All posts by brianlee

MPA Study Abroad – Buenos Aires, Argentina

I personally never thought I would go on a study abroad trip. So much planning, I thought. Money, time, and uncertainties all made a study abroad experience seem infeasible. Would I get the credits I need to graduate? Would I lose an entire Summer that I could be taking other classes or interning instead?

Fear not, the MPA Study Abroad Program (SAP) got you covered. The five-week SAP is a well thought out program to suit those needs specific to an MPA student.

MPA students who want to take part simply need to fill out a short form to be entered into a raffle for the program (with different country/city as home base). This year the options were Prague, Paris, and Buenos Aires. Each participant had their own reasons of choosing the location, but I chose Buenos Aires, Argentina, to become a better Spanish speaker and learn Latin American culture in person. Once you’re selected into a program, the program coordinator and your program liaison will contact you with further directions specific to the location.

The SAP experience takes into account that the MPA program has a stringent course requirements, so the classes abroad consist of two graduate level courses that every MPA needs to take. It only takes up the first half of Summer so those who plan on taking Summer session 2 will not have a problem. This year in Buenos Aires there was an internship position starting a week after the last SAP class.

And to top it all, it was the best experience imaginable.

I loved the experience more than I thought I ever could. Each weekend our SAP crew planned personal excursions (on top of paid-for-excursions planned by your liaison) to visit all around the country. From Buenos Aires, our crew visited (among others): Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Salta (salt flats), Iguazu Falls (7 natural wonders), Perito Moreno (one of the few growing glaciers), Mendoza (the wine-capital of the world), and Ushuaia (southernmost city of the world).

I recommend future students plan to study abroad trip with the MPA program. Te prometo que jamás te vas a arrepentir.

La Estancia – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Iguazu Falls – Misiones, Argentina
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Perito Moreno Glacier – El Calafate, Argentina


Entering the Real World 101

We live in a society where we are taught from a young age to be ready for the real world. “You’re an adult,” I have been told many times, “you have to act like one now.” It is not an overstatement to say that we have ALL heard that saying, or some variation of it. The pressure is – and always has been – on us. With being an adult comes adult responsibilities, but until now I’ve never been given said adult responsibilities. I didn’t even know what being an adult meant. The MPA Program, however, assisted me heavily in the process of entering the real world.

The fact that the UT MPA program is the number one accounting program in the nation never hit me until the big four accounting firms all came to meet us. Partners, senior managers, all the way down to current interns came to UT to assure us they wanted us to come work for them. Through this process I’ve learned pro tips (that worked for me) to ace entering the real world, a.k.a. the INTERVIEWS.

None of the interviews with the big four accounting firms are purely technical or behavioral. It is also not pressure-intensive. They are laid back conversations between you and a representative. They genuinely want to get to know you to see if you’ll be a good fit for the firm. So instead of stressing out about the interview, do:

1) Relax. Nothing says “I am not being myself” more than being nervous does. Take a deep breath, you can do this.

2) This is not a Q & A, don’t expect the entire interview to be you or the interviewer asking the questions while the other person answers. It is truly a conversation. Small talks lead to more genuine and endearing conversations to remember. This doesn’t mean don’t have 3 – 5 questions ready.

3) Speak up, not only in volume, but also on what you want. If you want to work at a specific office or there are some issues you need to clarify before you become comfortable working at the firm, ask! They are there to help you get the feel for the firm, so take advantage of it. Volume is pretty important, too.

4) Confidence is attractive, but overconfidence is not. Don’t go through this process with the mindset, “I already got the position,” because the interviewers are pretty perceptive and will read you. Be humble, yet confident. Show the interviewers the real you.

So now having gone through the interviews and taken the first step towards adulthood, I feel pretty adult.

No Adult

Delta Lambda Phi – Annual Toy Drive Extravaganza

10756473_10205291661199713_2027977432_oThis is the second year Delta Lambda Phi ® fraternity’s Beta Rho chapter at The University of Texas has held the annual holiday toy drive. All the proceeds (and toys) from this event is donated directly to UT’s Orange Santa organization.

Delta Lambda Phi ® (DLP) is a social fraternity for gay, bisexual, and progressive men. So what is this toy drive, you ask? It’s when active brothers from DLP perform variety of talents. As drag queens. Several brothers from DLP perform in drag in various performances, competitions, and downtown Austin. Queens agreed to come together this Sunday, November 16th, in order to spread the joy of the season to all UT students and families in need.  Admission? Free. DLP only asks you to donate what you want to donate. It’s a great way to get a little early holiday spirit, a whole lot of sass, a bunch of class, and a million drag queens promoting the holiday joy.10807531_10205291690440444_822129322_o

As a fellow active brother in DLP (and a part time drag queen), I will be performing in the toy drive as well. Please join us for this joyous event full of fantastic performances that you do not want to miss! Besides, who wants to miss a diverse group of drag queens giving it their best for everyone to have a great holiday?