Day 50: The First Seven Weeks in the MAC Program
Upon returning to campus following Fall Break, I was chatting with a few classmates about upcoming midterm exams when I realized that we were approaching day 50 of our time spent as students in the MAC program. My bewilderment came not from the fact that we were already half way through the first semester of the program, but rather from the realization of how much we had accomplished in just over seven weeks.
When I started the program in late August, I thought I had a grasp on what the coming year would entail. However, I was not expecting time to fly by quite as quickly as it has. Over the past seven weeks, I have learned a great amount of material for each of my classes. Where NC State’s MAC program really stands out is the focus the faculty place on the application of the material we learn in these classes. For example, my experience with the Accounting and Tax Research course has proven to be the most challenging yet rewarding class so far. The class is structured around the numerous sources that accounting professionals can defer to when they need to conduct research. The case studies we are tasked with are based on real world scenarios and require us to apply not only our knowledge of accounting, but also our understanding of the research process. It is this application and subsequent class discussion that really differentiates the course from any other accounting class I have taken.
While the majority of my time is dedicated to the five academic classes I am enrolled in, the career effectiveness course that all MAC students are required to take is yet another example of how the program adds value. The majority of students who enroll in a graduate accounting program, including myself, do so in order to achieve their short term goals such as meeting the requirements to sit for the CPA exam, getting exposure to potential future employers through the recruitment process, and earning a graduate level degree. The benefit of our career effectiveness class is that it takes the focus away from the short term, and encourages us to think about our future once we graduate from the MAC program. Over the past several weeks, we have enjoyed numerous guest speakers that have discussed topics including proper business etiquette, self-directed job search following our time on campus, successfully managing our money, and the accounting profession as a whole. Many of the discussions during these presentations helped me create some long-term goals that I had never considered before. It is the extra things such as this class that have added significant value to my experience as a student in the MAC program.
There was a quote from a movie I saw once that said time always seems to fly by when you spend it doing something you enjoy. With regards to the MAC program, I would strongly agree with that statement with the exception of having recently taken midterm exams (I think time flew by for reasons other than enjoyment for those). All jokes aside, it has been an awesome experience so far, and I am looking forward to what else the program has to offer. However, I am currently focusing my attention on what food I want to try at the North Carolina State Fair this weekend, which is conveniently located just two miles from campus. Currently it is a toss up between the deep-fried Rice Krispies treat and the deep-fried Caramel Delight Girl Scout cookies. Any suggestions?