About Emma

Hometown: Memphis, TN
Current Position: Ernst u0026amp; Young
Previous University: Miami University
Undergraduate Degree: Accounting
Q: Why did you choose a career in accounting?

A: My father is a CPA and instilled in me that accounting is the basis of all business. When it came time to decide what career path I wanted to pursue, I knew accounting would be a great place to start. My grandfather founded a barbeque restaurant in Memphis, and I interned in the restaurant's accounting department right before my senior year of college. Part of my responsibilities was tracking inventory, and all of the record-keeping was on paper. I had to physically count and account for our inventory in the restaurant's system. Taking a deep dive into the numbers confirmed that accounting was what I wanted to do. 

Q: What made you choose a master's degree in accounting from Northeastern University?

A: After taking my first tax accounting class in college, I knew I'd found my niche. My specialty is in numbers, so finding a career centered around them was a great fit. By pursuing a master's in accounting I could specialize in tax accounting. I've always loved helping people, and in taxation, I can use my affinity for numbers to help clients rather than auditing their work.

Several factors drew me to Northeastern's MS in Accounting program, but the recommendations of my undergraduate professor and mentor and my brother were the most influential. When I was exploring master's program options with my mentor, she spoke so highly of Northeastern I knew I had to apply. My brother was already enrolled in Northeastern's MS in Accounting program in the audit track. I remember him telling me: “You have to do it. It's the best program. I got a job, the job placement rate is unbelievable.” Then I saw it happen when my brother and his friends landed great jobs, and that sealed the deal for me.  

Q: You accepted a job at Ernst & Young before graduation. Tell us about your role in tax and financial services.

A: My goal was to secure a job at a top firm in New York City, and Ernst & Young was my first choice. I developed a strong relationship with the EY recruiter in Boston, and applied for a January start date. My hard work paid off and I secured a job in their tax and financial services department.  

In my first three years, it'll be kind of a rotation I'll work in one area and gain experience. If I want to try another area, I'll get the opportunity to explore different departments. Even though I know I want to do tax, I don't really know which industry I want to work in. EY is giving me the opportunity to find out what fits me best.

The MS in Accounting program courses prepared me for this role. My classes covered all aspects of the accounting field, helping me build knowledge in every area of tax and audit. While I focused on tax with classes like Corporate Tax and Partnership, I also had the opportunity to take a few audit classes. If I wanted to switch my career to audit, I'm already familiar with those concepts.

Q: Do you have any advice for future Northeastern students?

A: The most important piece of advice I can offer students is to cultivate and leverage their relationships with their professors and firm recruiters. Whenever there was a firm I was interested in applying to, I'd reach out to my program director for their contact information or an introduction to the recruiter at that firm, and I'd follow up with them directly. It's not just about submitting an application and hoping to hear back from them—it's about showing them how interested you are and willing to go the extra mile.

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