Upasana Barot

Class of 2022

Hometown: Suffolk, VA
Undergraduate University: William & Mary
Class Year: 2021
Major/Minor: Accounting
Employer: KPMG
Position: Business Tax Services Associate

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

I finished my undergraduate studies in three years because I came into college with quite a few AP credits. I knew I wanted to become a CPA, and that would require an additional year of schooling in order to get the 150 credits to sit for the exam, so I decided to apply to Master of Accounting programs at several schools. William & Mary appealed to me the most because I already had a solid connection with a lot of the professors I knew would be teaching in the program, and I really enjoyed the education I received. I also like the idea of having four complete years at the same institution. It felt nice to finish with the same class I came in with.

How will the curriculum support your professional goals?

I acquired a lot of hard, technical skills through heavy accounting courses like audit, tax, valuation, and complex accounting transactions. Even though I wasn't planning to go into those areas, I liked that I got a good overview of the foundational fields of accounting, which will only help me professionally in the future.

What were some highlights you enjoyed during your time in the program?

The MAcc program provided our cohort with an environment to refine both our technical accounting skills and business acumen. We developed soft skills like writing, presentation, and public speaking, things that not every MAcc program includes. I really liked that we had a small cohort because we were able to get closer to the faculty and get to know everyone on a deeper, more personal level.

How do you plan to leverage your degree professionally in the future?

I think accounting is the base for a lot of business, and that's partially one of the reasons why I chose to pursue it academically and professionally. Regardless of whether I stay in accounting—public or private practice—I can take it with me anywhere. I eventually see myself moving into private industry and possibly pursuing a role as CFO or Controller. My accounting foundation would also be helpful if I pursued my interest in commercial real estate down the line.



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