Questions & Answers: What do MAC Students think about summer classes, concentrations, the transition from undergrad and more.
I’ve ask some questions, of current MAC Students, to give you more insights into what this program is like and touch on some different subjects like summer classes, non-traditional students, concentrations and more! So onto the questions.
Q: How has taking summer classes or studying abroad helped you?
Brittany: Taking a summer course was the best decision I made to start the MAC program. It really helped me get acquainted with a new university and meet some of my fellow classmates. It was most beneficial when I only had to take four classes during the fall semester while going through job recruiting. Finding a balance between everything with only four classes was challenging, and I know having all five would’ve been very stressful. I recommend everyone taking at least one summer course, and now I wish I would’ve taken more over the summer.
Caroline: I took ACC 533 during the first summer session. It was a great way to get a feel for the program and for the professors. It was nice to meet some of my classmates before the fall semester started. Taking a summer class made the transition easier from undergrad to grad school, and it allowed me to reduce my load during the fall semester.
Andrew: Studying abroad helped me get used to the style of classes at the graduate level. It was a unique experience and an excellent opportunity to learn in a different environment. It broadened my horizons, and I would strongly recommend it.
Beth: Because I go to school part time it has allowed me to continue to take classes so I can finish the program in a quicker fashion.
Q: A lot of the MAC program deals with group work. What has your experience been with these graduate groups as compared to group projects in undergrad?
Brittany: I feel like the graduate level group work has actually been more of a learning experience than undergrad group work. In the MAC program group assignments, you really do need several minds working together to come up with the best solution. The group work is not designed for you to split it up among members and then pull it all together. That was my experience with undergrad group work, that everyone could do their small part and pull it all together at the end. The assignments now force you to work together the whole time because the situations are so complex.You cannot do it all yourself successfully. I have learned a lot more through graduate group work than I ever expected.
Caroline: My experience with group projects in the MAC program has been very different than my undergrad experience. Group projects are somewhat easier to coordinate, since we all have similar schedules. Additionally, it is a great way to get to know other classmates and work with new people. I think that this aspect of the projects helps prepare for audit and tax teamwork in the future.
Andrew: Graduate groups seem much easier to organize, and the members of the group seem more motivated. Sometimes it is difficult accommodating everyone’s busy schedules, but group projects in general flow much better than they did in undergrad.
Q: If you are doing a concentration, what prompted that decision and how have those classes been?
Brittany: I was not really sure what type of MBA electives I was interested in, so I decided to try something new through a concentration offered. I chose the ERM concentration because I felt like its discussion about risks and risk management most closely relates to auditing, which is the field I’m going into. I wanted to take MBA courses that would be most beneficial to me in the future. Therefore I decided on the ERM concentration.
Andrew: I decided on the ERM concentration because of the enthusiasm of our professors and the progress that the university is making with this topic. It seemed like an excellent time to take advantage of this opportunity. The classes have been very interesting and aren’t what you typically think of when you hear accounting.
Q: For those who did not come straight from undergraduate work into the MAC program, how has the transition been?
Beth: I have been in finance for the past 14 years and graduated from NCSU in Accounting in 1994. Fortunately, my career has helped me in some areas and left me woefully underprepared in others. I would suggest to others coming into the program with an outdated accounting background to take the prerequisites as a refresher course.
Jennifer: The transition took a bit of time to get used to. I think keeping appointments and activities that it feels like I don’t have time for is key to my sanity and well-being. Also, I am not the only one with a background in something other than accounting, so asking questions about more elementary concepts that I just missed by not being an accounting undergrad has not been a problem.
Q: What set the MAC program apart from other programs you applied to?
Caroline: The NC State MAC program has a wide variety of resources to ensure that students succeed with all aspects of the program. The career services team prepares students so that everyone can successfully find a job. All of the major accounting firms, Big 4, national, regional, and local recruit from NC State. The faculty are helpful as well and want to help students succeed. Overall, the NC State MAC program had the best package to offer for a master’s degree.
Andrew: I really like the professors at NC State, and I think the MAC program builds a strong sense of community among the students. It’s a strong program and looked like the best choice for me.
Jennifer: The faculty are SO accessible! They make the classes interesting and are very open to questions and want to help students even with career/job questions.