I’d like to introduce you to a student in the M.S. in Accounting Class of 2017, Jamie Hinz! Jamie came to UVA all the way from SMU (Southern Methodist University) to pursue a master’s degree in Accounting and has accomplished quite a few milestones during her time here in Charlottesville. Although she came to grad school with an offer from EY’s assurance practice in Dallas, right before Thanksgiving break she surprised us all with an acceptance to the one-year rotational EY Professional Practice Researcher Program in New York City! Selected as one of ten out of 100 applicants, we couldn’t be more excited for Jamie in her new adventure coming this summer.
When asked about what drew her to UVA’s M.S. in Accounting (MSA) program, she emphasized the level of comfort she feels while in the program due to the variety of undergraduate institutions represented within such a small class. A classic statement that floats around when students search for a graduate or undergraduate program is that “you’ll just know it when you feel it” and this held true for Jamie when she visited UVA—in her words, she “just felt a vibe!”
A main factor in the MSA program is not to focus on tedious calculations but to understand the big picture of the accounting industry by taking what we’ve learned into the work place. Jamie stated that her ability to start fresh in a new city, make new friends, and establish confidence in her teams comes from her various transitional experiences, as well as her time spent with a variety of people within her classes at UVA.
With the demand for skilled writers at an all-time high, the MSA program focuses on professional memo writing along with learning how to be concise yet effective in communication. With the expectation of a lot of writing in her new research position, Jamie mentioned she was grateful for her experiences with technical memo writing taught in each of her classes, and more specifically her ability to communicate accounting issues in an efficient manner.
A common misconception among those outside of accounting is that everything is rule based. To outsiders’ surprise, accounting can be extremely subjective and the professors in the MSA program focus their efforts on getting their students to think outside of the standard rules and understand the “why” behind the work they’re doing. Jamie stated, “the professors have taught us a lot about the regulatory framework of accounting, which is very useful knowledge for me to have next year in my new role. The high level of critical thinking skills that it takes to tackle a problem from multiple angles to find the right solution will be extremely valuable in the research I’ll be doing.”
Within a program that offers a variety of opportunities, when asked what the best return on her time spent in the MSA program was, Jamie said, “I think that after leaving this program I’ll be able to speak eloquently and intelligently about accounting, at both a technical and conceptual level. The critical thinking that goes on at this program is unmatched. Being able to take that into the workplace and actually understand why you’re doing a task is what not only distinguishes us from students in other programs, but also from potential computers systems that are a threat to our jobs.”
A lot of people ask us, as accounting students, why we would choose this field. What most people are missing is the majority of opportunities we have with such a specialized skill set. When asked what Jamie was most passionate about that correlates to accounting, she reiterated the point that accounting can be combined with anything, but more specifically that she’s most passionate about public service, which she feels has an established connection to public accounting.
When asked about her ultimate dream job, Jamie said for a long time she dreamed of becoming a CFO or CEO of a public company, but with this new opportunity in NYC coming up this summer, she’s also started to think about potentially running a regulatory body or work in central banking. My favorite quote from Jamie when asked about her dreams was, “the answer changes daily, but I’m hoping these dreams don’t just stay dreams.”
-Written by Corey Parham