Future Position: Deloitte, Audit and Assurance Assistant
Previous University: Connecticut College
Undergraduate Degree: Major in Economics and Minor in Finance
Q: What made you want to further your education by pursuing the MS in Accounting/MBA program at Northeastern?
A: As an international student, I knew that continuing my education would help me reach my career goals. When I was applying to graduate schools, the MS in Accounting/MBA degree at Northeastern stood out to me because of the built-in corporate residency. With my ultimate goal of starting a career in accounting, being given the opportunity to have real hands-on work experience and make valuable connections at a Big Four accounting firm was an attractive feature for me. After now officially completing my corporate residency, I am happy to announce that I will be returning to Deloitte, focused in auditing, for a full-time position after graduation.
Q: What skills from your liberal arts background have you been able to directly leverage during your time in the program thus far?
A: My undergraduate curriculum was very well-rounded and I was encouraged to take classes in many different subject areas. I think the most applicable skill that I learned was technical writing. Though most people normally wouldn’t connect writing and accounting, it’s definitely necessary for any career. It’s integral to be able to communicate effectively and express yourself adequately. The skills I gained during my undergrad experience definitely prepared for success in my MS in Accounting/MBA courses.
Q: What was the biggest takeaway from your corporate residency at Deloitte?
A: I think I underestimated how much you learn on the job. While the fundamental accounting knowledge is important—which the MS in Accounting/MBA curriculum prepared me for—these Big Four firms are really looking for people who are adaptable and willing to learn. I had an opportunity to be on a team with another corporate resident from the program and it seemed like our colleagues were impressed with how knowledgeable we were going in. I think given what they expected of us as interns, we surpassed that, which is credit to the program and how well they prepared us. We were given a high level of responsibility, and I grasped new tasks on the job while also being able to connect with clients.
Q: How has the analytics concentration prepared you for a career in big data accounting?
A: It’s exciting to get exposure to this side of accounting and be able to learn about the importance of data analytics. We live in an economy that’s constantly changing, and the field of accounting is not immune to that, so it’s necessary for future accountants like me to have a grasp on data analytics. Having background in that area will able me to make essential business decisions later on in my career, especially as I build my way up to a manager or partner level, and I think this side of accounting will become more and more important as time goes on.
Q: Do you have any advice for prospective students who are interested in the MS in Accounting/MBA program?
A: Be prepared to work and keep an open mind. It’s a rigorous program, but it’s really rewarding. Taking advantages of networking opportunities is key, and this can be said for both for the classroom and workplace. Networking is the most valuable tool that you can have for business, and having a positive and enthusiastic attitude is so important. I was able to utilize the network that D’Amore-McKim has with their alumni and hear about their experiences in the program and what they were able to apply directly in their work today. It’s more than just learning the technical skills of accounting. It’s also about having conversations with others who have been in your shoes and being able to learn from them. This asset of the program created a support system for me at not only Northeastern but also in the workforce.
“The accounting internship enabled me to build the self-confidence necessary to excel at work and also gave me the opportunity to develop strong relationships within the company that will help me begin my full-time career on the right foot,” says Sponsel.
Never satisfied to rest on its laurels, D’Amore-McKim is taking its MS in Accounting/MBA program up a notch by including a new four-course concentration in analytics. The move is responsive to a major shift in the accounting field that is fueled, in part, by dramatic advances in artificial intelligence and other technologies.
“It’s the perfect program for career changers. It provided a seamless transition from the arts to accounting.”
Undergraduate Degree: Jazz Drums, Electronic Production