John Muchnikoff

Class of 2021

Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Undergraduate University: William & Mary
Class Year: 2020
Major/Minor: Accounting & Finance
Employer: EY
Position: Associate

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

I stayed at William & Mary after looking at a few other master's programs. I weighed the decision, and William & Mary's MAcc would allow me to hit the credit credentials to sit for the CPA, and I could continue to learn from a number of professors I absolutely loved during my time as an undergraduate. I had a close group of friends who were still at the University, and it was close to home. Those were all factors in my decision.

What were some highlights of your MAcc experience?

The Integrated Winter Field Experience was beneficial in that I had interned during the summer before, and that looks very different in the field of accounting compared to the busy tax season. It gave me some solid footing to enter my role at EY and know what to expect.

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

I wouldn't say the program tailors to the CPA in the sense that there were some very encouraging liberties that professors took when it came to challenging us to think for exams, digest and understand the material, and apply it to multiple situations. There were a couple of different courses that were good at pushing those boundaries.

What excites you about the field of accounting?

I think accounting is one of the more interesting parts of business because you can't do any of the other parts without it. Accounting affects advisory, tax, business management in addition to every single leader. Accounting also allows you to understand the language of business. There's a lot of paths that you can take in the field, and it's constantly changing, so there is always something new to learn.

What advice can you give prospective or new MAcc students to be successful in the program?

Ask a lot of questions during the recruitment process to determine if a firm is the right fit. It's easy to get caught up in trying to secure a full-time job, but it does a disservice to you and to a company if you take a job solely because it's offered without considering whether you fit into the organization's culture. Ask questions like what is the team structure like. Is the work collaborative or independent? And really ask yourself if the role is what you're looking for. Don't hesitate about asking questions.



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