A great way to learn more about the experience you’ll have as UNC Master of Accounting student is to talk with actual students in the program. We’ve profiled a small group of student ambassadors from both the online and on-campus formats who would be happy to share their experiences and answer your questions about the day-to-day goings-on in the program. These students were in your shoes not long ago — researching graduate school options and contemplating their career development —  so they will be excellent resources for you.

Request a Meeting with a Student Ambassador

Meet Our Ambassadors.

(Select photo to view full profile.)

Robin Aldina

Robin Aldina
Online format
Biochemistry

Robin Aldina

Robin Aldina

Undergraduate Major: Biochemistry
Undergraduate School: University of Richmond
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Accounting Concentrations: Tax
Program Format: Online

What are some of your hobbies?
When I'm not studying, I am an avid tennis player, runner, hiker, and mountain biker. I also enjoy spending time with my dog and drinking good coffee.

Why did you choose the MAC Program at UNC?
I chose the MAC program at UNC because of its fantastic network and high placement rate to great firms. I also wanted the flexibility of a program that offered a first-class education while not requiring a background in the field and the ability to gain work experience during the program.

What are a few things that you've learned in the classroom that you've immediately applied to your job?
I'm a full-time student right now, but looking forward to putting all that I've learned in my tax classes to use during a tax season internship.

Ed St. Amand

Ed St. Amand
Online Format
Economics

Ed St. Amand

Ed St. Amand

Undergraduate Major: Economics
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Accounting Concentrations: Tax
Program Format: Online

What are some of your hobbies?
Playing basketball, running, fishing, Clemson Football, UNC Basketball.

Why did you choose the MAC Program at UNC?
It was a perfect fit because I didn't have a background in accounting, and was able to start with the online program in January. The flexibility of the program combined with the excellence and prestige of a Kenan-Flagler education is unrivaled. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of this program.

What are a few things that you've learned in the classroom that you've immediately applied to your job?
Asset valuation (stocks, bonds, options) from the Introductory Finance class, and literally everything from all of the tax classes has been so practical and insightful.

Arthur Khalikov

Arthur Khalikov
On-Campus Format
Psychology

Arthur Khalikov

Arthur Khalikov

Undergraduate Major: Psychology
Undergraduate School: Methodist University
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Accounting Concentrations: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Running, cycling, traveling, reading classic fiction, and listening to good music.

Why did you choose UNC?
MAC Program offers a great opportunity to change careers for non-accounting majors.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Research and writing.

Rebecca Kirk

Rebecca Kirk
On-Campus Format
Asain Studies and Japanese

Rebecca Kirk

Rebecca Kirk

Undergraduate Major: Asian Studies and Japanese
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Accounting Concentrations: Tax
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, hanging out with my husband and cat, escape rooms, hiking.

Why did you choose UNC?
I want a career skill that is valued and can be used wherever you go. I chose UNC for two reasons: I enjoyed my time here as an undergrad and wanted to return, and because it is well-suited to students like me who come from a non-accounting or business background.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
My ability to write well and understand different cultures.

Will Buddendeck

Will Buddendeck
On-Campus Format
Economics and Music

Will Buddendeck

Will Buddendeck

Undergraduate Major: Economics and Music
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Cary, N.C.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Playing music, hiking, and biking.

Why did you choose UNC?
UNC is a fantastic school full of awesome people and opportunities.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Interpersonal skills.

Kelly Fort

Kelly Fort
On-Campus Format
Economics

Kelly Fort

Kelly Fort

Undergraduate Major: Economics
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Spending time with my dog Holly and taking her on walks, hanging out with friends, watching New Girl, and trying new food places! When I have time, I love taking short road trips to the beach or to visit family and friends.

Why did you choose UNC?
I loved going to UNC for undergrad and after learning about the MAC program, it just felt like a perfect fit for me. The faculty seemed really intelligent and helpful while also caring about forming personal relationships with students. It is also a great investment to further my career in accounting and the business world.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
My creative background from my marketing concentration. It helps me think outside of the box when solving problems and working on a team.

Vincent Basner

Vincent Besner
Online format
Finance

Vincent Basner

Vincent Besner

Current company: Fidelity Investments
Undergraduate Major/School: Finance, Florida State University
Hometown: Montreal, Que., Canada
Accounting Concentration: Customized
Program Format: Online

What are some of your hobbies?
Golf, traveling

Why did you choose UNC?
I chose the online UNC MAC because of the prestige and convenience that comes with the program. Being part of an elite business school has unquantifiable benefits when it comes to networking and the knowledge/experiences provided by the staff and students.

What are a few things that you've learned in the classroom that you've immediately applied in your job?
Just one month into the program, I was able to transition into the audit function at my firm. The classes offered through the online program allow me to apply the material I am learning immediately to my work. I have also leveraged the strategic tone of the classes.

Jesse Owusu-Bempah

Jesse Owusu-Bempah
On-Campus Format
Business

Jesse Owusu-Bempah

Jesse Owusu-Bempah

Undergraduate Major: Business Administration/Banking and Finance
Undergraduate School: University of Ghana
Hometown: Akim Oda, Ghana
Accounting Concentration: Advisory
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Playing monopoly and watching documentaries.

Why did you choose UNC?
I chose the MAC program because it's the number one program according to LinkedIn and it also offers high employment placement rates

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Creative interpretation and analysis. Just as I might analyze a piece of music and its chord progressions with my own unique interpretation, accountants analyze transactions and financial statements.

Maureen Xu

Maureen Xu
On-Campus Format
Psychology

Maureen Xu

Maureen Xu

Undergraduate Major: Psychology
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Hiking, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Why did you choose UNC?
Excellent reputation, strong academics, and a great collaborative community. I'm eager to learn and enjoy all the activities UNC has to offer!

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Interpersonal communication skills. Individualizing messages in a way that allows you to communicate with diverse individuals.

Carly Sanderson

Carly Sanderson
On-Campus Format
Economics and Public Policy

Carly Sanderson

Carly Sanderson

Undergraduate Major: Economics and Public Policy
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Kinston, N.C.
Accounting Concentration: Tax
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, running, Sudoku, intramurals.

Why did you choose UNC?
I chose the UNC MAC Program because of all of the wonderful opportunities it will afford me now and in the future. I also couldn't pass up another year of cheering on my HEELS!

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Research skills, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

Ellen Keeley

Ellen Keeley
On-Campus Format
French and Economics

Ellen Keeley

Ellen Keeley

Undergraduate Major: French and Economics
Undergraduate School: Davidson College
Hometown: Shelby, N.C.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Walking my dog, baking, and cake decorating.

Why did you choose UNC?
I took a summer accounting class in undergrad and enjoyed accounting and thought it would make an interested career after talking to people in the profession. I heard only good things from people who had completed the MAC Program and loved the idea of living in Chapel Hill. I also liked that the program was specifically for non-accounting majors.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Being able to form an opinion based on a reading.

Gabrielle Merritt

Gabrielle Merritt
On-Campus Format
Health and Exercise Science

Gabrielle Merritt

Gabrielle Merritt

Undergraduate Major: Health and Exercise Science
Undergraduate School: Wake Forest University
Hometown: Burlington, N.C.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Running, hiking, traveling, cooking, and sports (both playing and watching!).

Why did you choose UNC?
I chose the UNC MAC program because it allowed me to pursue a new interest and future career without requiring prerequisite classes or a prior accounting major. This program fit with my decision to enter into and learn more about the business world and the important transactions that occur in the world around me.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
How following certain economic data can predict how companies perform on financial statements.

Colton Richardson

Colton Richardson
On-Campus Format
Psychology

Colton Richardson

Colton Richardson

Undergraduate Major: Psychology
Undergraduate School: Truman State University
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Watching sports, politics, travel, board games, card games, music.

Why did you choose UNC?
I chose the MAC program at UNC because it is one of the best accounting programs in the country and because it encourages students from non-accounting backgrounds to pursue the accounting profession.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Critical thinking in groups and research.

John Paul Zalaquett

John Paul Zalaquett
On-Campus Format
Music

John Paul Zalaquett

John Paul Zalaquett

Undergraduate Major: Music
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Matthews, N.C.
Accounting Concentration: Audit
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Running, cooking, singing, hiking, traveling.

Why did you choose UNC?
Critical thinking skills I developed in my science classes helped me understand the importance of asking questions, evaluating data, and coming to a conclusion, which are important in the accounting profession.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Critical thinking in groups and research.

Chris Beamguard

Chris Beamguard
On-Campus Format
Finance and Business Management

Chris Beamguard

Chris Beamguard

Undergraduate Major: Finance and Business Management
Undergraduate School: University of South Carolina
Hometown: Rock Hill, S.C.
Accounting Concentration: Tax
Program Format: On-campus

What are some of your hobbies?
Lifting weights, trying new foods, traveling, watching college football, and cheering for the Atlanta Braves.

Why did you choose UNC?
I wanted a change of scenery but I also did not want to go somewhere too far from home. Every time I visited, the faculty and staff here made me feel at home and I could tell the students here are more than just a number. Additionally, the pedigree of UNC and the Kenan-Flagler Business School was something I really wanted to be a part of.

What's a skill you took from your undergrad major into accounting?
Technical skills and a business sense developed through my finance and consulting courses and problem-solving skills developed through chemistry have helped me grasp the concepts of professional skepticism and professional judgment, which are essential for accountants.

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