I am currently employed with the McLean, Virginia (Tyson’s Corner) office of KPMG LLP as a Senior Associate in the Exempt Organizations (ExoTax) Tax practice. Our office is a part of the Metro Washington, D.C. office, which is located in downtown Washington. As a senior associate, I primarily work on tax compliance engagements for not-for-profit organizations and charitable organizations, such as hospital systems, museums, and colleges and universities. This includes the review of annual Federal, state, international, and local tax returns and other informational forms prepared by our associates and interns. At times, I also assist on various tax consulting engagements. I became a licensed CPA in January 2011, and am an active member of the AICPA & the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
Q: How do you feel your MAcc degree has helped you in your career thus far?
A: My MAcc degree has helped me in many ways. I use much, if not all, of the information I learned in Professor Raabe’s tax courses on a daily basis. During my studies at OSU, I gained exposure to the accounting procedures for non-profit and tax-exempt organizations. As I begin to work more closely with our exempt organizations practice, the theory I learned as a student gets put to the test as I see it in my clients’ financials.
The Fisher MAcc program truly prepares you for the early years of your career in public or private accounting. Whether you are learning how to research a tax issue and draft the memo, or learning the differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP, everything that you are being exposed to during the program will be seen again, and sooner than you think, once you are in your career.
Q: What advice would you give someone that is considering pursuing the MAcc program at Fisher in comparison to different graduate programs and universities?
A: When I was considering graduate programs, I considered the following criteria: length of the program, variety of class offerings, recruiting opportunities, cost and geographical area. I wanted to attend a school that would not only prepare me for my career, but would also allow me to enjoy my last year of freedom! Fisher, and OSU as a whole, not only met each one of those criteria, but surpassed them.
I had the opportunity to not take just accounting courses, but also classes in managerial negotiations and management strategy. You will have the chance to take classes with students from other business graduate programs and backgrounds. Fisher is a small community within a large campus. It has a great “family” feeling paired with the expansive resources only available at large universities. The reputation of Ohio State as a leading university with the top students brings recruiters from virtually any organization and area you can imagine. How many programs can say they have all of this, but actually deliver on it? Not many, I assure you!
The most important thing to remember when choosing your program and university is that your experience is going to be what you make it. Of course, you have to go to class and look for career opportunities, but also remember that this is still graduate school, the fun older sibling of college! Get involved in campus organizations, go to a sporting event (GO BUCKS!), or become familiar with the local culture. Look for a program that is not only going to challenge you academically, but will also provide you an amazing grad school experience.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories during your time at Ohio State?
A: One of my favorite memories of my year at OSU was the MAcc Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner. My entire class decided to have a potluck dinner the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We rented out the lounge at Fisher Commons, everyone brought a traditional dish, and we had a huge feast while watching Sunday night football and reminiscing about the glorious 42-7 victory the Buckeyes had over “those people” from up North the previous afternoon (i.e. the Michigan Wolverines). It was a great way to end our first quarter!
Another great memory was attending my first football game at the Shoe. I am the seventh member of my family to graduate from Ohio State, and I had long awaited my chance to walk into the stadium as a student. Tears of joy (I am serious, I really did tear up!) ran down my cheeks as I participated in the O-H-I-O wave that swept around the stadium after the first touchdown. That is a moment I will cherish forever!
Q: Any additional information you would like to share about your thoughts on the Fisher MAcc experience?
A: I attended a small, historically black university for undergrad because I didn’t want to be just a number, and not a name, at a larger institution. This is the same thought I had on making my decision to attend Fisher. With only 100 students or less in the MAcc program, you will be known by name and receive an individualized education while enjoying the benefits of attending a university with a 50,000+ student body. For those of you coming from smaller colleges and universities, don’t be intimidated by the size of Ohio State. The students, faculty and community of OSU are a close knit, although large, family. Sure, you won’t actually know everyone there, but by the end of your year, you’ll feel like it.