Q:What skills are you building in the D'Amore-McKim MSA program that you will use in your future career?

A:The MSA program has challenged my abilities and pushed me to improve upon all the skills I developed throughout my undergraduate studies. Beyond building the advanced technical and analytical skills expected from the program, there is an additional emphasis on communication. Particularly, the art of articulating information and communicating it in an organized, timely fashion, which is an essential quality expected out of today's professionals. Although underrated, I believe strong communication skills are sought by prospective employers, and continuing to strengthen them will be instrumental in my career advancement.

Q:What would you say to a colleague considering enrolling in the MSA program?

A:For anyone who is serious about a career in accounting, or any occupation for that matter, I would highly advise them to think about how they plan on differentiating themselves from everyone else entering the workforce. Today's job market is saturated and becoming increasingly more competitive. It is essential that you embrace that fact and take a proactive approach to ensure you have a leg up on your peers. The D'Amore-McKim MSA program provides unparalleled experiential learning through interactive case studies, intriguing guest speakers, as well as hands-on group projects. It also allows you to choose a path that coincides with your specific interests, whether in tax or audit. The course structure strengthens your foundation of public accounting and prepares you to pass the CPA exams. I believe the sooner you earn a mastery level degree or attain a prestigious certification, the closer you are to establishing a successful career and separating yourself from the rest of the pack.

Q:Why did you choose the D'Amore-McKim MSA?

A:At the end of my senior year I was certain I would immediately return to school and earn the remaining credits necessary to become CPA eligible. I initially planned on returning to my undergraduate university because of admittedly selfish reasons; some of my friends would still be around, I had grown comfortable with the class structure, and I was content with the quality of work I was expected to deliver. But as graduate school application deadlines approached, I quickly realized that I had come to a significant crossroads in my life where I needed to take a step back, assess the situation and seriously consider what I wanted out of my career. I understood that I needed to be challenged if I wanted to become successful, and I knew I had to invoke continuous self-improvement in every way possible if I wanted reach my potential. Furthermore, if I didn't accomplish these goals I risked becoming complacent and my professional growth could plateau. From my research, the D'Amore-McKim MSA program encouraged my goals and satisfied my desire to prepare for the CPA exam beyond a typical review course. I applied and the rest is history. It was a difficult choice to forego the comfortable environment of my undergraduate university for a place I knew nothing about. But despite the fact that making choices which sacrifice short-term satisfaction for long-term benefits is not easy, it's also unrealistic to think that taking the easy way out will produce the most favorable outcome. I wanted the best tools at my disposal to provide me the greatest chance of success, and from my experience thus far, that is exactly what the D'Amore-McKim MSA program has given me.

Q:What has been your biggest take-away from earning your MSA at Northeastern so far?

A:The biggest take-away has been the impact my professors have had on my perception and analytical approach to solving foreign problems.

Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

A:I strive to create as many opportunities as possible, embrace change, and am willing to take calculated risks. In aggregate, these qualities create a level of uncertainty as to what exactly my future holds. Ideally I would absorb as much knowledge as possible and ultimately become a small business owner. More realistically I can see myself still in public accounting, potentially switching to industry specific work, or consulting in some capacity. A lot can change in that time span, but regardless of what I'm doing I would like to have had managerial experience, earned my CPA designation as well as my MBA, and have a proven track record of adding value wherever I go.