MS in Accounting Blog

A Day in the Life of an M.S. in Accounting Student

Olivia D'Andrea takes us through her day as an M.S. in Accounting student at McIntire.

M.S. in Accounting student Olivia D'Andrea

McIntire is not just about getting to class, getting the grade, eating, sleeping, and repeating. No two days are identical for an M.S. in Accounting student, but I will do my best to share a snapshot of a typical day here.

The dawn chimes in with Apple’s lowkey triggering “Presto” alarm. But after my “first things first” workout and devoted Starbucks run, I enjoy a brisk walk down Thomson Road, through Grounds, and past the amphitheater to the entrance of the fourth floor of Rouss Hall. The grad lounge is my morning hub where I can grab some coffee from one of the four Keurigs and chat with some friends before class.

After my social hour, it’s up to the second floor for my 9:30 class on Federal Taxation with Professor Susan Porter, where we go over the mechanics of the United States Tax System. Other days I start with Communicating Effectively as an Accountant with Professor Marcia Pentz, where every student learns to identify their best speaking style through class presenting and speaking. Each of these courses is an hour and 15 minutes long.

After class, I have 15 minutes to grab another cup of coffee and prepare for my next class, Data Management & Analytics for Accountants with Professor Stefano Grazioli. This class takes an insightful and applicable dive into data technology and applies what we learn to our future business careers. The class has a strong collaborative and discussion-based focus, enabling each student to grasp the vital concepts that we then have to apply to our course assignments. For me, the highlight of this course is “What’s New in Technology,” or WINIT for short. During this 15-minute exercise, one student brings an article about the current technological environment to inspire discussion on various industries and the future of technology. This week, for example, my peer, Kinley, brought an article about the introduction of Meta, sparking discussion on potential applications of virtual reality in the workplace.

This hour and 15 minutes fly by. Before I know it, it’s 12:15 p.m. and time for lunch. The time between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. is the busiest in the graduate lounge. During this time, M.S. in Accounting and M.S. in Commerce students mingle and enjoy their lunches. I typically bring my lunch from home and store it in one of the two refrigerators, but others love to pick up their meals on the Corner. Students will meet in their groups or take a break from school to enjoy their lunch. I utilize the microwave and heat a Trader Joe’s frozen meal! My favorite part of this time is sitting and talking to my peers, catching up with a friend, or talking to someone I have never spoken to before.

After finishing up my lunch, I spend time doing some coursework such as reading cases for Professor Craig Lefanowicz’s Accounting Policy course or getting ahead on the Federal Taxation Problems. Twice a week, I spend the rest of the afternoon working as a Graduate Assistant in McIntire Student Services, where I help plan M.S. in Accounting events for students and faculty to network and mingle outside of the walls of Rouss & Robertson Halls. In October, I even spent my time blowing up balloons for the Student Services Trick-or-Treat Halloween Event. I am currently working on a project in which I talk to current McIntire students and faculty and ask for their tips and tricks on topics ranging from time management to utilization of our academic resources. I am compiling this data to create multimedia resources–such as videos or top five tip sheets–for all McIntire students (both graduate and undergraduate) to turn to when in need of some advice. This job has shown me the mechanics behind how McIntire functions so effectively and efficiently.

My day is not over just yet. After work, I head home to do some reading and practice problems for class before driving to Zoom Cycling Studio to get in some cardio. While spending so much of our days immersed in coursework, I feel it is important for us graduate students to make sure we are prioritizing our mental and physical health. Taking a break is a good way to help us not get burned out. I usually end my days by spending time with roommates and friends, making dinner, and watching some Netflix before it is time to hit the hay and get ready for the next day as a McIntire M.S. in Accounting student.

Olivia shares schedule examples below. Click to expand (opens a new browser window).

Example of a Tax Track schedule from fall 2021

Example of a Tax Track schedule from fall 2021

Example of a Financial Reporting & Assurance schedule from fall 2021

Example of a Financial Reporting & Assurance schedule from fall 2021

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