Trinity Kelso

What did you study as an undergraduate and what prompted you to pursue graduate study in accounting?

My degree is in Public Policy and Leadership from the Batten School at the University of Virginia, but I also completed the General Business Minor from McIntire as an undergraduate. I’ve always been really interested in the intersection of government and public policy and business, going back and forth between the two areas of study when deciding what path to take during undergraduate studies. The ways in which the public and private sector work congruently motivated me to pursue an academic path geared towards professional services careers, specifically those involving accounting.

Growing up, my mom’s profession as an accountant gave me firsthand experience into the diverse opportunities that the profession offered. After completing a summer internship with PwC in the summer of my second year, I knew that a graduate accounting education was exactly what I needed in my professional journey to steer me towards a post-grad job where I felt fulfilled and excited while balancing my academic backgrounds.

How difficult was it to complete the prerequisites for the MSA Pathway Program?

Completing the prerequisites for the MSA Pathway was not as difficult as one may think. The class material was sometimes challenging, but that was to be expected as the accounting content got more conceptually challenging and technical. Through the prerequisites, I learned relevant and interesting material that well-equipped me for summer internships and becoming a well-rounded professional. The professors at McIntire are also truly one of a kind; they make the classroom environment supportive and engaging, which helps tremendously in navigating the course content and balancing workloads as a student not in McIntire.

What courses are you most looking forward to in the M.S. in Accounting Program?

I’m looking forward to getting to learn from more McIntire professors in the graduate program, as my experience in the MSA Pathway as an undergrad exposed me to several experiences with accounting professors whose teaching styles made the classes impactful. I’m excited to take Government and Nonprofit Accounting with Professor Katie McDermott and Accounting Analytics and Fraud with Professor Eric Negangard. Both classes seem extremely interesting and relevant to my professional interests, and after having these professors during undergraduate study, I am extremely excited to learn from them again.

What has it been like to take courses for the MSA Pathways Program and at Batten?

Taking courses for the MSA Pathway Program and Batten has definitely been a unique experience, but I believe it has made me a better student, young professional, and individual. Most of the Batten course classes and electives are centered around understanding the way policy is created and shaped, encouraging students to think critically about solving a variety of national issues with policy instruments. This type of analysis is not one that is traditional to a lot of undergraduate business programs but has allowed me to think about business issues with a wider lens and a thorough policy toolkit. The same could be said moving in an opposite direction as well; taking Accounting classes that teach more about the financial composition of a company, accounting regulations, and the macro environment has allowed me to think about how current national issues and proposed policies impact businesses both directly and indirectly.

What extracurricular activities are you involved with?

As an undergraduate, I served as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for a AKPsi, a co-ed business fraternity; a Student Consultant for Formative Change Group; a Peer Mentor for the Consulting Recruitment Mentorship Program; and an Intern for Procurated, a govtech startup based in DC.

What advice do you have for someone interested in the MSA Pathway Program?

I would tell anyone interested in the MSA Pathway to jump in, headfirst. Joining this program was one of the best decisions I made during my undergraduate experience at UVA, and I would heartily recommend this program to anyone interested. Professor McDermott is an invaluable resource for navigating not only the Pathway but balancing other academic and professional commitments with the program. Reaching out to Professor McDermott and current students is a great way to learn more about the program and figure out the best plan for your individual goals.

  • Undergraduate Degree Public Policy and Leadership
  • Undergraduate Institution University of Virginia
  • Hometown Millsboro, DE
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