By Justyce Riggs, MSADA Class of 2021
Yes! I’m almost through my first semester of the one-year MS in Accounting program with Data Analytics at the Kelley School of Business and I know beyond a doubt that this was the best way to reach my goal of working as a Tax Consultant at Deloitte, in which I will be starting full-time next Fall. The main reason you would benefit from an MS in Accounting degree at the Kelley School of Business is because you immediately gain 150 credit hours needed to sit for the Certified Public Accounting exam; this is usually the end goal. The Kelley School of Business also has “Career Services for life”. Even though I already have my full-time job offer I can always return to the Kelley School of Business for a new job opportunity if my job doesn’t work out. Career Services also continuously helps my classmates with mock interviews, job searches, etc. and the majority of the class will leave with a job offer. And lastly, in this program you are continuously learning and gaining more knowledge about accounting that you may not have learned in undergrad.
What was a pivotal experience in your first weeks that confirmed graduate school was the right choice?
The pivotal experience that confirmed graduate school was the right choice, especially in the middle of COVID-19, was the continuous support from the Graduate Accounting Programs faculty and staff. I am originally from Florida, so being far from home was a nervous transition. Quickly the faculty and staff reached out and checked-in on us to make sure that we were emotionally and mentally stable and they just naturally care about our well-being. I knew that graduate school was right for me then, because to the faculty and staff, it’s not just about making the grades and passing the tests, we are all one family and they make sure that we are aware of how quickly we can reach out if we need them for anything.
What has been your favorite GAP class or faculty member thus far and why?
My favorite GAP class so far has been Corporate Taxation. At first, the class sounds familiar to what you learned in undergrad. But undergrad was just informing you, whereas Corporate Taxation with Bridget Stomberg really gave me in-depth knowledge of Corporate Taxation which helps with the type of work I will be doing post-graduate school while working with Deloitte Big 4 Accounting Firm.
Why did you choose to go to grad school right out of undergrad?
The short answer, I wanted to get it all out of the way as soon as possible, but in all reality, getting my MS in Accounting with Data Analytics right out of undergrad benefits me long-term because I will be sitting for the CPA and committing to a full-time job offer. If I did not go to grad school right out of undergrad that would be something that I would have eventually had to go back to school and get. After networking and speaking with different professionals, you never know what will come with the reality of life. Therefore, if you can, you would want to go straight to graduate school after undergrad & also sit for the CPA exam, sooner than later. Once you start working in the accounting field, and experience busy season, it will be much harder to focus on the exam, and you wouldn’t want that to be a factor long term.