Originally hailing from the Maryland side of Washington, D.C., Accounting Professor Andrea Roberts views her position at McIntire as the fortunate confluence of opportunities and timing. Indeed, there may be a kind of destiny to her arrival. She had hoped to attend UVA as an undergrad, and although admitted as an out-of-state student, finances prevented her from studying here. Her educational journey led her to earn a B.S. in Accounting from Towson University and spend the following five years working at Ernst & Young. After deciding she wanted a life in academia, she pursued a Ph.D. in Accountancy from The George Washington University and held her first academic post at Boston College. After nearly a decade teaching in Boston, she sought to return to the mid-Atlantic to be closer to family, yet securing employment in Charlottesville originally seemed like an unlikely possibility to her.
As we approach the end of our nine-month program, it feels like a good time to reflect on the value of the M.S. in Accounting (MSA). I moved to Charlottesville last August after graduating as an accounting major from the College of Charleston. Overall I’ve felt that the MSA has been a tremendous experience, and I think that comes down to three main reasons:
With data analytics and the concepts behind big data growing rapidly in the business world, students right out of college often find themselves slightly behind the curve when it comes to understanding and analyzing the magnitude of these new tools. After a conversation with M.S. in Accounting’s (MSA) forensic accounting professor, Eric Negangard, it was apparent that the goal of the MSA program is to build confidence from day one. With this confidence, students will be able to walk in on their first day of work and be steps ahead of their peers when it comes to understanding and applying the complexity of data analytics.
Benjamin Franklin, founding Father of the United States, once was quoted as saying, “there are only two certainties in this world: death and taxes.” Franklin didn’t have his M.S. in Accounting (MSA) from UVA but he may have been onto something. In the MSA program there is a focus placed on that second certainty by developing students’ skills in the foundation of U.S Taxation in the Tax Consulting track.
To conclude our series on transitions to UVA’s M.S. in Accounting (MSA) program, we have interviewed two students who attended UVA for undergrad and decided to stay for a fifth year. We’ve covered students coming from all over the world, as well as other students’ transitions from both large and small universities. Our hope is to connect with each and every applicant interested in attending the MSA program and offer personal advice for the each of those currently in their search of a graduate accounting program. Each student was asked to respond to the following questions:
A big factor that influenced my decision to do the M.S in Accounting at the McIntire School of Commerce is the pleasant academic atmosphere created by the professors and students. As an M.S in Accounting student you immediately feel part of a larger community, and one of the best examples of how our network spans far beyond just the accounting department, is with the elective courses offered in the program.
An important goal of the M.S. of Accounting program at McIntire is to expand students’ understanding of the accounting profession beyond simply knowing transactions, and learning the actual implications behind each accounting decision.
Since the beginning of the M.S. in Accounting (MSA) program in August, it has been evident that the approach to teaching and the structure of the courses at McIntire would be entirely different than anything I had experienced as a student in the past. While looking through syllabi the first day of class, I noticed the emphasis placed on class participation, group work, and learning the implications of accounting standards.
October has been an exciting time to be in the M.S. Accounting program. While the temperature outside is starting to get cooler, the intensity of the program is heating up. Our schedules have been jam packed with a variety of different endeavors including: studying for exams, preparing for job interviews, working on group projects, and pouring over CPA review material (just to name a few).