 6 credit hours in the summer, 9 in the Fall and 9 next Spring to finish up... then CPA studying Time.

Sorry to get off topic - keeping the mind clear, focused, unstressed has been so difficult this semester.  The whole car thing has drove me completely crazy to the point where I think cars are pointless.  I hate them.  The average person probably pays b/w $1,500 - $2,500 per year just to drive their car.  This is just including gas, insurance and an oil change or two.  Some are way higher and some are probably lower, but it's the fact about how much of an expense it is to drive.  It makes one kind of wish I was in Japan and I had my house, my work and shops all in one central location within walking/biking distance - you never know - maybe I WILL set up something of the sort : )  

Thanks for listening to me rant, I needed to get some things out and maybe go back to work on this economic analysis paper.  Anyone else having a rough weekend?


Thursday, February 25, 2010

End of the 7th Week! 14 Days Until Spring Break

Heyy Everyone!  Wow.  Wow.  7 Weeks done for me already?  Someone wake me up because I don't believe it!  Today I wake up with only 8 weeks of school left for the semester.  Countdowns from today are: 14 Days Until Spring Break, 29 Days Until Chicago (BAP Regional meeting), 68 Days Until the Semester is over.  Incredible!

In my Strategic Marketing Management course, I received my test back.  The average for the class was an 88% and the high score was a 94%.  I was average.  I received an 88%, I aced the essay portion with 100% - had to do with the Business Model and how it relates to a certain company that we focused on in the beginning of the course.  The Multiple Choice, however, not so well - receiving an 80% on that section and that was the majority of the grade.  An 88% isn't bad because pair that with a 100% from my first paper - I have earned 45.2% of my grade so far with a total max of 50% left that I can earn.  So, if I do the same on my next exam and report, I will finish the course with a 90.4%, HOWEVER, the next exam will be heavily weighted on the essay portion, which I do better, so I hope to achieve higher than that.  Overall, not bummed, but not extremely pleased - there is still much more that I could have done to better prepare myself.  You learn from mistakes and from practice, that is all that one can do.

I have an assignment due Sunday night at 8pm for Leadership with an Economic Analysis due Tuesday for Investment Analysis course.  I will be pretty busy these next few days working on those assignments, but the distraction of this computer, as I have stated, is insane.

How does it feel to be 7 weeks done as a graduate student, as I asked myself?  Well, it feels strange because normally, one would go to class, come home and study etc.  Now, I wake up, study and do homework and then go to class - it's in reverse order.  So let's say that you woke up every day and ate breakfast, but instead you wake up and eat dinner - it's going to be an adjustment that your mind and body have to get used to.  I feel as though time is of the essence as that is ONE thing that man/woman cannot control - it is out of one's grasp, therefore you need to be both effective and efficient.

Anyone have any plans for spring break coming up?  I am going to chicago the weekend after so I am excited about that - maybe get some of the chi-style deep dish pizza?  Hope everyone's semesters and lives are going well and I wish you a great weekend!  I will post again soon.

-Lanny B.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recap of Monday's Class & Last night's Exam

Hey everyone, it's Wednesday and I thought now would be a great time to throw down a post.  I just had my first Monday night Leadership course and, to say the least, it was incredible.  Our professor is very knowledgeable on the topic and has wrote his own book(s) on leadership.  It's an open-forum type course and I think that is a phenomenal way to teach - We learn more by seeing different views from others - and that is what this class brings: People from China and Korea are in the class and of all ages; which brings way different point of views about topics.  We had to give a little speech at the end about what leadership means, who is a leader, etc., etc..  It was a nice way to finish the class, because you get to know everyone's backgrounds, their viewpoint, and most important, their names!  I don't know how many classes I have taken where I finish the end of the semester, not knowing more than 5 members names, it's terrible.  That is part of the reason why I am excited about this course - to get to know more people on a professional and personal level.  We have our conversation starter due Sunday night for our discussion on Monday.

Last Night's Investment Analysis Exam.  Well, it wasn't TOO bad, but I did become confused on a few of the questions, because, of course, there was a famous answer "None of The Above."  I mean come on, why or what is the point of throwing curveballs on an MC portion of an exam any way?  I know it propels you to be confident in your answer, but when you see that, it makes you think, "Oh, well maybe NONE of these are correct?"  It is a total mind trick!  Therefore, I probably guessed on around 6 of the questions.. which is not good, because there were only 33 questions.  I hope I can get at least 2 of those correct, which wouldn't hurt too bad then.  Overall, I overstudied, read the chapters that was not necessary, and just wasn't efficient.  Not efficient because the hours I put in to studying is not going to produce the higher grade.  I could have studied a small fraction of the time by just reviewing power points and still, more than likely, would have received the SAME GRADE.  It's okay though.  We have an economic analysis that is due next Tuesday night, oh boy I am excited.. joking, it should actually be interesting to write your own research and findings on the subject and this subject I am VERY interested in, such as Fiscal and Monetary Policy - changing the money supply and interest rates etc., etc.  

Tonight I have 2 classes, of course, and will probably write about them and close this Seventh Week.. wow, 7 weeks done, really?  that is insane.  I have about 15 days until spring break and around 69 days left until this semester is over.  Strange. I know.  Thanks everyone for reading.  By the way, how does everyone else feel about the MC answers of None of the Above and/or All of the above? Drives me crazy!

-Lanny B.

Monday, February 22, 2010

First Monday Night Class - Leadership!

Hey Everyone!  How was the weekend?  Mine was pretty good, despite the Cavs losing yesterday to Orlando, but that's another story!  I am here to talk about my First Monday Night class tonight! - Leadership.
Last night, I went through the introduction section of the book he posted online, my professor actually wrote it, and it seems like it is going to an amazing class!  He talks about starting to become a leader begins with what is inside YOU, how you are as a person, your characteristics, values and integrity.  He wants us to find why people would follow us, where we would lead them, how we would lead them, why the trust us etc.  Pretty riveting stuff if you ask me, not going to lie, I became excited to lead a group to one common goal - it just makes sense and it would feel great!  He actually had a great Warren Buffet quote, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to lose it” <-- How true is that?  I thought it was great and was pretty relevant to the class and this post.  The class is only 1 credit hour, meeting from 8:10 - 10:40 PM for 5 weeks, we have a report due this Sunday, another one due in a few weeks and a final presentation on the last class day. 

Next up - I have an Investment Analysis test tomorrow over six chapters, not too shabby.  I started to read my notes on the chapters two days ago and I seem to know a lot about it - I am not too sure what format the exam will be in, I guess I'll find out tomorrow night!!  I also have an Economic Analysis due the following Tuesday, which I need to begin writing as soon as I complete the exam.  That report should be pretty interesting, as the stock market ended on a good note last Friday and the FRB provided a little more relief, again, that is a whole different story : ).   Okay, well if it is off to study more Investment analysis, I hope to post tonight but it may be pretty late, so I possibly may leave it for after my exam tomorrow!  We shall see!  Anyone else taking a one credit course or are being taught important courses to become a valuable member of society? I am sure you are - you just don't know it yet!  Talk to you soon.

-Lanny B. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick Post on Interest Rate Section

Quick post everyone, this is just from learning more about Real Rates of Interest & nominal rates and I felt like I HAD to post it!

There are many determinants in setting the interest rate: Household Savings, Business expenditures and government & FRB fiscal and monetary policies.

Supposed Inflation was 6%, Nominal Interest Rate was 10%.  Your Real Interest Rate using approximation method is 4% but the calculated method is only 3.77%.  It doesn't end there, because if you are earning interest you are being taxed on that as well.

Let us suppose you are in the 30% tax bracket and we will use the same figures as above.  Using approximation, your real-rate is 4%, then net after tax rate would be 4%(1-t) = 2.8%
HOWEVER, the tax code doesn't recognize that 6% of your return is no more than compensation/pay for inflation NOT REAL INCOME, therefore your after-tax real return is reduced by 6%; 6% x .3 = 1.7% and you would subtract that from your 2.8% after-tax-rate, bringing it down to a lowly 1.1% After-Tax Real Interest Rate.

Therefore, you can have a 10% return on something and in actual terms can really only mean 1.1% given the factors of inflation and taxation, weird huh?  If anyone wants equations let me know!

-Lanny B.

The Weekend

Hey Everybody!  How are you all doing?  I am doing pretty good on this fine Friday morning, and wow is my computer just buzzing with things to do!  I tell you what, it is SO strange only having class 2 nights a week (technically only one night the past 2 weeks!) and it feels like I hardly have put any "In-Class" effort so far this semester.  Yeah I have read numerous pages, chapters and articles here at home, but it just isn't the same.  As of today, I have 20 days until my spring break and only 76 days until my semester is over <-- the 76 days figure could actually be lower, depending on when my finals are.

Bottom-line, this semester is F-L-Y-I-N-G.  I am already 6 weeks done with less than 3 weeks before I have over a week off (over a week off because my last class during the week is a wednesday, therefore I am on spring break from Thursday Mar 11 - 21st) Today is a busy day, I am going to register for my first 5-week summer session course that begins May 17th.  That class is Process Analysis and Cost Management.  AKA my last required accounting course that I will take.  In case you didn't read the about me above in my blog or my post, I was an accounting undergraduate student.  Another reason why I am actually in graduate school is to earn my 150 credit hours, so that I may sit for my CPA exam.  But anyways, I actually am going to take ANOTHER 5-Week summer course after that one is over called: Management of Operations.  It is funny because both of these courses I have basically already have taken at an undergrad level, the first being similar to Cost Management(accounting) and Advanced Managerial, and the latter being similar to principles of operations management.  So I am kind of mad that I have to take these courses, but there is no leeway - the University wants their money I guess!!!

This upcoming week:  I have my first ever Monday night (8:10-10:40) course for leadership that lasts only 5 weeks, because it is a 1 credit course.  Pretty excited to get it in and get it out.  I also have an Investment Analysis test over a large amount of material, mostly concerning different types of securities, the markets, how they are traded/bought/sold, regulations, institutions, economic factors and conditions etc., just a lot of material like I said.  I will probably crank out another chapter today, as I am following my eHow article on how to study for an exam.

Tonight I will be going to our Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Association at an Italian restaurant in Akron.  We will be talking about the position that I will have with Beta Alpha Psi next year, Vice President of Career Development/Communications, and just have a great time catching up and seeing all the current and up-coming officers.  Afterwards, my buddy Mike is having a shindig at his place, so I will stop by and hang out.  Well, I am off to the books everyone!  Thanks for reading, anyone else have any big plans, upcoming tests, and/or involved in any student organizations?  I'd love to hear about it, so comment or message me!  Talk to you all soon.

-Lanny B.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

End of the 6th Week And Post-Test Feeling

Hey Everyone!  Welcome back.  This now marks the end of the 6th week of being a graduate student in the MBA Finance program.  I just completed my first exam, as described in the post below, and it was "so-so".  The essay wasn't too harsh, but the multiple choice were tricky!  I Thought for sure that the MC would be the portion that I would excel at, but it could have been in reverse.  There were so many I could break down to 2 answers and it could either way... maybe an argument brews among the class with the professor next week?  I hope so : )  Regardless of the exam, my first paper I turned in last week was returned back before taking the exam.  I gained more confidence before the exam, because I received a 100, but that soon dwindled as I drew puzzled on a few of the MC questions.  All in all, I know where my grade is RIGHT NOW and that will help me sleep tonight!

In my capital budgeting class, I received a quiz back from last week and I did very well (102%).  I have to keep this pace up because I botched one the very first week of class.  So, I have steadily inclined to a comfortable position in that class.   Lecture today though was intense but interesting in what we learned, I wish everyone was there to witness the theory behind a lot of these equations and analyses.  Good class today, that is all.  And we were let out an hour early - no complaints there!

Next on the agenda: Exam in my investment analysis class over about 6 chapters or so next Tuesday the 23rd.  Also, my Monday Leadership class starts for the upcoming 5 Mondays in a row (8:10 - 10:40 it sucks).  I am interested to see who is in the class though and find out what it is all about and see the professor's teachers methods.

Well everyone, it's late and I should get my sleep!  Thanks for everyone who has read this and if you have comments please post below and talk about your education path, upcoming exams and endeavors!  Take care and good night!

-Lanny B.

First Exam as a Graduate Student in 6 Hours

My first exam countdown has begun.  About 6 hours from now I will be in my seat, waiting, nervously and anxiously, to see what the heck is going to be on this exam.  The exam, our professor said, will be an easier format to break us in - 35 Multiple Choice and 2 Essays.  Pretty Fair if you ask me.  Multiple Choice I feel will be easy, just simply breaking them down, eliminating the wrong ones and increasing the % chance of choosing the right one is my philosophy.  I have studied off and on the past 3 days, and feel that there is not much more I can do, but of course I will go over everything 1-2 more times.  The reason why there isn't much more is because of this:
It is my professor's last semester before retirement, he didn't require any textbook for the course and most of our notes are from 2 power point presentations, 2 word documents and about 4 articles.  I point this out because there isn't THAT much information to cover and a great deal of it isn't common knowledge but I feel you can work your way through most of it.

I am feeling, on a 1-10 scale (10 feeling incredible), about a 7.  7, because I am not sure exactly what is going to be on this exam, what is going to be the essays etc.  But with 35 multiple choice questions I hope to get at a minimum of 30 correct, which is about 86% right, and if luck goes my way - a minimum of 33 would be ideal. 

The essay I just need to read the question that is asked.  Many times students simply read the essay, forgetting what they ask and just start writing information that isn't relevant to answer the question.  In business you need to be precise and to the point.  I will answer the question that is asked to the best of my ability.

After the exam, I have capital budgeting.  We are going to do a new section that isn't covered in the book.  We need to have our financial calculators today but guess what - I am pretty sure I lost mine in that very classroom last Wednesday, FML.  I will ask my professor if he had seen one laying around last week, and if not - I will buy one on eBay for about $9, but long math will be the route it looks like today : (

I will post after my exam to let everyone know how it went!  Wish me luck and thanks for reading!  Anyone else have any tests/exams/projects due this week?  Feel free to post below and talk about them!  Thanks!

-Lanny B.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finding the Motivation

Finding the Motivation - Very difficult to do the past couple of days.  My situation - work very few hours where I am employed, only Night classes 2 days a week (starting 2/22 it will be 3 nights a week) and distractions are endless.

It is difficult when you are not in a setting that is suitable for learning.  I am in my dining room currently, I have 3 text books, one casual book and of course, my laptop.  The laptop is needed though so I can take notes, e-mail other students and professors and reach documents that I need online.  BUT the internet is on here.  I am blogging now to maybe let some of my thoughts out so I can go back to studying.  I will try to set a good 60 minutes straight after I finish publishing this, so I am using this blog as my motivation and discipline.

I am only taking 10 credit hours, so it feels like I am not doing so much, you know?  I am used to 18 or so credit hours (6 classes) when compared to 3-4 classes now, it just feels like there is so much missing. 

I will be studying for my exam on Wednesday night and work on my assignment due in the class after.  I don't have class this Tuesday because of President's Day (we take Tues off not Monday), making it 2 weeks in a row of not having my Tuesday class (Snow Day last week).  Thanks for reading, and it is back to hitting the books!

-Lanny B.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fist Graduate School Exam is 2/17/2010

Hey everyone.  My first actual big-time grad-school exam is this Wednesday in my Strategic Marketing Management course.  It is over quite a lot from setting up business models (like customer value proposition etc), evaluating the product portfolio using techniques such as GE/McKinsey Matrix and the BCG Matrix and some in-depth information on trends occurring in the U.S., along with intense study on the Environmental scanning of the issues that your company is facing - which one's are relevant, which ones you benefit from, which one negatively effects you and what opportunities can derive from it.  I will be studying a little bit from today forward.  I will post after the exam.  Wish me luck! Thanks

Friday, February 12, 2010

End of 5 Weeks!

Today marks the end of my 5th week of graduate school thus far. I am currently taking 10 credit hours: Capital Budgeting, Investment Analysis, Strategic Marketing Management and a Leadership course (1credit). The semester is very different from undergrad, different students, different ways to think and evaluate material and very in-depth. Classes are 1 night a week for 2.5 hours at a time, which definitely has been strange adjusting to that.

So far, I feel as though these weeks are simply zipping by. I can barely grasp on what exactly happens during these weeks, but I find myself reading more and more each day, to my satisfaction though. Which brings me to point this out - I remember being younger in school and HATING to read material, reading the chapters etc. Now, I find myself enjoying it and having a more appreciation for the material I am learning. This could be, because I am applying a lot to what life is bringing, this could stem from me getting older (currently 21 years old) and being affected by how the world has been changing.

Classes are interesting. Interesting in the fact that I have done accounting for 3.5 years and the other intertwined side of business - finance - is such a spectacular avenue to study. Not only that, but, as told to my peers, being a 21 year old American is a minority!! There are people from all over the world, much older too, in my courses, and they have stacks of experience compared to mine. Some are from India, China, Israel, Australia, Argentina; to name a few. What has been great is you get to experience new cultures in these courses. I feel that is so beneficial, to understand one's country and how it completely differs or can be somewhat similar to ours.

There are about 85 days left until this semester is over and merely 28 days until "spring break" for me. So far, I have enjoyed it in a way that I only have to drive to campus twice a week, but the cons are - not being able to go to the recreation center as much, seeing your past accounting friends etc. I will post again after more time has passed to further update. Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Background Information About Me

Hello, I am Lanny Berlingieri and have been born and raised in Northeast Ohio in the Akron area. I attended The University of Akron for undergrad, earning my Bachelor's of Science in Accounting (Fall 2006-Fall 2009). 2010 was then approaching quickly and I had to decide on what I was planning to do in the middle of my last semester. I have a full-time offer with Crowe Horwath starting September 2011, which gave me around 21 months in b/w graduating and starting. I therefore took the GMAT and began taking graduate courses this semester (January 2010) towards an MBA in Finance.