Previous University: Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration, concentration in Accounting
Q: What inspired you to become the first person to earn a master's degree in your family?
A: I liked the accelerated nature; getting my master's in under a year meant I could begin working full time earlier. The classes were well organized to fit into my schedule, and many of my classmates were also PlusOne candidates, making me feel more comfortable taking that step.
I also want to become CPA certified, which is required in the first few years of working in public accounting. The PlusOne program allowed me to fulfill the CPA hour requirements while preparing me to sit for the tests.
I never thought I would have the chance to do my master's. I'm proud to be the first person in my family to get a master's degree.
Q: Where will you be working after graduation, and what will be your responsibilities?
A: After two co-ops working with them, I will be starting at Deloitte in Boston this fall post-graduation, working in their audit practice as an audit and assurance associate.
I'll be part of a team assigned to a specific client to audit their financial statements. Most of our time will be spent recalculating things, testing against different sources that we receive from the client or their bank, and checking to ensure that every single number on their statements is accurate. Our goal will be to complete the audit fully by the time the financial statements need to be posted. I truly enjoyed my co-op experience there, so I'm super excited to be working at Deloitte full time.
Q: How has the D'Amore-McKim School of Business prepared you for a future in accounting?
A: The education I've received at D'Amore-McKim has been more than classes. Of course, the classes are essential for learning the necessary details, but opportunities to learn by doing bring their own unique experience. I'm a tour guide on campus, and we're always emphasizing experiential learning. It's real, and it works. So, when I say it on my tours, I actually mean it. I feel like I'm graduating, not only as an expert in accounting but fully prepared to go into the real world. You can build knowledge about anything, but if you don't know how to translate that into the real world, it's just knowledge. I know what's coming, and I'm prepared for it.
Q: Did you connect with any professors during your time at Northeastern University?
A: During my first semester at Northeastern, I took an intro to accounting class, and my professor was a woman. I had never seen a female accountant before. I started to be able to picture myself in that role too. It was really special to have someone I could relate to as my first professor.
At the end of the semester, I reached out to that professor and asked if I could keep working with her. Since then, I've worked as her research assistant and have been her teaching assistant for financial accounting. By working with her in a more one-on-one setting, I felt like I could ask her any questions about her experience. That gave me an actual image of what it could look like to be an accountant rather than just learning about accounting in class.
Q: What advice would you share with future students?
A: When I started taking business classes, I worried that my classmates already knew so much about business, and I was just getting started. At first, it was intimidating, but I gained more confidence by connecting with my professors.
Don't let small things like that deter you because you are super capable. Don't put yourself down for not having all the answers yet; you're not supposed to. Preparing you to work in public accounting is one of the things that D'Amore-McKim does best. Believe in yourself, and you will succeed.
“I was able to leverage the analytical skills I learned through my education in accounting to pursue a new career in talent acquisition,” says Fingar.
“Today, I am proud to say that I was able to graduate from undergrad in four and a half years with over one year of full-time work experience at a Big Four accounting firm, and half of my master's degree already complete,” says Secchia.
“Starting on this path so early meant that I could take classes at a pace that worked for me. I will graduate with my master's, undergrad, and co-op experience, all at an average four-year college pace, which no other university could offer me.” says Lauren Olin, PlusOne MS in Accounting'22