Part 2: MAC Program 101: Questions and Answers with Current MAC Students
To get a perspective from current students in the MAC program on topics ranging from succeeding in the MAC program, what we’ve learned, CPA advice, leadership organizations, and more, please read below! If you have any questions concerning a particular part of the program, please do not hesitate to ask me.
What has been your favorite part of the MAC program?
My favorite part of the MAC program is definitely the relationships I built during the year. That applies not only to students, but also faculty and staff. Even though the program is short, the amount of time we spend together as classmates, in the lab or working on group projects, definitely bring us closer together. This program can be very challenging at times, so having people around you dealing with the same struggles can be very helpful. Getting together for a social event, group activity or even a study session makes the MAC life less stressful. In addition, we have great professors and staff members who are there for us whenever we need them to help us achieve our goals. -Tomas
Reflecting back on what you’ve learned throughout this year, what do you think will help you the most when you start your career?
The ability to work in groups is the most valuable skill I have learned while attending the MAC program. Most classes require group work on some level, so it is a constant part of your work load. Not all groups are perfect, so learning to deal with others is essential. In the MAC program, everyone has his or her own lives and unique skill sets. Learning to use everyone’s strengths is the most difficult part. But once individual skill sets have been established, the group work runs much more smoothly. Additionally, time management and communication through different means is essential since everyone’s schedules are not the same. Group work isn’t easy, but is satisfying when the goal is accomplished. This is why learning to work in groups is the most valuable skill I have learned! –Lucy
How have your classes helped with studying for the CPA exam?
I think my classes have provided me a lot of background on all of the CPA topics and specifically taught me many of the larger concepts the CPA exam focuses on (at least for BEC and REG because that is what I am taking now). I have found that I know most of the information that Becker is trying to teach, so while I still might need to review topics, I am not trying to teach myself the information. In regards to the information that I do not specifically know, I have found that I have enough background knowledge to absorb it quickly. By having classes that support the CPA exam information, I feel that I am in a better position to succeed and finish the CPA exam before I start working in the fall. –Annie
What has been your favorite part of being the president of the MAC Organization?
My favorite part of being the president of the MAC Organization is being able to bring people in the MAC Program together. As president, I feel it is my duty to have social events, learn about things that are happening on campus, and relay that information to others in the MAC Program. I’m happy to be a source of information for other students, which allows me to get to know everyone! –Erin
What have you learned from concentrating in ERM? Was it what you expected when you chose your concentration?
What I have learned from the ERM initiative is that the business environment is ever changing, and along with that, the risk to a business’ success magnifies with the change. Going into the program, I really had no idea what to expect, but near the end of the school year, it has given me new perspective of how to mitigate risks and drive a successful business. I believe that the tools I have gained from this concentration will give me the upper hand in a career. – Payton
What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to incoming nontraditional students?
Regarding workload, the best advice I would give is to bring your life experience into the classroom, since these experiences give a valuable dimension to class discussions. Also, dedicate time every day to do homework to keep it under control and plan on letting other commitments take a backseat. This is a time to build a good support team to help you focus on classes when they get intense. As for finding employment after graduation, the traditional channels aren’t as useful as networking with MAC alumni and professors. There are many alternate career tracks outside of public accounting that can be good fits for nontraditional students. Good luck! -Sloan
Can you give an example of something you would recommend doing while in the MAC program? Something you would not recommend?
I would recommend making time to socialize with friends in the MAC program. It is a very busy year and taking a study break to hang out with friends or get a good night’s rest will go a long way. Something I would not recommend is stressing over grades. This program is meant to challenge you more than your undergraduate program. There is also a learning curve when adjusting from one school to another. Becoming acclimated is a process, but this is a great program that prepares you well for the working world! –Sydnee