Tatiana Montes

Class of 2022

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Undergraduate University: William & Mary
Class Year: 2021
Major/Minor: Accounting, Psychology
Employer: EY
Position: Assurance Staff

Why William & Mary?

William & Mary was of interest to me from a very young age. I visited the campus and fell in love with the area. Being from Virginia Beach, I spent some time in Williamsburg every summer. As I got older, I realized that I was interested in law, public policy, and history, and William & Mary felt like the perfect fit. I also liked the school's emphasis on tradition and scholarship. Then I found accounting, and I have been happy here ever since.

How did your Mason School graduate experience differ from your time as an undergraduate?

The graduate experience is similar in that you're working with a lot of the same professors, but the degree of complexity and the scale of the classes really facilitates an environment where I was able to get close to the faculty. They see me on an individual level and are able to cater to my interests. I also think the cohort is unique in that we're all in a similar situation—studying the same topics, preparing for the CPA, searching for professional opportunities—and we've been able to support one another through those things.

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

As I reviewed the CPA exam, I could clearly see which information directly mapped to classes both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I felt familiar with the topics and concepts on the exams, but the professors never overtly said we needed to study specific formulas or content for the exam. It's nice to see that they're taking into account what our ultimate professional certification is going to be, but they're teaching beyond what is important for the test.

What excites you about the field of accounting?

Something that drew me to accounting in the first place and why I wake up excited is it's a field that is always changing. Not just the laws and regulations but the field itself. There isn't anything static about it. As somebody who has had a really big love of learning my entire life and as somebody who craves a challenge, it lends itself to fulfilling and challenging work while giving me the space to grow, which is very important to me.

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

The MAcc program really is a holistic experience because the professors aren't just there to teach you. They're there to guide you and foster your interests. I've been involved in research since I joined the program, and I've been able to build connections through that as well as with my cohort and the greater William & Mary community. You gain out of the program what you put into it, so if you're willing to go above and beyond, the opportunities will present themselves.



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