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Alumni Profiles

Rising Above Adversity: How the MAC Program Led One Alum to Success Amid Unexpected Layoffs

With the help of the Jenkins MAC team, alumnus William McOwen swiftly rebounded from unexpected layoffs to secure a new career path within days, highlighting the program's exceptional commitment to lifelong support for alumni.

When Jenkins Master of Accounting (MAC) program alum William McOwen (‘22) was just seven months into his career, he heard the news that nobody is ever prepared to hear: his firm was laying off everyone on his team in the Carolinas. Without wasting time, he shot off an email to Scott Showalter, director of the Jenkins MAC program, and Kelly Hardy, associate director of student programs and career services with Jenkins MAC, asking for guidance and support.

“After finding out, I went home and emailed Scott and Kelly – and they set up a meeting for me right away. They told me that everything was going to be all right and not to worry, and Scott gave me some advice for moving forward,” McOwen says. “I was definitely a little shocked, but I never stressed for one minute – because I knew I’d be okay and that I had a great support system at NC State.”

McOwen hopped on a call with Hardy the same day, and they got to work reviewing and updating his resume, evaluating his career interests, developing a target list and reaching out to recruiters.

“William received positive mid-year performance evaluations from his managers and had already passed parts of the CPA exam – so we knew this was a very difficult and unique situation for him and his employer,” Hardy says. “He also did a great job of leveraging his NC State MAC alumni network and letting them know that he was actively seeking employment.”

Less than a week later, McOwen received a job offer for a tax associate role with Forvis. “Once William received the offer, we talked through some of the details that he had questions about, and I was able to share with him general market salary information based on our program’s employment placement data,” Hardy says.

The MAC program, I feel, is an ‘I got your back’ type of program. The faculty and staff genuinely care about you, and you can tell that they really love what they do.

According to McOwen, the support he received from career services is illustrative of the culture of the Jenkins MAC program – which is why he didn’t hesitate to reach out. 

“The MAC program, I feel, is an ‘I got your back’ type of program. The faculty and staff genuinely care about you, and you can tell that they really love what they do,” he says. “These are top-level people who know their stuff, but who also take time out of their days and go the extra mile for you. So, I knew I could reach out to them and that they would be more than willing to help.”

McOwen is one of many alumni she has supported over the years, Hardy says. From resume editing and networking to interview coaching, job search assistance, employer introductions and resume referrals to Jenkins MAC networks, such as alumni and advisory boards, the Jenkins MAC program provides a wide array of resources and services – and is proud to offer lifelong career support to current students and alumni.

“We strive to be a valuable, trusted and accessible resource that our MAC community can always count on – and that’s something that sets us apart from other MAC programs,” Hardy says. 

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