It might be nice to get a perspective on why each of us chose to come to the MPA program. I will give you my top 3 influences in my choosing the program, which may help you make you make a more informed decision for yourself.
1. The #1 rating – I know some say this is not the most important thing about the MPA program, and they are right, but it was definitely an important factor in my decision. As others have expressed as well, I did not think I was going to be accepted into the program. It was more of a “reach” for me, but I figured why not? I was more heavily considering all the other schools I got into because I figured it was a more realistic approach. In the back of my mind though, I said to myself that if I got into UT, I would have a much more difficult decision to make. That situation did come about and I did indeed have a tough decision. Knowing that MPA is ranked the #1 graduate accounting program is a great distinction, but it is also indicative of all of the amazing opportunities that are available to MPA students. I looked into why it is ranked that way, including the faculty, the career services, curriculum, and other factors. These all showed me that the ranking was legitimate and the program is taken seriously.
2. Austin – When I mentioned to people I was considering coming to Austin, all I heard was, “Oh I hear it is so cool there!” or “Everyone loves it there!” or “Why are you going to Austin?”. Besides that last point, which I think was just friends wondering why I was going all the way from New Jersey to Texas, everyone’s excitement over Austin got me so excited. I came to visit in March before the program started, and got a feel for Austin. Now, having lived here for a while, I can see why everyone loves it. The vibe from all the people and all the activities really make it a unique place. I trusted those people who told me that Austin is awesome, and I am glad that I did because they were right!
3. Variety of Courses – This was more of a detail that helped me distinguish the MPA program from other schools’ Master of Accounting programs. I knew that since I was going to be in external audit for my full time job, I thought I would be on the Financial Reporting and Assurance Track at UT. Then I looked into the actual courses I would have to and be allowed to take in that track. I was so surprised by the amount of audit and more general electives that were offered, including internal audit, IT audit, government accounting, and standards in auditing. Since I came into the program with the room to take a lot of electives, I definitely capitalized on this opportunity by taking interesting electives. Also, a subset to this is that as an MPA student you have the opportunity to take courses abroad during the summer. I did not study abroad as an undergrad so this seemed like an amazing option that I planned on taking advantage of. (I am going to Hong Kong this summer and am very excited!) Also, the courses given while abroad include topics geared towards international business and international accounting standards, which in this global economy, are very useful subjects.
I hope this helps you understand why I chose the program and can give you some insight and help for making your own decision.
Please leave comments or questions below!