Now that I’m a month into the M.S. in Accounting Program at the University of Virginia, I can say that choosing to come here is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. By the end of the first week of classes, my professors knew my name. They demonstrate their investment in my success—within the Program and beyond—by checking in with me and advising me on how to hone my skill set. The culture here builds in participation, working in teams, and building relationships, which are key aspects of the accounting profession. The wide range of thoughts and ideas that come out of class discussions is a reflection of the diverse student body.
Choosing to attend UVA for grad school was a decision that took time and consideration. Here are the deciding factors that led me to now call UVA and Charlottesville home for the next nine months.
A New Environment and Good Weather
I’m from Brooklyn, NY, and completed my undergraduate education at Syracuse University. I was ready to venture to a new environment in a new state. With the extreme winters that I experienced in Upstate New York, I wanted to go somewhere warmer that was still within a decent driving distance from home. Charlottesville is only seven hours from Brooklyn and very sunny, with mild winters. Experiencing a new culture was also very important for me since I’ve only been exposed to New York’s fast-paced lifestyle. Trying out Virginia would provide me insight into whether I wanted to return to New York or live elsewhere.
Openness to Non-Traditional Business Majors and Abroad Experience
The number of graduate school options was limited to me, as a sociology major with an accounting minor. McIntire was one of the few exceptions. McIntire’s M.S. in Accounting Program requires only six prerequisite courses, all of which I had completed as part of my minor. In addition, I was able to speak with an M.S. in Accounting alumna who had also not been a business major. She told me that UVA was a good choice since she never felt intimidated, and she emphasized how helpful the professors at McIntire are, which has proven to be very true.
Having studied abroad and appreciating the value of the experience, a program that offered an international study opportunity was important to me. McIntire offers J-term and spring break study-abroad elective courses that count towards my degree. I plan to enroll in the spring break course “Belgium and the Netherlands: Sustainability Reporting and Assurance,” co-led by M.S. in Accounting Program Director Andrea Roberts and Accounting Professor Jennifer Winchel.
Strong Curriculum and Supportive Faculty and Staff
McIntire has a reputation for being prestigious with a rigorous curriculum that fosters learning to encourage students to become better professionals. McIntire’s curriculum focuses on students understanding the “why” behind accounting, and professors teach us how to be good decision-makers and leaders in the field. The Program also features smaller classes, despite UVA being a large public university, so I am able to build personal relationships with my professors and peers. These smaller settings reveal that professors genuinely care about their students’ success and are willing to provide mentorship and support. In addition to the wonderful faculty, the supportive services available to students such as the Commerce Career Services and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion were very important to me and big factor in my decision to choose McIntire.