Personally, when I reflect on my experiences in McIntire’s M.S. in Accounting (MSA) program, my first thought is always about the people I met during those short nine months. As I’ve stated in other blogs, our program isn’t made up solely of UVA undergraduates but an assortment of students from all over the country, even the world, that are thrown together for one of the most challenging years of their academic careers. Even though some people lose touch, I feel our class has done a great job of keeping up with and supporting each other post-graduation. Whether it be trips to visit classmates who chose to work in a different city or even being part of the same group of staff auditors in a local branch, it’s comforting to know that although spread out, we can always lean back on each other for support.
Raymond Byrd, UVA ’18, University of Florida ’17, PwC Tampa, FL
It has been over a full week since the M.S. in Accounting (MSA) Class of 2017 participated in final exercises here in Charlottesville. For those who are unfamiliar, UVA spreads their graduation ceremonies over an entire weekend, beginning with a large ceremony for all graduates in select schools in the morning and then breaking out into school-specific ceremonies later in the day. The weekend began on Friday, before all ceremonies, with the Valedictory Exercises featuring the keynote speaker, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Juan Manual Santos, President of Colombia.
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.
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.
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.