Jasmine Cheng studied Accounting & MIS. She graduated in 2016 and She is now working on her graduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school? I decided to pursue a graduate degree because it would give me more time to develop my professional skills while continuing to gain knowledge about accounting. Grad school is a great place for more in depth learning where you can learn about not just the content but also the reasoning behind things. It was also an opportunity for me to explore a city I have never been to and try different kinds of food and activities that I wouldn’t have found in Tucson.
What was the preparation and application process like? The preparation and application process was straight-forward and not very stressful as I planned to only apply to 3 schools and a couple of months between each application. Taking the GMAT was the first step to the process and I opted to do that in the Spring junior year so I had time to retake it if the score came back undesirable. The most important part of the application was making sure the people you wanted to write your recommendations knew what to do and when it was due.
What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding? The most challenging part of the experience is how rigorous some of the courses are and the desire to drop everything to go out and have fun. I took my first accounting exam recently and was completely shocked that an exam is no longer short enough to complete in 1 hour. For this 2 hour exam, everyone was still sitting there by the end and I was scrambling to do the last two pages in the last 10 minutes. While school has been challenging, meeting new people in the program and in Austin has been the most rewarding part of my experience. Coming to a new city and starting fresh has allowed me to step out of some of my comfort zones to try new things and make new friends.
What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree? Many people choose to do a masters for accounting solely to qualify and prepare for the CPA exam and license but don’t overlook look the other advantages of grad school. It will continue building off of your foundation from undergrad and allow you to bring a new set of perspectives at work. Attending a different school will not only give you a different take on how another school approaches accounting and but also opens up your network greatly since top programs like UA and UT attract students and professors from all over the country.