Shawn Hanrahan, MSA/MBA'02, is coming to our Instagram account @damoremckim this week to share his experience in our Master in Accounting/Master of Business Administration program. Shawn is an Audit & Assurance Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Follow along!

Q: What can you tell us about your D'Amore-McKim and MS in Accounting/MBA experience?

My 15 months in the program was a challenging and rewarding experience. The cohort nature of the program created the opportunity for real bonding experiences that helped me develop a strong professional network and lifelong friendships.

Q: What would you say to a prospective student considering D'Amore-McKim for a business degree?

GSPA alumnus shawn hanrahan
Shawn Hanrahan, MSA/MBA'02. Photo by Adam Glanzman.

This program has a corporate residency scheduled in the middle of the program, which provides students firsthand professional experience with what they've studied in the first part of the program. Taking concepts out of the textbook and applying them in the workplace can help facilitate a deeper understanding of what's happening and help to reinforce what students learn in the classroom.

Also, the corporate residency occurs during the accounting “busy season,” which provides the opportunity for hands-on learning and exposure to professionals and clients during some of their busiest times.

Q: What advice would you give to students about the corporate residency process?

The program is intended to provide an opportunity for students to interact with accounting professionals from various accounting firms. The placement process is important and one should prepare for it.  Consider doing research to educate yourself on the various organizations. During interviews, be yourself and try not to stress because it's important to come across authentically. Meet as many people as you can at all different levels from each organization to get a feel for the culture. 

Q: What advice would you give to students just starting the program?

Ask questions. Everyone comes in nervous for different reasons based on their backgrounds. Many students may not have a background in  accounting and it can be overwhelming. Ask questions of teachers and classmates alike. Work to build study groups with students from a variety of backgrounds—everyone has a unique perspective that can help to broaden yours.

Q: What do you think the future of accounting looks like?

We hear about disruption all the time. Disruption for clients and disruption for the industry. At Deloitte & Touche LLP, this is intentional. We are embracing the change and constantly searching for new ways which we may leverage technology to assist our engagement teams and improve the quality of our audits. With more data at our fingertips, accountants are typically doing less repetitive work and working to add value. Technology is enabling auditors to be efficient and provide greater insights. 

Technology will continue to redefine how we do things, but we can't take for granted the softer skills and human skills that continue to be needed. Accountants need the ability to build strong relationships with clients and coworkers. 

Q: What's your favorite memory from your time in the program?

I have a lot of memories, but one that stands out is graduating with my classmates and knowing that 15 months prior we were strangers. We had the opportunity to become close life-long friends. I distinctly remember thinking back over our time in the program and reflecting on what we accomplished. I truly appreciate what we did together.

Tell us about your Northeastern experience as a double husky.

My initial goal was to graduate from my bachelor's with an undergraduate degree and real-world experience – which I did. However, I didn't find a career focus that resonated with me. I learned about the GSPA at a graduate open house and was interested in the accelerated curriculum and career success stories. I had classes in Dodge Hall throughout my undergraduate time, but never stumbled across the fourth floor GSPA office until I enrolled in the program. It helped me to find a career path that fit with my interests and goals.