Hometown: Canton, IL
Undergraduate University: United States Merchant Marine Academy
Class Year: 2002
Major/Minor: Maritime Transportation
Employer: U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Why did you pursue a MAcc degree?
I applied for a financial management program through the Coast Guard. I was approved to go back to school full-time for two years, and William & Mary had, by far, the best academic program and rankings of any school I considered. I initially applied for the MBA program, but the Coast Guard said I needed to apply to the MAcc program as well, so I did and was accepted to both. I'm happy I did it, and it has definitely opened up opportunities for me in the latter part of my career, and will continue to do so as I transition from service.
What were some highlights of your MAcc experience?
The facilities are second to none, and the instructors are all very impressive. But the biggest highlight for me was the cohort itself. All of the students were excellent. They were all proven professionals, people who wanted to be better professionals. We had people come from Taiwan, China, India—it was a very diverse group, and it was interesting to learn about their perspectives of the world.
What impact did the MAcc program have on your career?
One of my accounting professors inspired me to think about pursuing a teaching path. I talked with her a lot about the opportunity. I went on to finish my doctorate, and I became an accounting instructor at the USCG Academy. I've enjoyed teaching students, being a mentor, and introducing them to financial management and accounting, both of which I am very passionate about. This significant change in my life and my career is due almost entirely to the MAcc program.
How do you plan to leverage your degrees moving forward?
I applied and was accepted for a Fulbright Specialist, so I'm actively looking for an international program that I can go over and support. I applied for the Transition Through Life program at William & Mary, so I'm hoping to partake in that two-week program and enjoy some more time on campus. I think there are plenty of opportunities out there once I transition from the military. It's just about finding something that I'm passionate about and aligns with my values.
Why do you recommend the William & Mary MAcc program?
William & Mary's program is highly ranked, the faculty are very well regarded within their respective fields of expertise, and when you have something like the MAcc program on your resume, people are impressed that you've completed the program. I can attest that it is a tough program, but if you're looking for a challenge, passionate instructors, state-of-the-art support and infrastructure, and a program that specializes in creativity, then I would definitely recommend William & Mary.