Grad School Spotlight – Lolita Ngo Oum, MSA

Eller PDC Coordinator Alumni Stories

Lolita Ngo Oum is currently completing the Eller’s Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Program and expecting to graduate in 2019.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school? I wanted to get an advanced degree so i could have better opportunities in the future and secure enough credits for my CPA license. It made more sense for me to finish with my academic curriculum at once and focus on career advancement once in the work force. My parents were also a big inspiration as they’ve always wanted me to achieve the highest level of education they couldn’t attain.

What was the preparation and application process like? Right from senior year I already knew that if i had to complete my Masters it’ll be at the UofA. I knew about the application waiver for Eller Undergrads and my strategy was to work well enough during junior and senior year so i met the GPA requirement and didn’t have to worry about the applications requirement. This strategy, by the way, definitely helped with prospective jobs/interviews. I submitted my application a few months before graduation and got the acceptance letter within weeks.

What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding? The most challenging part has been to balance a 40 hrs /week job with 5 Graduate level courses. The graduate level advisors are amazing though, and they were really helpful to come up with a schedule/curriculum that worked for me. Having the ability to focus on a curriculum that is geared towards my career has definitely been the most rewarding.

What do you hope to do after you complete the program? I hope to complete all 4 parts of the CPA over the summer (after graduation) before I start work in early Fall as an IT Audit Associate at KPMG.

What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree?For current UofA undergrads, if your program offers a Waiver for the application work towards achieving that goal and your graduate application would be as simple as completing a form and paying the fee. Non-UA students should definitely seek counsel from the academic advisors. We have an amazing team at the PDC and they are always willing to help. I came in as a transfer student from a community college, and everyone i’d talked to at the time was friendly and helpful. They were one of the main reasons why i decided to pursue my graduate degree at Eller.