Jesus Bustillos is a 2020 Eller graduate who majored in Accounting and MIS. He is currently pursing a Master’s of Accounting in the Audit track at the University of Arizona.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school?
I decided to go to graduate school to prepare for my career in auditing, as well as complete the necessary credit requirements for a CPA license. Although I double majored in MIS and Accounting, I always intended to pursue a career in auditing. Having an MIS degree helps integrate more skills regarding technology in an auditing career. Accounting firms now require knowledge of “Big Data” and “Data Analytics” in addition to audit knowledge. The overlap between MIS and Accounting just enforced my interest in audit and the MACC program was the logical next step to continue my education.
What was the preparation and application process like?
I recommend applying for the masters program the semester before graduation, or early on in the semester. I was fortunate enough to waive some of the requirements, so the application process was straightforward and relatively quick, so an overall smooth process.
In terms of preparation, while I finished my last semester of my undergraduate studies in Accounting and MIS, I talked to some of the accounting staff about the program to learn more about the program. The professors were very welcoming and made themselves available to answer any questions.
What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding?
Besides transitioning to Zoom for classes, the most challenging part has been adapting to the format of the classes in the MAcc program. From undergraduate to graduate, the classes are much more interactive and discussion-based which has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time. The classes make you think critically about accounting topics so I’ve enjoyed the more in-depth discussions about what I’m learning.
The classes are much smaller so you get to develop good relationships with your classmates and professors. Overall, having the opportunity to collaborate with classmates and learn from each other has been the most rewarding.
What do you hope to do after you complete the program?
After completing the program, I will be moving to Phoenix to work for Deloitte as an Audit associate in their Audit and Assurance group. I will also finish any remaining parts of the CPA exam that I didn’t get to during the program.
What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree?
Take some time to learn about the program and how to best prepare for it. I knew having an MIS degree would better prepare me for the audit track, so find classes or extracurriculars that will improve the skills you need. Have an open mind about the program and be proactive in planning around taking the CPA and/or when you decide to start full time.