I started my professional journey in the Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst for four years directly after high school. Since undergraduate, I’ve always been in the professional services accounting space, with a financial services industry focus. I majored in Accounting with a minor in Political Science, and I started my career in Philadelphia at a medium-sized accounting firm for about a little less than a year. I then moved on to EY for two years, and then to Deloitte in New York City, where I’m now working in the accounting and reporting advisory practice.
In the advisory space, we help clients with any type of matters around their accounting and finance functions such as helping them navigate new accounting pronouncements, optimizing their finance function through finance transformation assessments and implementations, preparing them to go public, and more!
I also think there was a shift during COVID, where we saw client accounting departments move from mostly reacting to already decided business decisions to providing more forward-looking analysis about how proposed business decisions and strategies can affect the financial statements. I enjoy this work because you can really help clients think through complex issues and adjust forecasts if necessary.
During COVID, I started to see analytics being incorporated more within the accounting space. Internally within the professional services space, I started to see data visualization tools being used more to track key performance indictors and data analytics tools being used to drive efficiency in our service offerings.
While working with clients, I noticed they would sometimes share some of the financial assessments we helped to create together to other business departments and leadership. This was often highlighted when we were discussing forward-looking business decisions. I started to get a sense that data analytics tools like Tableau and Power BI could be a helpful client deliverable that would not only aid us in communicating our analysis to the client, but also aid the client in communicating the analysis within their business. I wanted to have the background to help clients in this way, and I saw the MSBA as a degree that could help me get there.
As to why the University of Virginia, my mom and my sister graduated from UVA, so I always knew the power of the UVA degree and the brand and how great of a school UVA is!
The number one thing that stands out to me is having the language to speak to data analytics professionals. As an Accountant, this really resonates with me.
When you’re junior in your accounting career, you just do not have the language. You can only say, “This looks wrong” without being able to fully diagnose the underlying issue. Same thing with analytics. At first, you can say “Oh, this doesn’t look right,” but you probably don’t know exactly why. Then as you grow in your career you can kind of diagnose what the problem might be and also be able troubleshoot it.
I’m finding a similar trajectory in my MSBA coursework. Being able to speak to my classmates about analytics where it’s not just “Hey, this model looks wrong.” Instead, it’s “Hey this is what data I think should be going into the model, this is what I think the accuracy measurements should be, and this how I think we should convey the data.” That has been one of the best things about the program so far.
Get to know your classmates! UVA is going to bring a diverse group of talented people together. Take advantage of your time in the program to build your network and really get to know your classmates as people.
I also encourage people to talk with people at work about the program. From the moment I was accepted, I talked to my co-workers, my coaches, and the partners I worked with about my career goals and how the MSBA Program aligned with those goals. And, as you go through the program, be sure to share what you’re learning in class with people at work. This can help you potentially steer your work towards projects and assignments that best align with you career goals and interests – particularly, if like me, you are interested in leveraging the program to make a bit of a career shift.
Learn more about the MSBA program and get updates on upcoming events, application deadlines and program news.