Hometown: Mechanicsville, VA
Undergraduate University: Christopher Newport University
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: BSBA - Accounting
Employer: Market Corporation
Position: Manager, Close, Controls & Reporting
What prompted you to return to school and earn a MAcc degree?
After graduating with my BSBA in Accounting, my goal was to become a CPA. I knew that I needed 150 credits to sit for the exam, and I saw the MAcc program at William & Mary as an ideal program to help me reach this goal. It would give me the additional credits I needed to take the exam while expanding my knowledge in the career field I intended to pursue.
Why did you choose the William & Mary MAcc program?
Having attended a smaller university for my undergraduate degree, the class sizes and overall size of William & Mary were appealing to me. I believe William & Mary provided the perfect balance of personal attention from the accredited faculty and staff while having all the infrastructure and tools of a larger university, including the state-of-the-art Raymond A. Mason School of Business building—Miller Hall. Classes felt intimate but were still based on relevant and real-world experiences, providing a supportive environment to learn while having a vast network to tap into during and after the program.
What were some highlights for you during the MAcc experience?
The friendships I made during my time in the program were among the highlights of my tenure there. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Veris CPA Trek to Washington, D.C. The MAcc program provided numerous opportunities to network with companies and accounting firms. The 'Speed Dating' and 'Meet the Firms' events provided great opportunities to engage with representatives from top-notch companies in a more personalized and casual setting. The MAcc program not only prepared me to begin my career in accounting but also helped me land a job with a "Big Four" accounting firm after graduation.
How have you applied what you learned in the program to your work?
The MAcc program strongly emphasizes group projects, teamwork, and presentations. The skill set I developed through this group work helped prepare me for the highly dynamic, team-focused start of my career in public accounting at EY and my current role at Markel, leading a large, diverse team. While group work can be challenging, it is an essential skill set if you wish to thrive in a corporate environment and continue upward growth.
What value has the MAcc degree had on your professional growth?
The MAcc degree was integral in jump-starting my career opportunities. The program afforded me many opportunities to meet with representatives at numerous companies, and I built lasting relationships professionally and personally. The MAcc program was also vital to my successful completion of the CPA exam. Not only did it expedite my ability to meet the hour's requirement, but I also left the program with a strong foundation of accounting knowledge which helped me feel confident as I prepared for the exam and my career ahead. While I could have completed hours in any course offerings anywhere, I would not have had the depth of understanding or confidence I had coming out of the MAcc program.