Well, the first session of my life as a MAcc student has come to an end believe it or not. The seven week structure of classes definitely seems to fly by versus my time under the 10 week quarter structure. While I was feeling completely overwhelmed with taking five classes at once and balancing my work as a graduate teaching assistant, I was able to pull through with success! I think what helped me the most amidst my busy schedule were my fellow MAcc students.
Having two required courses together as a program, MAcc students were able to get to know each other, bounce ideas off one another during group work, and struggle together if we came across a tough problem or case study. Being in a group of students that were in the same boat as myself allowed me to feel comfortable asking questions of professors or among other students if I did not understand a topic. I think such behavior is easily applicable to the business world. If you are struggling with a task or project at work, struggling alone will get you nowhere. You can always benefit from asking questions or putting together multiple minds in order to solve a problem.
The diversity within a group is also key. The MAcc program is full of students who did not necessarily study accounting in their undergraduate careers. We have those who studied political science, music, psychology, and many other topics not entirely related to the business world or accounting. I think such variety provides a wide range of perspectives when approaching a case study or group assignment. It allows the group to attack the problem from multiple angles, versus following a narrow path through the eyes of an accountant.
Overall, I think the real message here is that we have to go outside of our comfort zone – we can do so by embracing diversity in teams, being comfortable with ambiguity or not always knowing the answer, and recognizing that what we learn in the classroom or in the MAcc program in my case, can ultimately be applied to real-world experiences. Given the message, I am looking forward to another fall session filled with new experiences :-).