All posts by texasmpa

MPA and BBA Trek to Hollywood

On May 31, 2018 and June 1, 2018, Stephen Smith, senior director of the MPA Program and Jim Franklin, director of the MPA Program guided BBA and MPA students through Los Angeles, the city of stars! There, the students visited famous entertainment companies such as Warner Bros Studios, Universal Studios, and CBS, and learned about accounting and finance within the showbiz industry. The students also had the incredible opportunity to meet and dine with Southern California McCombs alumni!

Here are some highlights from the trip:

What was your favorite part of the Trek to Hollywood?

Ross Trivisonno: “My favorite part of the trek was definitely our visit to NBC Universal Studios. Getting a glimpse at the actual film sets of movies like Back to the Future, Psycho, War of the Worlds, and Jaws was a real treat, something most people won’t ever get the chance to experience.”

Mary Yamamoto: “My favorite part of the Trek to Hollywood was getting an inside look at the vast opportunities presented in the business-film industry through presentations and panel discussions by professionals working in the industry.”

What did you learn?

Ross Trivisonno: “I learned a great deal about how the corporate hiring process works, not solely with regards to accounting and finance but across the entire entertainment industry in general. Being afforded the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with UT alumni from the likes of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer VP and Sony employees was highly informational and a rare peak into the less glamourous, “behind-the-scenes” corporate realm of Hollywood.

Ross Trivisonno at the Back to the Future Town Hall

Mary Yamamoto: “I learned of various positions within entertainment accounting that I never knew existed, from production accounting to profit participation. I also received significant insight from industry professionals, who shared the experiences and knowledge they had gained from working in their specific roles and companies.”What stood out to you?

Ross Trivisonno: “Personally, the Wofford Denius UTLA Center really stood out to me as being a truly state-of-the-art facility. Very impressive that UT students are able to have such exclusive entrance to an industry that typically only USC or UCLA film majors get to easily access while studying.”

Mary Yamamoto: “The emphasis on networking, specifically the readiness and enthusiasm with which professionals shared their experiences, stood out to me; I was able to establish meaningful connections with professionals working in my dream industry, which will undoubtedly help me move in the right direction towards the career that I want to pursue.”

Mary Yamamoto at the Universal Studios Back Lot.

What made you want to go on the trek?

Ross Trivisonno: “I am still an undeclared BBA student. By learning more about corporate career tracks in accounting and finance, I was able to hone in on what my true passions are. This trek helped me in further choosing my McCombs undergraduate major.”

Mary Yamamoto: “I wanted to go on the trek because it was the perfect opportunity to explore the industry I had always wanted to work in – the business side of film and entertainment.”

Hayley Seat at Disney



MPA Student Profile – Kayla Kimrey

Name: Kayla Kimrey
  San Marcos, TX
MPA track: Tax
Class status: iMPA 5th year
Graduation date:
 May 2018

Why did you choose the MPA program?
I enjoyed my introductory accounting courses and wanted to pursue a challenging field. The MPA program is the #1 program in the nation so I decided to apply to explore the opportunity to get my masters.

 What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I look forward to beginning to take the CPA exams in the spring semester to apply all my knowledge from the program. This will test my experience and review all the accounting concepts I have learned through my last 3 years in the program.

 What have you been doing since you received your undergraduate degree?
This summer I was a research assistant for Professor Schmidt. I learned about academic research and was able to assist her on many of her research projects in all phases of the publishing cycle. This included doing research for brainstorming, helping revise editors’ comments, and reading through academic papers.

What led you to accounting?
I have always liked math because there is usually only one right answer; it is objective. I also enjoy a challenge and solving puzzles. When I first learned about balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flows, I saw it as a really big puzzle all fitting together to understand businesses.

 What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
My advice is during your introductory accounting courses, see if you are interested in accounting. I found that the best way to judge if I wanted to pursue something was by taking a class in the subject. I decided to do accounting, the MPA program, and the taxation track all by taking classes while thinking, ‘Do I want to learn more about this subject?’

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is probably South Mall in front of the tower because you can see the Capital and the tower. Also, it has shade on the sides of the lawn. I love walking by South Mall every day.

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
My favorite place to go in Austin is Zilker Park because I can sit and look at the skyline while playing with other people’s dogs. Also, I liked to run on the trail around the lake, which is right next to Zilker Park. Another one of my favorite things to do is to stand-up paddleboard on the lake during the hot summers. This is a fun way to work out and be on the water.



MPA Student Profile – Sarah Childers

Name: Sarah Childers
 N/A I’ve moved 12 times! I’ve lived in England, Belgium, Germany, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and South Carolina!
MPA track: Generalist
Class status: 3rd year iMPA
Graduation date:
 BBA 2019, MPA 2020

Why did you choose the MPA program?
I loved the idea of getting my CPA certification before I started working, that way I wouldn’t have to study after work! Also, I was really intrigued by some of the MBA electives I would be eligible to take.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
Studying abroad next summer in Prague or Buenos Aires! I can’t wait!!

What led you to accounting?
An accounting class in high school sparked my interest, but I complete an accounting internship the summer after my freshman year to validate myself. Further, I really enjoyed accounting when I was able to take 311 with Professor Smith and 312 with Dean Platt!

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
Talk to your professors! They have great stories and amazing experiences to share. They’re your built-in mentorship system.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I love swimming in the outdoor Gregory Gym pool and studying in the PCL computer lab!

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
Lake Travis. I love to go scuba diving at Windy Point. There’s a shipwreck and a sunken toilet!

Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin

The Blanton Museum of Art hosts a permanent collection consisting of over 17,000 works, which includes a plethora of European paintings, prints and drawings, and a vast collection of modern and contemporary American and Latin American art. The museum is located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Congress, conveniently right here on the UT campus!

Recently, the Blanton Museum introduced a new installation. The American artist Ellsworth Kelly gifted to the museum a 2,715-square-foot stone building. By far one of his most monumental pieces, this work is titled Austin.


The monument features colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black and white marble panels. Kelly envisioned Austin as a site for joy and reflection.

The exhibit is open every day of the week, be sure to check out the Blanton Museum’s website for details on hours of operation. Admissions are free for all holders of a current UT ID.

MPA Student Profile – Minorie Vaidya

Name: Minorie Vaidya
  Flower Mound, Texas
MPA track: Financial Reporting and Assurance
Class status: 3rd year
Graduation date:
 May 2020

Why did you choose the MPA program?
UT was always my top choice – when such a highly ranked business school is so close to home, you can’t beat it! After taking all of my introductory classes, I found that I enjoyed ACC 311 with Professor Charrier the most. After completing a few internships, both small and large, in different accounting roles, I found that I really liked that there is such a diverse variety of future career opportunities for accounting majors, specifically CPAs. Of course, the #1 ranking of the MPA program was also a great motivator!

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I look forward to working, academically and professionally, with an incredibly smart and talented community of peers. Even in my first semester in the program, I am already seeing familiar faces in multiple classes and it makes working through the tough classes a lot easier! I also look forward to graduating with an extremely valuable and rewarding MPA degree so I can hopefully land a spot at a top firm!

What led you to accounting?
No matter what you do in the business world, you have to understand basic accounting concepts in order to succeed. Not only is there an abundance of prospects in this field, there is also great flexibility in tracks and future career opportunities! After taking all of the intro classes, I found that I liked ACC 311 and 312 the most and I had great professors to learn from and use as resources.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
Talk to students in the program to get a feel for the different types of tracks, recruiting opportunities, and career resources!

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The UT Architecture Library – it looks like Hogwarts!

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
I love visiting the Texas Capitol building – it’s awesome that we have such an amazing historical building just a few blocks away from campus.