It’s hard to believe I just graduated from the University of Virginia with a Master’s in Accounting! I still remember the icebreakers from the first day of orientation, bonding with my classmates over a ropes course, and my first paper for Accounting Policy. As I reflect back on my nine months at UVA, I am most grateful for the skills I learned through the Program’s integrated curriculum.
The first semester focused heavily on building interpersonal and communication skills through courses like “Leading for Success in the Accounting Profession” and “Communicating Effectively as Accounting Professionals.” These courses challenged our public speaking skills and included multiple team-based projects. Although I was skeptical of the heavy emphasis on developing soft skills, I now realize that those are the skills that will be most valuable in the workplace. The Program gave me the opportunity to work with a diverse set of teams on a variety of projects, papers, and presentations, which truly reflects the real working world. I now feel confident I will be a valuable team member in any situation.
During the second semester, classes had a more technical focus, like “Accounting for Derivatives” and “Information Technology in Finance” which I chose as electives. I was really grateful to have Professor Craig Lefanowicz for a second semester as his passion for teaching and willingness to help students came across in every class and office visit. Although challenging at times, I know the technical skills I acquired will benefit me in my career as I navigate technological disruptions and efficiency in the workforce.
I also have to give a shout-out to my intelligent and kind classmates who really made my graduate school experience amazing. I went to a very large institution for undergrad, so I really appreciated having a tight-knit community at McIntire. There is something special about spending every day with students who are all working towards similar academic and career goals. I’m going to miss my CPA study buddies as I continue to prep over the summer!
Although I’m sad to leave Charlottesville, I know that UVA has left a lasting impression. I take with me many new friends, an amazing network of professors and peers, and most importantly, unforgettable memories. I’m looking forward to starting my career at PwC as a Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services (CMAAS) Associate in New York City and hope to be back on Grounds during recruiting season!