What Makes the Jenkins MAC Program Such a Unique Experience
When a friend of mine asked me to describe my experience with the coursework in the Jenkins MAC program during my first month as a student, I replied with one word: Engaging! Through the first several weeks of classes, I have come to realize that the two factors that really drew me to NC State’s program are what really makes the Jenkins MAC Program unique – the class size and the structure of the courses.
With just over one hundred students in the MAC class of 2015, most people might find the size a little overwhelming starting out; however, that has not been the case. I feel that I have really gotten to know the majority of my class members in a very short period of time. When I was applying to graduate programs, I really wanted to go somewhere that attracted students from a variety of backgrounds because I knew that it would prepare me for my career by enabling me to learn how to work with all kinds of people. With over half of the students in my class coming in with either several years of work experience or as non-NC State University graduates, I knew that the Jenkins MAC program was the perfect fit for me.
To show just how close my classmates and I have become over the past few weeks, I snapped this photo the other day in the MAC student lab a couple of hours before classes started. Every day we congregate in the MAC student lab where we work on assignments or socialize while waiting for classes to start for the day. In fact, I would say that the majority of my time outside of the classroom is spent in the MAC lab. It is such a proactive environment, and with everyone taking the same core classes, it provides opportunities for discussion on the topics that are being covered in our classes. Even though we have only been on campus for a month, I already feel like I have built several great relationships with my fellow classmates.
Aside from the size and diversity of my MAC class, the other factor that helped me choose NC State was the nature of the courses the program offers. While the majority of my undergraduate classes were focused on technical skills and individual assignments, the Jenkins MAC program focuses on class discussions and group work. When I described the courses as engaging to my friend, he asked me to elaborate further. I told him that I really enjoy going to class because all of my professors encourage class discussion and very rarely do I find myself sitting through a lecture that lasts the entire class period. The ability to take the material that I read for class and then discuss it with other students as well as the faculty members has really created a positive learning environment. Additionally, the emphasis on group work has added a significant amount of value to the education I am receiving at NC State. I learned from my internship experience with a public accounting firm this past summer that most of what I will be doing in my career involves working with a team of coworkers in an interactive environment. When I learned of the emphasis the Jenkins MAC program places on group assignments and projects, I knew NC State would truly prepare me for my career. The educational experience that the Jenkins MAC program has to offer is undoubtedly one of the many factors that sets it apart from other programs and the primary reason our graduates are so highly sought after by numerous employers.
Although I have only been in class for a month, I feel as though I have known my fellow classmates for much longer. In addition to the relationships I have built, knowing that each day will bring something different in my classes is what gets me out of bed in the morning ready to get to campus. With so many options for graduate accounting programs available today, trying to differentiate one program from the next can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Had I known then what I know now about the Jenkins Master of Accounting program, the decision-making process would have been much easier. I am confident that my time as a student in the MAC program will prepare me for my career and put me a step ahead of where I would be had I chosen to attend a different program.