Jenkins MAC Student Awarded PCAOB Scholarship
By Jess Clarke
In high school, a university accounting class Juan Mancinas-Montelongo took as an Early College student in Fayetteville, North Carolina, stoked his interest in finance and tax. And it gave him a glimpse of his future career.
“That first class intrigued me, and I realized I really like accounting,” says the 2022 NC State graduate and accounting major, whose favorite subject always has been math. “I’ve been great with numbers since I was a kid.”
He’ll build on his skill with numbers as a student in Poole College’s Jenkins Master of Accounting (MAC) program when he starts next week. Mancinas-Montelongo didn’t have to be a whiz with figures to know how much the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) scholarship he received will help with MAC program costs.
Mancinas-Montelongo, whom MAC administrators nominated for the accounting award, is among 250 U.S. college students to receive a $10,000 merit scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year from PCAOB.
Without the scholarship, “It would have been a little difficult with the financing and the amount of money I would have had to pay out of pocket. It’s definitely a big weight off my shoulders knowing a part of that was covered,” he says.
That makes it easier to focus on the MAC program as a full-time student and a teaching assistant for undergraduate accounting students. By starting the MAC program so soon after he finished his bachelor’s degree, “I’ll start right where I left off as an undergraduate,” he says. “I’m excited for what I’m going to learn.”
He particularly enjoyed his intermediate accounting course, which will help him in the MAC program. “I went through different processes with accounting books and how they’re posted onto financial statements, the whole trial-balance process and journal entries and how they tie together,” he says. “That’s what I like most.”
He’ll pursue an information technology specialization in the MAC program.
The credit hours Mancinas-Montelongo will earn through MAC will qualify him to take the CPA exam. MAC is “a well-designed program that prepares you for the exam as you go through the courses,” he says. “More doors and opportunities would be open” for advancement with a CPA license, which he’ll need to achieve his goal of working at a Big 4 accounting firm.
Mancinas-Montelongo didn’t need long to pick a graduate accounting program.
As an NC State undergraduate, “I really loved the culture and staff, everybody I worked with. I liked how the professors went out of their way to make sure we understood the material, and if we needed help they were there,” he says. “I knew if I wanted to be in a graduate program, it had to be something similar to that. NC State was the clear choice.”
“I really loved the culture and staff, everybody I worked with. I liked how the professors went out of their way to make sure we understood the material, and if we needed help they were there.
The support carried over to the MAC application process. MAC staff gave him guidance on gathering his college transcript and personal recommendations.
Poole’s welcoming environment magnified other benefits Mancinas-Montelongo gained as an undergraduate.
He was chosen for MAC’s Accounting Internship Recruitment (AIR) Program, which provides opportunities for accounting students who plan to pursue a Jenkins MAC degree. AIR helps students find internships and includes professional coaching from MAC career services staff.
Mancinas-Montelongo met with recruiters from different companies and received career guidance with practice interviews and resume-building sessions. Typically, students receive a job offer after their internship and begin the position after they finish the MAC program.
“The AIR resources were really helpful,” Mancinas-Montelongo says. “I gained lots of interviews.”
His experiences in AIR led to an audit internship this summer with Big 4 accounting firm KPMG, which turned into a full-time job offer he will start after he graduates from the MAC program.
His bachelor’s degree, with a financial analysis concentration, gave Mancinas-Montelongo the foundation to do well in the internship, during which he was involved with assessments and risk documentation.
His goals beyond finishing the MAC program? After he earns a CPA license, he hopes to advance to a managerial position within five years.
He plans to learn about the many options in accounting before he chooses a path. “I want to get exposure to different things,” he says, “and then decide what interests me most.”