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Hello! I've been following this forum for quite some time and found it really helpful in my search for information on making the switch to becoming a CPA. Now, hopefully someone can help me out with my personal case. You will find that my situation is quite unique.
My Background: I've been a graphic designer for almost 3 years after graduating from a small university with a Graphic Design major and a Business Admin minor (through the AACSB accredited business school). Ideally, I would have liked to have double majored, but didn't realize I wanted to go the business route until too late in the game. Therefore, upon graduating, I took a job at a reputable communications agency and tried to save for graduate tuition. As a designer, I have been able develop my problem-solving and communication skills by directly working with clients on a day-to-day basis. Some of our clients are even CPA firms. Hopefully my unique work experience will help in making my application more well-rounded.
My stats: I graduated valedictorian from my university with a 4.0. My transcript included some 400-level finance classes. Extracurriculars included co-founding a student investment fund and working directly under my finance professor with research for his thesis. I am planning on taking the GMAT at the end of December and am projecting around the 650-range.
Location: I am from the Pittsburgh area and ideally would like to find employment in Pittsburgh. I know that all of the big four have offices in the city, as well as some mid-tier firms.
Programs of Interest: UPitt Katz would seem to be a great option with their 1.5 year program, but they are not ranked on any of the published lists. They do, however, have OCR for all of the big four. Other programs I was looking into were UNC, Wake Forest, Northeastern, and W&M.
Any information would be extremely helpful and sorry for the long post! Thank you all.
I just took the GMAT yesterday and got a 700. My revised list of schools now includes Texas-Austin, UNC, Bentley and Pitt. I was wondering if anyone could provide me some insight into whether applying Jan 20th (during round 2) would hurt my chances of receiving scholarship $ from these schools? Most have deadlines of March, but outside of Pitt, I think they're all rolling admissions. Thank you!
It sounds like in college you were more interested in fund management/finance than accounting. A 700 will get you into really any accounting program, especially given your undergrad grades. Be sure to think this through though. If you think that you want to go to business school after accounting (graduate program), then make the move now. Accounting is great, and you can make a great living working in accounting, but you will need about 4 years in a Big 4 firm before having enough experience and leadership to make it into a reputable business program (you would be a first or second year senior associate, depending on which firm you work for).
One other thing I would add, is that unlike business school, your accounting program doesn't really matter for the Big 4 (as compared to banking, consulting, etc.). The Big 4 has target schools, but they are much more varied and I would check with the schools to see if the Big 4 recruit on those campuses). In other words, you are going to pay a lot to go all the way to Austin for 2 years (or 1 1/2 years or whatever), and you will have the same job as someone that went to a local university, and paid a lot less.
Thank you Revan and CaliCpa for your replies. I have done a good deal of research over the last year, including talking with several CPAs, and feel that accounting is the track I want to pursue rather than fund management. My ultimate goal is to work for one of the Big 4 and make senior associate/manager. I realize this will take a lot of hard work and long hours, but it isn't something that I've shied away from in the past. I will keep you all posted on my progress in the coming month. I know a lot of acceptance letters are being sent out for UNC, so I'll make sure to finalize out my application as soon as possible!
Re: MS Accounting; Non-Acc Major
28 Dec 2011, 06:26