The summer before I completed my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to volunteer at an English as a Second Language (ESL) day camp overseas. When I arrived, the nonprofit that organized the camp was struggling to get remodeling done. With temperatures reaching more than 100 degrees on a regular basis the contractors would not work in the heat of the day, resulting in significant delays. Luckily, one of the volunteers had years of construction experience. Under his direction, the other volunteers and I were able to complete the most crucial parts of construction in time for camp to start. Though his skills were not related to the work he signed up for, his expertise filled a crucial gap. At that point, I realized that having cultural and social knowledge is not always enough to be successful, and I had a nagging feeling that my behavioral science degree alone would not get me where I wanted to be in my career.
In the years that followed, I considered a variety of different masters programs – but none of them inspired the confidence that I would be able to find a relevant, satisfying job after completing my degree. Based on my personal experience in the workplace, I knew that I needed to select a program that would equip me with the technical skills to succeed in the global business environment.
I stumbled onto the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School website. While the high rankings that the UNC MAC Program has received from LinkedIn and other sources are what first caught my attention, what really drew me in was the focus on students with non-accounting backgrounds. By tailoring this program to individuals like me, UNC recognizes the value of diverse knowledge, undergraduate studies and work experience – both of which are useful in today’s ever-changing business environment.
The other accounting programs that I considered would have required me to take additional undergraduate courses before enrolling. As someone who has worked full-time for a few years, the prospect of further delaying the advancement of my career, which is why the accelerated nature of the UNC MAC Program was another deciding factor for me. In the end, I chose the UNC Master of Accounting Program because I needed a concrete, marketable skill. I felt so strongly about UNC that I did not want to apply to any other accounting programs.
The details all added up, and I could not be happier with my decision.
By Elizabeth Bagwell (MAC ’17)
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