Texas McCombs was fortunate enough to have two Elijah Watt Sells Award winners in 2017: Hyungmin Kim and Maureen Sweet, both MPA Class of 2016 graduates. Let’s learn more about one of our winners, Maureen Sweet.
Maureen Sweet exemplifies what it is to be a top student and accounting professional. She’s hard-working, smart, and an Elijah Watt Sells Award winner. The 2016 Texas McCombs Master in Professional Accounting alumna is one of only 58 Sells Award recipients in 2017.
Maureen grew up in northeast Ohio and completed her undergraduate studies at Fordham University in the Bronx. She received her BA in Spanish Language Literature and minored in Business, and she especially enjoyed her undergraduate accounting courses. After graduating from Fordham, she managed the finances for Stupid Cancer, a nonprofit in New York City that leads the way in advocacy, research, and support for young adults with cancer. Something clicked for her while she was filing Stupid Cancer’s annual statements. She loved how she could use financial statements to gain insights into how a business operates. “It gave me a holistic picture of the company, and I learned how to problem solve,” Maureen said.
Maureen knew she had found her calling. When she began considering graduate accounting programs, Texas McCombs made her short list. Three things came to mind to explain why she chose to attend UT-Austin: the program’s prestige, the city, and her future. “The reputation of the MPA program speaks for itself. And I knew I’d love Austin,” Maureen added. “Plus, the program would help me get all my credits for the CPA exam in a short amount of time.”
While in the MPA program, Maureen grew relationships with the faculty and MPA staff members, as well as other students. She attended four of her classmates’ weddings last year!
Maureen knew she only wanted to take the CPA exam once, so studying was a top priority. A few months after completing the exam, she was contacted by the AICPA and told that she was a recipient of the esteemed Elijah Watt Sells Award. Needless to say, Maureen was beyond ecstatic. “I was extremely excited and honored to receive the Sells Award,” she commented.
In the fall of 2016, Maureen started her new career at Deloitte Tax in San Jose, California. Before she hit her two-year anniversary, Maureen was promoted to Tax Senior. “This is exactly what I wanted. I love consulting with interesting clients.” Additionally, she is taking advantage of the beautiful outdoors in the Golden State.
As for the future, Maureen plans on staying in public accounting and enjoying the opportunity to see a broad range of experiences with her clients. “I’m looking forward to continuing to be in a career that challenges me every day,” Maureen said. And we here at Texas McCombs cannot wait to see how she changes the world.
Texas McCombs’ other Sells Awards winner in 2017, Hyungmin Kim, is a BBA graduate of Seoul National University and earned his MPA in 2016. He is currently employed with The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.
Read more updates from the Department of Accounting in the fall issue of The Accounting Times.