Common Questions From Prospective MAC Students
This is an exciting time of year for the MAC Program. Not only is my class getting ready to graduate in just seven short weeks, next year’s class is starting to take shape as new students are admitted to the program. I have had the privilege of speaking to a number of applicants for next year, and I have noticed a theme in many of their questions. Hopefully this blog post will answer some common questions and give you some insight into the inner workings of NC State’s MAC Program.
First, prospective students often ask about the professors in the program. I attended a smaller university for undergrad, and I was worried that I would get ‘lost in the shuffle’ of a big state school like NC State. However, my fears were unfounded. The MAC Program is small enough that you get to know everyone, including the professors. The professors have an open door policy, and are more than willing to meet with you to explain confusing concepts or assignments. This question about professors often segues into another common question: “What are the classes like?” I would be lying if I didn’t say that classes can be very challenging, and they certainly were not what I expected. Fall semester classes focus much more on the ‘soft skills’ of accounting – like research, internal controls, and financial management decisions. These classes involved a lot of writing and group work, and several ‘real life’ practicums that paralleled what we were learning. I don’t think we made a single accounting journal entry all semester. Spring semester, on the other hand, focuses on more technical skills, like auditing, business law, and financial accounting.
Another common question people ask is about the composition of the class. While many students attended NC State for undergrad, over half attended other institutions. We have a number of international students as well, which adds an interesting perspective to our class discussions. In addition, not everyone is coming straight from undergrad. Many people have a few years of work experience and some are coming back for a second career. This year’s class has 106 students. It’s a good mix – big enough to be interesting and small enough to get to know everyone a little bit. You get to know other students through all the group work in the program, but we also spend time together outside of class with the social events planned by the MAC Student Board.
The class schedule is another good thing to know – core MAC classes usually meet in the afternoons, Monday through Thursday. Electives either meet in the mornings during those days or as a once a week night class. Everyone takes similar classes, which makes scheduling group meetings easier. Also, there’s no class on Friday, which is fantastic. Usually my Fridays are spent catching up (or getting ahead) on homework, but sometimes it is truly a free day to enjoy.
A final point about the program at State: the recruiting process is terrific. Although I started the program with an offer in hand, many students went through recruiting in the fall. NC State connects students with employers from all over. Even though many students stay in the South, it is certainly not a requirement to work in North Carolina. The class of 2015 is sending students to all parts of the country – even as far away as New York, San Diego, and Chicago.
My six months in the MAC program have been challenging and rewarding. I recommend it to anyone is search of a top quality accounting program at a wonderful school.