Recent MAC Graduate Starts Career, Embraces Public Accounting
Recent MAC alum, Hayden Edmondson, shares about his journey into accounting, his experience in the MAC program and his decision to pursue public accounting before shifting to the industry side – as well as a few pieces of advice for future MAC students.
By Samantha Beavers
When Hayden Edmondson first started at NC State as an undergraduate, studying accounting wasn’t part of the plan. Growing up, he had always enjoyed science, so he came in as a biology major and started tackling his coursework in the College of Sciences. However, he quickly discovered that scientific research wasn’t his passion and decided to give accounting a try.
“I barely made a B in the intro to accounting class. It was much more challenging than I thought it would be and I was discouraged. So, I said to myself, ‘All right, I’m going to give it one more try and give it all I’ve got.” I ended up making an A in my next class and realized I could do this – so I changed my degree to accounting and ended up graduating in three and a half years,’” Edmondson says.
After earning his bachelor’s, Edmondson returned to NC State to start the Jenkins MAC program. And, much like his intro to accounting class in undergrad, he started to wonder if he had what it takes.
It was pretty overwhelming at first. I remember thinking in those first few weeks, ‘How am I going to navigate all of this?’
“It was pretty overwhelming at first. I remember thinking in those first few weeks, ‘How am I going to navigate all of this?’ But I learned to manage my schedule and prioritize what’s important, and it ended up being an extremely rewarding experience. I definitely developed stronger organization skills and time management skills – and that’s really good preparation for public accounting, where you bill your hours,” he says.
Edmondson also notes that though the program is challenging, Jenkins MAC staff and faculty are supportive and eager to help.
“Scott Showalter runs a tight ship, for sure, but he gives us all the resources we need to succeed and he’s super caring. In fact, all the professors are amazing. I can’t think of one that I didn’t enjoy. They are all super smart and all care about their students,” he says.
“Bonnie Hancock was probably my favorite. I had her for both my fall and spring semesters and really enjoyed her classes. She is very passionate about the success of her students and regularly offers general life advice for aspiring young professionals,” he continues.
Now that Edmondson has crossed the finish line and completed the MAC program, he has begun preparing for the four sections of the CPA exam and will join Deloitte this fall as an audit associate.
I’m looking forward to heading back to Deloitte full-time this fall and getting the opportunity to be part of a really great team.
“Before joining the MAC program, I completed an audit internship with Deloitte’s Raleigh office. It was during the busy season, so I was definitely thrown into the fire, but it was a really good experience and I learned a lot,” he says. “I’m looking forward to heading back to Deloitte full-time this fall and getting the opportunity to be part of a really great team.”
Edmondson notes that while public accounting isn’t his long-term passion, he is excited to gain an invaluable foundation for his career.
“Public accounting is one of the best ways to get a ton of exposure, so I know it will be a really beneficial experience and a great opportunity to learn. My long-term plan right now is to do at least one busy season as a senior associate and then perhaps transition to the tech industry later down the road,” he says.
“During undergrad, I interned with Pendo, a software startup in Raleigh, and loved being in the tech space – so I could see myself doing corporate accounting in the tech industry in the future. But, who knows – maybe I’ll end up loving public accounting and decide to stick with it for even longer,” he continues.
As Edmondson launches his career and passes the baton to future Jenkins MAC students, he encourages them to learn from his experience and persevere in the program.
“Tough it out for the first few weeks and trust that you’ll start to get into a routine. You’ll figure out what to prioritize and you’re going to be okay,” he says. “If you’re in the MAC program, you’re there for a reason – so you can handle it. And, as your professors see you put in effort, they’ll help you succeed.”
To learn more about the Jenkins MAC program at NC State’s Poole College of Management, click here.