Our MAcc program here at The Ohio State University partnered with KPMG to develop the Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics (MADA) program. I interviewed a fellow MAcc student and friend, Sarah White, regarding her experience in the KPMG MADA program!
“During my undergraduate experience, I never really hung out with many other accounting majors. It is great to be part of such a close-knit community within Fisher!”
1. Can you briefly explain the process in which you were placed at Ohio State?
I originally heard about the KPMG MADA (Masters of Accounting with Data and Analytics) program at the summer leadership conference with KPMG. Knowing this was something that was extremely new and not so advertised yet, I knew I should jump on the application process. I first had to apply and have multiple rounds of interviews with KPMG before they decided whether or not I would be a part of the program, which would consist of 10 different schools across the nation. Around September or October of last year, KPMG informed me that I had been accepted to their program, specifically for Ohio State. After being accepted with KPMG, I applied directly to Fisher and heard back a few weeks later!
- What got you interested in the KPMG MADA program?
There was a brief presentation about the KPMG MADA program at the summer leadership conference I attended with KPMG. This program was described as a cutting-edge and award-winning program. It was enticing in the sense that it is an innovative program, implementing data analytics courses into a Masters of Accounting program. I had already planned to attend my undergraduate university (UNC Wilmington) for a one year MSA program, but I was interested to learn more about data science applied to accounting, and really felt like this program would better prepare me for my future position as an auditor.
I did as much research as I could, and leveraged my data analyst coworkers at my internship at the time (I was working in the finance department of a bank), and learned about the ways they used D&A tools in their day-to-day functions. Since my undergraduate course work was consumed by accounting, I felt being exposed to an extra focus within a Masters program would be vital for my success, especially with the rise of technology innovations sweeping the accounting world. I felt that this degree held a much higher value than an average Masters of Accounting degree, and I wanted to do anything I could to get into the program.
I also spent my entire undergraduate career with a job—working at least 20 hours a week to pay for expenses, so the idea of not having to take out extra student loans was ideal. I have always told myself that if an opportunity for funded education ever comes my way, I would take it, and I have not looked back!
- You, like 99% of the other KPMG MADA students, were placed at a new school in which you didn’t know anyone. How has the MAcc here at Ohio State helped you to foster new relationships?
Ever since the first day of orientation, Fisher has connected MAcc students by holding events, luncheons, and MAcc talks to expose students to one another. I really appreciated having nearly a week of orientation activities, because I really felt like it helped me bond with my classmates and meet new people within the program. I believe the intensive amount of group work within the program has also been great, because I have gotten to work with many of my classmates on cases and projects. I think the friendships I have made even go beyond what Fisher has done to create these relationships. The students here really seem to value these relationships, and we have all naturally gravitated towards each other!
- What is your favorite part about being in the KPMG MADA here at Ohio State?
I love knowing that at least 25 people in my classes are doing the exact same thing as I am, and we are all able to experience this together. We have already grown close since we see each other every day, and it has gotten me excited to start a career with the firm. With studying for the CPA exam, school can be very stressful, and it is great to be surrounded by supportive individuals who understand each others’ immediate goals. People are always my motivator – and they are the ones that keeps me showing up to work or class with a smile on my face!