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.

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.