Hometown: Lynchburg, VA
Undergraduate University: Christopher Newport University
Class Year: 2018
Major/Minor: Accounting/Leadership Studies
Position: Senior Associate (Audit Practice)
What prompted you to return to school and earn a MAcc degree?
I enrolled in the MAcc program directly after graduating from my undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University. I wanted to satisfy the hour requirement and be able to sit for the CPA exam. I know that William & Mary would provide a strong curriculum to aid in passing the CPA exam, as well as offer accounting classes that expanded on my knowledge at the undergraduate level. I knew the program was solid and would prepare me for those next steps.
Why did you choose the William & Mary MAcc program?
I chose William & Mary for the people—I connected with the Assistant Director at the time, and she navigated me through the application process and made me feel right at home. William & Mary is known for its personal touch, and I felt a connection long before I even stepped foot on campus to interview and tour. I loved the feel of the campus and the environment. It consistently ranks as one of the most beautiful campuses, and the people are a real differentiator. It is a personable and welcoming community.
What were some highlights for you during the MAcc experience?
Some of the highlights of the program for me were being able to serve on the MAcc Council to help plan events and be a voice for my class. We facilitated events around faculty appreciation, socials, and connectivity. The biggest highlight for me is the bond you build with your classmates. You are afforded the opportunity to become so close to your class so quickly at William & Mary—I met people in the program that will be lifelong friends and colleagues in my career field.
How have you applied what you learned in the program to your work?
Absolutely—as an audit senior associate, I use concepts and critical thinking from the audit courses I took every day. There is also a huge data-driven focus in public accounting right now. I would recommend any prospective and current students to take courses around information systems or data analytics to aid themselves in making decisions over client data. These courses have made me more comfortable with the data tools that PwC uses every day in practice. What I learned in the classroom set a solid foundation to build upon in my career.
What value has the MAcc degree had on your professional growth?
I believe that the MAcc degree has impacted my professional growth a great deal. William & Mary's strong reputation has given me an incredible network of people to utilize and connect with in my career. I thoroughly enjoyed being taught by former firm partners and business leaders, as well as connecting with professors that have made a career out of teaching. The advanced topics I was able to take in the program made it much easier to sit and pass the CPA exam as well.