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Need Some Advice :)

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Need Some Advice :) [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 14:27
Hi Everyone =)

I've been lurking around several online forums and was hoping those in this forum can me out. I've been looking into masters of accounting programs and I plan to apply this fall. I haven't started prepping for GMAT yet but I've already ordered the official books, study guides, etc. and will start as soon as I receive it.

The #1 school that I want to get into is USC's MAcc program. I am mainly pursuing this MAcc program because I want to get my CPA license and the program will help me satisfy the 150 credit hour requirement as well as prep me for the exam. I did not retain any of the accounting principles that I was required to learn 3 years ago and the relatively short program (11 months) is highly attractive. In addition, it is in LA (where I'm from) and I am especially drawn to USC's campus recruitment placement and their big alumni network. After completion of the masters program, I hope to work for one of the Big 4 for a few years.

Other schools that I'm considering are: SDSU, CSUF, SJSU, GGU, etc.

My Profile:
Degree: B.S. Business Administration (emphasis in a non-accounting/finance field) from a UC, June 2012
Undergrad GPA: 3.3 (cumulative), 3.45 (major)
Location: SoCal (I want to stay in California, preferably LA)
Occupation: Currently working full-time at a small company doing non-related accounting work.

I'm still slightly a little confused and indecisive on the MAcc -> CPA path. Here are some of the questions/concerns that I have so far:

1.) I have yet to repay back all the loans I took out during undergrad (~20k). I live in LA and at home so I'm not too worried about living expenses. USC MAcc is ~50k so I am hoping that if I get accepted, they will offer some sort of scholarship. In YOUR opinion, do you think it is wise for me to even consider a USC's MAcc program?

2.) Would it be necessary for me to take any accounting courses this summer/fall to prepare me for USC's Summer Intensive MAcc program next summer (if I get in)?

3.) I have little to nothing to put down for extracurriculars (was not too involved during my undergrad years). Should I seek volunteer opportunities now to make me a more competitive applicant?

4.) How high of a score on the GMAT should I aim for, based on my profile/background?

5.) I've been trying to apply to accounting related jobs in the LA area but it's close to impossible with the lack of accounting experience I have on my resume. I haven't done any accounting related internships, so would this make me less favorable candidate for the Big 4?

If anyone can offer some advice or insight (or even your own story), I would greatly appreciate it. :-D Thanks~
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Re: Need Some Advice :) [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2013, 08:32
Reading this post was fun for me, as I had a lot of the same questions and looked into the same schools! Now on to your questions:

1) YES definitely apply. I have about 20k in debt as well, but that was not really a consideration for me. I've seen on here that people have gotten scholarship money from USC with lower stats than yours.

2) I'm not too familiar with the summer program so I can't help you there, but you have plenty of time to figure that out.

3) You could try to volunteer, it certainly wouldn't hurt. There might be better uses of your time however, say if you were able to land an accounting internship on the side.

4) You should aim as high as you can, especially because a higher GMAT score could translate to more scholarship money offered. With that being said, you should be fine with 650 but higher would make you a more attractive candidate.

5) Having accounting internships would definitely help, but in my opinion it wouldn't count as a strike against you. The Big 4 recruit HEAVILY from USC, so you have a big advantage if you attend.

Another piece of advice I'll offer is to find out how heavily recruited schools are. For example, I was considering GGU but my friends in the Big 4 said that not many of their co-workers came from that school. Also, I think that given its location and recruitment rate, you should seriously consider UC Irvine as well. I will be attending this fall, and my friends have said that USC and UCI are recruited quite a bit.
Re: Need Some Advice :)   [#permalink] 01 Apr 2013, 08:32
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