Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Undergraduate University: Hampden Sydney
Class Year: 2017
Major/Minor: Business & Economics
Employer: Walker & Dunlop
Position: Associate Director
What prompted you to return to school and earn a MAcc degree?
I returned to full-time studies to further refine my financial and business acumen. I knew I wanted to obtain a CPA and felt compelled to expand my knowledge base. I needed the credit to sit for the exam, and I wanted to make myself a more attractive business professional in a competitive landscape. I knew that this would set me up to be an apt candidate for top-tier companies.
Why did you choose the William & Mary MAcc program?
William & Mary has a solid reputation and history of placing candidates with top-tier professional companies. The Tribe network is expansive. Their reach is global and connects some of the most successful individuals across a vast array of careers that were of interest to me, and the program was extremely beneficial in assisting me with my desired career destination upon graduation—NYC.
What were some highlights for you during the MAcc experience?
My favorite highlights involved a high level of collaboration with other talented individuals in the program. Whether it was group projects or working within the winter internship, a close-knit community like W&M strengthened all of us. The Raymond A. Mason School of Business attracts many talented individuals from all backgrounds, and the ability to work closely with my peers with different experiences allowed me to grow immensely and see things from many different perspectives.
How have you applied what you learned in the program to your work?
When I first worked in the Capital Markets Advisory practice at PwC, I had a direct application of the lessons learned at W&M via the valuation and advisory services emphasis. The advanced studies in financial reporting, data modeling, and managerial accounting proved immensely valuable and gave me a leg up in this role. Now I focus on financing commercial real estate property, but my financial statement analytical skills and foundational growth from pursuing my CPA and successfully completing the MAcc program are still very much at the heart of what I do and are very relevant.
What value has the MAcc degree had on your professional growth?
It has made a resounding impact. I would not be on the professional track I am if I had not pursued the MAcc program at W&M. Even though I do not work directly in an accounting role anymore, the skills and knowledge gained was invaluable to allowing me to transition into finance, where the skills are still very translatable and applicable. With an accounting background and the need for resolute attention to detail, it has made me a more critical thinker on evaluating financial statements, key performance metrics, financial products, and capital markets.