We Did It…
Now that we have come to the end of our MAC Program journey, Michael and I have a few closing thoughts to share with you all.
Thoughts on Classes
The classes in the MAC program are challenging without a doubt, especially audit and research. They couple difficult material with a large number of assignments. I can now look back over the year and realize that I learned an amazing amount of material!
I have always enjoyed attending classes in this program, even when it hurts so bad to do so. These aren’t your undergraduate classes where you mind numbingly listen to a monotone professor who slowly passes from slide to slide. In this program, the faculty keep you engaged and proactive about what’s actually happening in the surrounding business environment. The days of raising your hand and getting a quick answer are over. Here, discussion is the tool and engagement is key. Questions easily turn into the focal points of classes rather than a quick “yes or no” break from a slide. I am leaving the program with knowledge and understanding of the economic and business concepts constantly happening around us.
Graduate School Experience
I came into graduate school with the expectation that it might be something like undergrad, but a little more fast-paced. That was probably naive of me! Graduate school is certainly not an easy time, and requires hard work and a higher-level of thought than I had to utilize in undergrad. However, as a whole the experience will likely better me throughout my career. Many of the assignments in my tax concentration classes related to the work I had done at my internships. The MAC program is also a great place to meet friends and make professional connections. I have met some of my closest friends through the program, and along the way most people have a spirit of comradery and are looking to help one another.
The program takes dedication and motivation. But once you begin, you see that you are not alone. 100 other people just like you have decided to enter into this program and commit themselves to the same task that you have. You are all, for better or for worse, in it together. Upon realizing this, you start to bond with the people you see everyday, talk with everyday, research,work, write with everyday and start to become a little MAC family. In my overall experience, I wanted to highlight the family atmosphere. These people have become more than just my peers and fellow students, but friends and even roommates as well. There’s no need to come in worried about who else will be there. There will be students with different backgrounds and experiences that help to change the way you learn things and challenge the very way you carry yourself. The MAC family got me through this and I hope they adopt you as well.
After graduation, I will be studying for 3 more CPA exams, with my target for completion set in mid-August. Unfortunately, due to the changes in the CPA exam, I won’t find out if I passed most of my exams until late September! In the meantime, I will be working hard to try to pass them all the first time. In mid September, I will be starting full-time with Johnson Lambert, LLP., where I did my internships during my undergraduate degree. I’m very excited to be done with the CPA exam and back at work, and am also planning to get a dog once all of this is over!
Like Melissa, I have 3 CPA exams left but for now I am thinking about graduating in 2 weeks! Words cannot express the level of excitement to be done as well as gratitude for everyone I have met and everyone who has taught me. Upon graduation I will complete 2 more exams before starting my career as a Risk Advisory Consultant for RSM in Charlotte. I hope to maybe one day return to the academic world either as a student again, or as a sculptor of young minds.
Words of Wisdom to Incoming Students
Don’t be discouraged when you see the syllabus! It’s a lot to learn, but taking things one day at a time is the best way to keep yourself balanced and performing your best during the MAC program. It’s also important to keep the end goal in sight and try to think of the reasons why having a graduate level degree is definitely worth the struggle. Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy, and that’s what adds value to a higher degree!
Let me drill this into you now: summer classes, summer classes, summer classes. I honestly do not know how everyone else did it. I was lucky enough to take 2 classes over the summer which really helped to lighten the load over the full semester.