Poli-sci undergrad votes for accounting over other grad school choices
After earning a political science degree from UNC in 2012, Nancy Gong dove into the business world.
She worked at financial advisory firm Edward Jones in St. Louis and then took a job at an Atlanta startup that makes iPhone cases.
“I just didn’t know where this startup was going,” she says. “I started thinking, ‘Maybe it’s time to get into the corporate world again.’”
A 23-year-old with a political science degree doesn’t exactly scream “future business executive” to hiring managers though.
“That’s when I decided I needed to go back to school,” she says. “I wanted to jump from liberal arts to more of a business degree.”
She had contemplated law school after earning her bachelor’s degree but didn’t want to spend another three years in school. She also considered an MBA, but most competitive programs prefer candidates with several years of work experience.
She liked her exposure to finance at Edward Jones, so accounting was appealing. But for someone without a strong business background, there weren’t many options to get a graduate accounting degree in Georgia. UNC with its one-year MAC program, beckoned.
Gong has been surprised at how focused the program is on developing professional and leadership skills alongside accounting.
“It’s not a CPA or really a technically focused program,” she says. “There’s a lot more leadership aspects to it.”
Carolina’s reputation for turning out strong accountants has given her an edge in the job hunt.
“Having a technical skill like accounting is really empowering,” she says. “You don’t really realize until you’re about to graduate with this degree that there are a ton of people, a lot of companies and employers out there, that want you.”
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