Academics

Faculty Spotlight: Craig Lefanowicz by Brady Hamel (M.S. in Accounting ’21)

Current student Brady Hamel checks in with Professor Craig Lefanowicz about his courses and advice he has for prospective students.

Craig Lefanowicz and Brady Hamel

Craig Lefanowicz and Brady Hamel

As a current student in the M.S. in Accounting Program, I’ve had the pleasure to meet many great professors so far, including Craig Lefanowicz, Associate Professor of Commerce and Director of the School’s PricewaterhouseCoopers Center for Innovation in Professional Services. Professor Lefanowicz is an incredible asset to the MSA program here at UVA and a favorite professor of many students, including me.

One thing I appreciate most about Professor Lefanowicz is that he makes himself more available than many of the professors I have had in the past, hosting office hours to help answer his students’ questions and being open to speak with us whenever we need to get in contact. I took his Accounting Policy course last semester and thoroughly enjoyed both the course and Professor Lefanowicz’ teaching style.

Professor Lefanowicz has an incredible gift, in that he is able to make seemingly uninteresting topics exciting to learn about. He is one of the most engaging professors I’ve ever had, and I believe he truly cares about his students’ learning and seeing them succeed in his courses and beyond. I look forward to taking his Accounting for Derivatives class this semester and hope prospective students get the opportunity to take a class with him as well in the future.

Check out my conversation with Professor Lefanowicz below.

What can Accounting students expect to do and learn in your classes?
The students in my classes learn the critical thinking aspects of why accounting is the way it is. If you understand the “why” when having to explain something to a client, it makes it much easier to convince them and assure them of your answer. Specifically, in Accounting Policy, the students write memos and create deliverables regarding important accounting issues, using the FASB Accounting Standards Codification for support. Accounting for Derivatives focuses on developing a framework for understanding the uses and financial reporting of derivatives as used in the banking system.

Do you have any advice for students entering the M.S. in Accounting Program?
Be open-minded. This is a program designed to really get you to the next level in your career. It’s not designed to make you a better accountant; it’s designed to make you a better business consultant. This puts you in a position to move up the ladder quickly and become an extremely well-rounded business professional.

Why do you like teaching in the program?
Because I love the students! You guys come in with such diverse backgrounds each and every year. It is so much fun to have conversations with you all and push everybody along.

How do you connect with students you teach for only a year?
I tell them keep in touch with their classmates and with professors using tools like LinkedIn. Also, many former students come back for various recruiting events and to teach classes at McIntire each year.

What is your favorite activity to do in Charlottesville?
Golf with friends

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