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Matt Howell

Undergraduate School/degree

B.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – Political Science with a minor in Asian Studies: Chinese (Mandarin).

Background – where are you from originally?

I grew up in Greensboro. In fact, outside of a year in Wisconsin and a few months in Shanghai, I have spent my entire life in North Carolina.

Past work/leadership experience/activities in college

Although originally hired for my professional working proficiency in Mandarin, I worked at Wells Fargo for a year and a half as a “business advocate” designated personal banker. As a business advocate, my objective was to identify potential issues (for instance, inadequate cash flow) for small businesses in my region and present banking products to alleviate those issues; working in this position gave me the passion and focus to pursue a financial background in accounting. I also worked throughout my undergraduate career, namely as a Resident Advisor (RA), which ultimately led to a position during my senior year to train and mentor a group of other RAs while attending to my own responsibilities as a RA.

What type of job would you like to have after completing the MAC Program?

I want to work in a tax department for an accounting firm. Due to my roots in the research triangle, I would prefer employment in Chapel Hill, Durham, or Raleigh.

Do you have any advice or tips you would like to give prospective students looking at applying to MAC programs?

You should identify and begin applying to programs before sitting for the GMAT; some programs, including the NC State MAC Program, offer scholarships based on a completed application submission deadline, which does not immediately require a GMAT score to qualify.

Why did you choose the NC State MAC Program?

The NC State MAC Program stood out to me above the other programs that I was considering due to its impressive employment and CPA exam pass rates, as well as its lower student to teacher ratio.  When I applied in the spring (of 2018), the Jenkins MAC program boasted a 95% employment rate among all graduates. With a competitive student to teacher ratio, a near perfect employment history for each cohort, and a stunning CPA exam pass rate among graduates, the quality of NC State’s program was left uncontested by similar programs in North Carolina.

What are your expectations while attending the MAC Program?

Because of my limited background in accounting prior to my enrollment in the program, I hope to enrich my knowledge of advanced accounting topics by engaging with growing issues in the accounting field, such as IT risk management, while also covering the nuances of established accounting practices. Furthermore, I plan to concentrate my studies in tax management and planning, to prepare thoroughly for a career in tax. Once fall commences, I will work part time as a graduate assistant, which will allow me to review basic accounting principles with undergraduates in a limited teaching engagement. I expect to conclude my fall semester with a job secured for post graduation.

What are you looking forward to the most while in the Program?

I look forward to participating in projects that simulate issues that will likely represent themselves during my accounting career, such as tax sheltering in conjunction with a long term corporate strategy or preparing pro formas for a new acquisition. I also look forward to growing my network among accounting professionals by participating in the Meet the Firms!