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.

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