UNC MAC degree provides runway for international business advisory career
Following a 1994 BSBA from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Channing Flynn’s 1995 UNC Master of Accounting degree (with a tax concentration), plus a work-your-butt-off attitude, have been his passport to living in Europe and earning a leadership position in a top global consultancy.
“With the right work ethic, you can go from a small coastal town in North Carolina to a great graduate school and then springboard into one of the world’s top four or five advisory firms within 12 months,” Flynn says. He always followed his parents’ advice and guidance that, with enough ambition and hard work, you can achieve anything you want.
When Flynn finished his undergraduate degree, he contemplated his next step. Law school? An MBA, maybe? He picked the UNC MAC program given the high likelihood of a terrific job placement opportunity and the need to pay off a few student loans! Working at Spanky’s Restaurant as the evening and weekend bar manager throughout undergraduate and graduate school at UNC, Channing learned how to balance long hours with the need for high performance and prioritization – key elements of success in a professional advisory career.
“Everything that an MBA program and a law degree would have enabled me to do, I was already largely doing the first three to five years with EY,” he says.
In 1995, the newly minted UNC graduate took a job with EY in South Florida. After a year, he was offered a short-term expatriate assignment in Vancouver, British Columbia, on a significant U.S. international tax project for a major firm client. After this exposure to international taxation and global business, it was on to Silicon Valley in the years leading up to the mid-90s technology boom. “I was very lucky in that I was able to work on some of the biggest, most exciting tech companies during the initial technology explosion; it was very exciting, but we all also worked long hours and took every given opportunity to learn,” he says.
After expressing interest in a global assignment with EY’s global tax desk program, he transferred to Milan, Italy, in 2003, where he ran EY’s U.S. tax practice in the Mediterranean region. Upon extending his assignment, Paris was next, where he traveled to nearly 40 countries and was promoted to partner within the U.S. firm of EY. In 2009, he returned to the U.S., as an international tax partner, and, shortly thereafter, was asked to lead the firm’s Global Technology Tax Sector.
In this role, he now works with the firm’s largest global technology clients, serves a multitude of start-up to mid-size companies, and oversees the firm’s global technology and digital tax practices, helping to enhance the firm’s brand, thought leadership, and major account initiatives. He is typically on a different continent each quarter, but is currently limiting his travel time as much as possible to spend time with his 9-year old son Ethan, coaching his soccer, basketball, and baseball teams and teaching him to flyfish for California rainbow trout.
Channing also leads the firm’s recruiting efforts for EY's global technology tax practice and is interested in speaking with anyone about a career in global tax serving the technology industry.
Not bad for a kid from a Carolina beach town.
“[The MAC degree] is the highest return on your graduate school money and more than I could have ever expected,” he says. “You will learn more and be able to ply that skill for some of the best companies in the world, literally all around the world, instantly."
>> Learn what it takes to follow Channing’s path