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MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out?

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MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 06:35
Hi all,

I graduated in May 2011 with a liberal arts degree and am looking to enter accounting and get my MS to fulfill requirements for the CPA exam in NY. I am from NY and want to remain here. Here is my story:

I am currently a 1L in law school in NY. I was hesitant to attend law school or pursue accounting. I know it sounds like I am all over the place but I never really wanted to be a lawyer and as childish as it sounds, my parents sort of "pushed me through the door" into law school. The whole time I was applying/being accepted to schools I was looking up graduate programs for accounting for non-accounting majors! I even tried to switch to the B-school in my undergrad but was unable to.

GPA: 3.6
GMAT: Haven't taken it yet, the few practice tests I have taken have been between 580-640.

I really want to work for a Big 4 firm. I have friends who work at PwC and KPMG and believe it or not, truly enjoy it.

For some programs they require prerequisites, and some I have taken- Micro/Macroeconomics, Statistics, and I took Calculus II first semester freshman year and got HAMMERED and received a B-.

What is the reputation in big 4 recruiting from Hofstra, SUNY Bing, SUNY Albany? I've looked outside NY to to Northeastern's program, BC and UNC for non-accounting but do not know of their reputation with the Big 4 and in NYC.

I have no real work experience either.

I really do not enjoy law school AT ALL. It is not the people or the material, it is just my lack of desire to engage the material. It is just not what I want to do. Would you recommend withdrawing from school now prior to receiving grades or after? I'm worried poor law school grades will damage a reasonably decent undergrad GPA. How should I address this in interviews and on applications? Thanks!
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 07:08
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I can't speak to the campus recruiting at those universities, but in terms of general prestige, UNC is head and shoulders above the rest of your list. But prestige doesn't matter as much in accounting unless you're aiming for a PhD at some point.

In terms of your law situation, it might be good to know that many MAcc programs require you to complete general business requirements that can include Business Law. If this is something that could be waived with one of your law classes so far, I would finish that one out.
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 07:24
Thanks for the quick reply, man. Really appreciate it, I'm buggin out in front of my computer looking up application deadlines, etc...

I didn't think about possibly waiving the business law requirement- I actually took business law freshman year for a semester as well (took b-law, micro/macro, stats, calc 2 in hopes of being able to transfer to business school-alas, it was ultra-competitive, they only took like 3 transfer kids).

I'm worried about having admission committees view me simply as a recent grad grasping at straws to figure out what I want to do in life. I really took a liking to business and numbers on my own outside of my studies in school. It has always been an interest of mine, if I continued studying law I would have studied as much on tax, M&A, etc as possible.

I'm hoping that because I did a senior thesis involving A LOT of statistical data (psychology experiment) I will be able to swing this promoted my interest in pursuing accounting...blah blah.

In any case, I know the rep of UNC is way above the others. Hopefully I can kill the GMAT and attend. SUNY Bing's program is heavily recruited by the Big 4, but the program if you are a non-accounting undergrad/non-business you basically have to take the entire curriculum of an undergraduate business major. At least as a NY resident its cheap...but I've visited the city...not a place you want to spend 2 years of your life when you are not a 20 year old getting wasted at frat parties...

Thanks for the help!
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 07:36
Sure! It sounds like you're in good shape and very prepared. I wouldn't worry too much about the admissions committee. MAcc admissions are not terribly demanding and with a 3.6 you're already at the top end of any applicant pool. If you GMAT anywhere in your expected range, I think you're an auto-admit.
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2011, 08:19
I'm a fellow law school drop out that came to the wonderful world of accounting. My story is a little different, and I don't want to bore the people in here with my pages of what I could say about the changes.

Long story short though, best decision of my life.
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2011, 14:59
I have time and would like to hear the long story version! How did you navigate the drop out/explaining it to other schools/ future employers? Did you put it on your resume?
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2011, 10:10
OK you asked for it! haha.

I went to a school recently accredited by the ABA, with a 160 on my LSAT and a 3.73 GPA. I went in with trepidation like you did, not really sure if I wanted to be a lawyer. I knew from the first day of orientation I would hate it. But I always thought to myself "Damn it Thad, you got into law school. People kill for this opportunity, you can't just quit." So I stayed until Thanksgiving Break of last year and walked into the Dean's office and quit. I signed one paper and left. It's amazing how easy it is to drop out of law school if you haven't already. They might get someone to make sure you are mentally OK in the brain to try and convince you to stay, but if you want to go - GET OUT!

In September, I took the GMAT in secret. I didn't study and I took it on a day that I didn't have regular morning classes and I skipped my "career development" class. Like I said, I didn't study a lick for it - because Lord forbid anyone know that I didn't want to be a lawyer any more. I already felt alone in the fact I hated law school (much like you it was the material - the people, while some were snobby, most were great), I couldn't ostracize myself more by trying to get out and making it publicly known. I had lost total interest in all my classes (torts, ks, property, civ pro, and research), and was basically surfing the web, writing emails, and applying to other programs during class. I ended up applying for Masters in Sports Management, Masters in Accounting, MBA, and Masters in Business Education programs. I was a lost pup to say the least. However, I decided on Accounting because of my background and I liked the options I would have with that degree.

I ended up making like a 570 - 590 on the GMAT. I don't really remember. You're ready for the reading and logic off the LSAT work you did. Review it, but the GMAT is a lot easier. Really prep for the math though - it's a different animal and chances are you haven't looked at it in a while. Use the same testing strategy you used for the LSAT - I am 99.99% sure it will work well for you.

So I hear from Master's programs in February. I kept the fact I dropped out a secret to everyone until January, when I didn't return to school (I was living at home during law school, which made this more awkward.) I spent January really figuring out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it. Luckily for me, with an undergraduate degree in accounting, I was ready to rock and roll. (UNC was out for me b/c of this though) I applied to five schools (Alabama, Ole Miss, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Florida State) and got into them all. I even received a very nice offer from Ole Miss to be a graduate assistant and receive enough money to only have to pay $700 a semester. However, I didn't feel comfortable seeing that most of their grads went to Jackson or Memphis. Alabama (dream school), VT, and FSU were all too expensive for me out of state and I didn't receive any scholarship assistance there.

So, I ended up at NC State and couldn't be happier with my decision. The career services here are great. The three women that run that side of things have their shit together and get us opportunities to speak with basically anyone around the country if we really want it. I've interviewed with firms, banks, and industry for jobs (10-12 in total) in Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC, New York, and Connecticut (ranging from Business Advisory to Audit to Financial Analyst at ESPN - I'm not leaving without a job, yo - just no tax). I haven't received an offer yet, but it's still a little soon for that as well. Also at State I've been able to concentrate in Enterprise Risk Management, where I have found my niche interest.

Overall, I'm much happier. The material is more interesting and people don't seem to be out to get you, they genuinely want you to get through the program and to get a job (and pass the CPA). I can't say that for the law school I went to. If you have any other questions let me know, I'll be happy to answer any of them. I'm sure I skipped a major part of the story, but I try to block out my "mistake" and just move on to the future. I know how much it sucks to be in your situation, and I'll do anything to help you out. Just email me - tsmckinn@ncsu.edu.

And to ACTUALLY answer your questions:
1. I don't list it on my resume, and I explain it as a "growing experience" that allowed me to "really examine my values and goals in life." Only 1 Big Four Firm asked about this.
2. Schools didn't ask. (However, I might have explained it in my essays - I'd have to look.)
3. Navigation is fairly easy. Scary easy in fact. I went to the Dean (who wasn't there), and spoke to the Asst. Dean who had me fill out some paperwork and told me to clean out my locker and return my school id. Not a nary email from a professor came to me after that. I only received a few emails from students asking where I was. Even my closest law skewl friends cut me off when I dropped out of law school - you have to be prepared for that, but if they are true friends, they won't cut you off.
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Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out? [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2011, 13:34
I'm not sure about the NE schools but UNC does really well in NC
Re: MS Accounting for NYC-Law School drop out?   [#permalink] 26 Oct 2011, 13:34
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