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About Patrick

Hometown: Duxbury, Massachusetts
Previous University: College of the Holy Cross
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor's degree in Economics
Q: Tell us about your background and why you decided to earn your MS in Accounting/MBA? 

A: I graduated from Holy Cross in 2016 with an economics degree. After graduation, I began working for a small startup called Shields Health Solutions as an analyst and later joined their accounting department as a staff accountant. To gain more exposure to the month-end closing process, I transitioned to WGBH as a general ledger accountant.  I found it interesting to apply the analytic skills from my undergrad degree to solve problems in these roles. It was like piecing the puzzle together, and as I worked more in accounting, I realized that there was a lot more I needed and wanted to learn. 

I realized that having CPA licensure would open more opportunities for upward mobility in my career. I started looking into programs that would provide me with the 150 credits I needed to sit for the CPA exam, and I found D'Amore-McKim's MS in Accounting/MBA program

Q: What were you looking for when considering graduate programs? Why did you choose D'Amore-McKim? 

A: As an older candidate, I wanted a fast-paced program that would offer me the quickest route to taking the CPA exam. I was impressed by Northeastern's strong connections with the Big Four and other globally known accounting firms. I knew it would be valuable to have access to those connections to start my career in public accounting. I didn't see any other program offering networking with top accounting firms and a 15-month duration. So, for me, choosing D'Amore-McKim was a no-brainer. 

Q: Tell us about your three-month corporate residency at PwC. How did your curriculum prepare you for this opportunity? 

A: I worked in asset and wealth management as an audit and assurance intern at PwC in Boston. I started my residency in a two-week training program, which was awesome. It prepared me for the work ahead with my team.  

I worked on one audit during my time at PwC. I was able to gain broad experience as the audit's needs dictated my work. Every day presented something new, so I had to be ready and willing to help as well as maintain strong relationships within my team. 

My coursework prepared me well for my residency. My audit class was definitely my key to success. We learned about the PCAOB, how to make assertions, and how an audit will look from start to finish.  

My financial accounting classes also helped me build a foundation in partnership accounting. At the same time, MBA courses allowed me to develop my skillset for working with teams. Overall, there weren't any surprises during my residency, and I felt very prepared. 

Q: How has the MS in Accounting/MBA helped you achieve your professional goals? 

A: The program has definitely set me on the path to taking my CPA exam. I have all the credits required for licensure, and the curriculum has allowed me to start prepping for the exam before leaving the program, which is great.  

The network I've built in the program is also very valuable for me. If I have any questions or needed advice, I could reach out to my classmates. I really appreciate that. It's nice to know we all have each other's backs and are jumping into the field together.  

Post-grad, I'm lucky enough to be working at PwC on their asset and wealth management team as an audit and assurance associate. I wouldn't have been able to secure this position without my time in the program and completing my corporate residency there. 

Q: What advice would you share with future students? 

A: One of the biggest things I learned is accounting is a very relationship-driven industry. You can know everything there is to know about accounting, but the technical aspect is only one part of the equation; utilizing social skills to form connections is just as important.  

Your experience will be what you make of it. Take the time to grow your accounting knowledge and build relationships with professors and the other students in your cohort. Those connections will help you now and into the future of your career. Work hard and take advantage of your resources and you'll be successful and enjoy your time here.  

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“The faculty also gave me advice on how to leave a lasting impression and because of that, I feel more confident when networking. Additionally, the support from the program alumni has been immense; they're more than willing to pick up the phone and discuss your career goals.”

“Already in the first few months as a new associate, I have felt the effects of how the corporate residency put me a step ahead of others.”

Undergraduate Degree: Information Technology

“Having background in [data analytics] will able me to make essential business decisions later on in my career…and I think that side of accounting will become more and more important as time goes on.”

Undergraduate Degree: Economics and Minor in Finance

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