Francesca Peavie

Class of 2020

Hometown: Gainesville, VA
Undergraduate University: William & Mary
Class Year: 2019
Major/Minor: Hispanic Studies/Accounting
Employer: Grant Thornton LLP
Position: Tax Associate

Why did you choose to stay at William & Mary for the MAcc program?

I took the Intro to Accounting course during the spring semester of my junior year at William & Mary. I was pretty good at it, and I liked it, so I decided to apply to the business school and earn an accounting minor before graduation. I decided to stay for a fifth year so I could get more credits and be eligible to sit for the CPA exam.

What were some highlights of your MAcc experience?

One of the biggest highlights for me was having the opportunity to do the Integrated Winter Field Experience. That was one of the things that drew me to William & Mary's MAcc program over other programs I applied to. It allowed me to gain real-world experience through an internship, and I felt like I could catch up in a sense with everyone who had stronger business backgrounds or had done internships. It also gave me a chance to earn credits and get paid to do so. I also enjoyed working in teams. The team we were assigned was the same team we worked with on group projects, presentations, and homework. We were collaborative, found solutions, and utilized our peers as resources which replicates the workplace.

Did the MAcc program prepare you to sit for the CPA?

While the program doesn't teach to the CPA exam, the whole experience gets you thinking in the mindset you need in order to do well on the different CPA exam sections. I found myself going back to my notes from different courses. The professors used actual CPA questions in class or formatted the material in a similar manner so you get used to them.

What career support did you receive from the Mason School and the MAcc program?

The recruitment process and the resources available through the Graduate Career Management Center are things I took advantage of to find an internship and a full-time job. I met with my counselor to prepare for interviews and found their advice to be very helpful as I navigated the process. As a result, when I applied for an internship with Grant Thornton, they offered me a full-time offer at the same time, so I accepted both.

What advice do you have for prospective or new MAcc students as they look to start the program?

Don't feel daunted by not necessarily having an accounting background or a business school background. Half of my cohort didn't have undergraduate business school experience or a degree specific to accounting. We all found success in the program and professionally after graduation.



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