Allison Minarcik studied Accounting and graduated in 2016. She is now working on her graduate degree at the University of Arizona.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school? I decided to go to graduate school because I wanted to pursue a career in public accounting. To contribute to my professional career I decided that I wanted to become a CPA. Obtaining a Master degree in Accounting not only helps me reach enough units to sit for the CPA exam, but also provides me with a vast amount of knowledge to pass the exam. The knowledge I am learning in my Masters program will not only help me improve my technical knowledge, but it will also help me grow as a professional. The faculty and staff in the Accounting department are exceptional, and I would not be in the Masters program without their advice and help along the way.
What was the preparation and application process like? The application process for me was very simple and straight forward. If I ever had any questions on my application I would reach out to some students who were currently in the Masters program. Regarding the GMAT, I did not have to take the exam because I had met the GPA requirement and attended the U of A, and was applying to the U of A graduate college. The accounting faculty and staff were helpful in helping me complete my application.
What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding? The most challenging part of my experience is the work life balance. I am working as a staff in the Accounting department, where I plan all of events that are run through the department. On top of this time commitment I am also attempting to study and pass the 4 sections of the CPA exam. Therefore, it is challenging to balance my time between my classes, work, and the CPA exam.
The most rewarding part of my experience is enhancing my relationships. I am grateful to have the opportunity to form relationships with my professors. I learn from exceptional professors who take interest in my technical accounting knowledge, but also in my growth as a professional. I am also grateful to create lasting relationships with my amazing peers. I learn from my peers every day and I am excited to see what we all achieve in the work force after we complete the program.
What do you hope to do after you complete the program? After graduation in May 2017 I plan to finish taking and passing all 4 parts of the CPA exam. I have accepted a full-time job offer for Fall 2017 with EY in Phoenix as an Auditor. I hope to spend my time on different clients in different industries to learn more about auditing specific industries. I also hope to obtain experience in both private and public clients, as well as large and small engagements.
What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree? One piece of advice I have for students who would like to pursue their Master of Accounting degree is to form relationships with the accounting faculty. Even if you have a job lined up, or think you know what you want to do, the relationships you form with the faculty will help you in many ways. They can introduce you to so many people in the accounting field and provide you with helpful insight for your career path. Another piece of advice I have is to study for the CPA while you are in school. This way, when you start work you will have completed and passed all 4 parts and can focus solely on acclimating to the work force. The last piece of advice is to be flexible. Sometimes unexpected roadblocks can occur that will challenge you. It is important to be flexible and problem solve. Remind yourself why you are pursing this degree and look forward to the future.