UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

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Kelsey Short

MAC grad sees accounting as key step in long-term career goal

Kelsey Short - MAC StudentAs an undergraduate sociology major, Kelsey Short worked with lots of nonprofit organizations. She admired their missions and impact, but she also saw that many weren’t very efficient or business savvy.

”I wanted to be able to combine my interests in the social impact world with a background in business,” she says.

Her interest in accounting solidified in a class she took as an undergrad from C.J. Skender, the most colorful and perhaps most experienced UNC MAC faculty member.

“I think he broke the stereotype of what an accountant was,” she says. “Having him as the professor showed me that you don’t have to be a one-dimensional hermit, just sitting in your own little world, typing away at your computer to be an accountant."

In addition to accounting skills, the MAC Program’s focus on leadership and communication skills has been critical.

“I don’t think I realized it at the time, but after actually entering the workforce, that’s what it’s all about,” she says. "I sit in a room with 10 other people. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other and working as a team."

Short says everything she’s learning about business from seeing the inner workings of publicly traded multinationals to smaller private firms, will better prepare her for a job with a purely social mission.

“I thought ‘I’ll do this for at least five years or so’ and [then] make a smooth transition over to social entrepreneurship or a nonprofit,” she says. “I never had in mind that I would be an accountant or an auditor for the rest of my life.' However, being an accountant and gaining this experience is a fantastic stepping stone to get to where I want to be."


>> Learn what it takes to follow Kelsey’s path

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