The University of Virginia recently celebrated Black Alumni Weekend (BAW) 2015, drawing the largest crowd since its inception 30 years ago. Over 1,200 alumni came back for the weekend festivities, joining current students, for a total of 1,900 attendees.
I joined a number of my classmates this spring and worked with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), a tax preparation program offered by the IRS during tax season (generally from January through April). According to VITA’s website, they provide “free tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns”. Volunteers help individuals and families prepare their income tax return.
With the academic year drawing to a close, a group of M.S. in Accounting students joined Dean Carl Zeithaml (a.k.a. Dean Z) for lunch to talk about our experiences in the Program. He shared with us the changes the Program has seen since he was appointed Dean, how the recruiting process has evolved, and how McIntire has become a national recruiting school for large public accounting firms around the country. We also discussed the global opportunities M.S. in Accounting students have during the year, such as elective special topics courses during January term and spring break.
Are you wondering what a typical day is like for a student in the M.S. in Accounting Program at UVA? Check out this short video of current student ambassador Naomi Himmelstein, as she walks you through her day at McIntire, living on the Range, working in the library, and performing a dance routine with her friends.
How did you get to UVA? I went to school in Towson, which is in Maryland, where I am from. I majored in accounting and worked for Ernst & Young after graduation. After two years in Audit, I switched to consulting and traveled frequently. I was able to do a lot of interesting things in consulting, including working on IPOs and doing some forensic accounting. A friend who started with me at E&Y went back to get her Ph.D. That sparked something with me, because my favorite thing about auditing was talking to clients and interacting with people. At the time, there was a big concern with the low number of African-American accounting majors. KPMG started a program to make accounting classrooms more diverse, starting with the teachers. That’s when I enrolled at George Washington for my Ph.D. I taught financial accounting as well as managerial accounting at Boston College for nine years. Then, my husband and I were looking to move, and I saw an opening at UVA. When I was a senior in high school, I applied and was admitted to UVA. But paying out-of-state tuition was a problem, so I went to Towson. UVA has always been one of my dream schools though.
The M.S. in Accounting students, faculty, and staff celebrated the Lunar New Year with traditional Chinese decorations, candy and delicious food, music, and games. 2015 marks the Year of the Sheep, according to the Chinese zodiac. The graduate lounge was festooned in red and gold banners, tables were decorated in red with festive centerpieces, and everyone enjoyed the buffet of rice, dumplings, egg rolls, oranges (for good luck), and fortune cookies.
August 26 was an important day for me. It was my first day of the M.S. in Accounting Program at the University of Virginia. I had been looking forward to this day ever since receiving my acceptance letter the previous February. It’s now been five months, and I am amazed at how much happened last semester. What I expected when I came to the University didn’t come close to the experience I’ve actually had—it’s even better than imagined!
We are five months into the M.S. in Accounting Program at McIntire, and I am happy to share some firsthand job search experiences of a few of my international classmates. Several of us signed our job offer letters last fall, while others are still considering their options after graduation. My classmates have provided me with invaluable advice related to the job search for international students, and I hope sharing their experiences and viewpoints will help others.
In early January, three M.S. in Accounting students spent 10 days in India as part of a group of McIntire School of Commerce students enrolled in “Consumers and Markets in India” with Professor Amar Cheema. Alex Van Horn shares excerpts from her travel blog, including the 10-day schedule, companies visited, and cultural adventures shared with her classmates.
Who said group work couldn’t be fun? At McIntire, everyone works in groups because teamwork enriches our learning and develops our multicultural business skills. Moreover, it teaches us to work towards results as a team with people who have different skill sets, cultural, and language backgrounds. Our professors create within the classroom a real-life professional environment, and it’s one of the things about the M.S. in Accounting program that I enjoy most!