Category Archives: Student Life

extracurricular activites, UT sports and other campus events, student organizations, recreation, etc.

The Fisher Case

With midterms swamping me, I just now had the opportunity to read the case that flooded people’s Facebook feeds everywhere. It is an interesting case, to say the least. However, the implications are quite ambiguous, and the outcome will more than likely depend on the temperament of the Supreme Court when they review it.

Anyway, here’s the way I see this case:

What didn’t happen

With all due respect toward Ms. Fisher, let me be very clear that the University of Texas did not, in any way, shape, or form, discriminate against you. Texas is one of the original eight “Public Ivy League Schools,” and if you were not able to gain admittance to Texas by being in the top ten percent of your high school class, then you certainly would not have gained admittance to the actual Ivy League schools to which we compare ourselves. (That is, I’m not sure Harvard accepts many people who graduate outside the top ten percent of their class either.) Furthermore, if you had put in a comparable good faith effort into trying to get into the top ten percent of your high school class, then I am sure your Personal Achievement Index, which is very clearly outlined in the case, would have reflected that. Therefore, as hurtful as it may sound, you were not accepted into the University of Texas because you did not meet the admission standards, not because you were discriminated against in any way.

What may happen

What may happen is very tricky because most of the laws that we are dealing with were intended to be temporary. In Grutter, the case that Fisher’s case relies very heavily upon, Sandra Day O’Connor writes that she hopes many of the affirmative action-type laws will be temporary and unnecessary a generation from now. The idea is that the discriminatory way of thinking would disappear by then. That being said, the Top Ten Percent Rule will go away at some point in the future. The question is when and whether we expected this day to come so soon. Continue reading The Fisher Case

Last Semester Battle!

The Battle Continues...

In 74 days, 13 hours, 44 minutes, and 14 seconds (when I was writing this), I will be walking on stage in my cap and gown in front of a beaming crowd of MPAs and their celebrating proud families and friends. But before fast forwarding to that day of cameras and diplomas, let me paint a picture of what’s going on in my very last semester of MPA:

CPA Exam

It was 5:45 in the morning when I woke up. I was tired, yet I could not stay asleep any longer. I was ready to get it over with. It had been over a month since I started preparing for this test, and I was ready to fight the battle…

These were my thoughts two and a half hours before taking one of the CPA Exam sections. I was extremely nervous, regardless of the amount of time I had put in to study for the exam, I felt that I still was not prepared enough. There will always be a problem left to review or a formula left to memorize. I was panicking, yet I managed to calm myself down after eating a protein-loaded breakfast that would hopefully stimulate my brain. Continue reading Last Semester Battle!

Greetings from Chicago!

Downtown Chicago!

Greetings from the Windy City!

I’m writing from a friend’s couch in downtown Chicago, enjoying the warmth of the indoors. This weekend, I am away from dear Austin to attend a three-day-long writing conference hosted by AWP. It’s going really well. And when not sitting in on panels entitled “Beyond Pulp – The Futuristic and Fantastic as Literary Fiction” and “Wilderness Writing: Theory and Practice,” I’m working on some Excel assignments for my ITAC (Information Technology Accounting Control) class, where we complete tutorials, create our own macros, and use conditional formatting to perform data analysis. I’m also wrapping up a work paper for an internal audit project which has my audit team working closely with the Office of the City Auditor (OCA). It’s a great, though at the moment overwhelming, combination of all sorts of activity.

I can speak a little further about my ITAC assignment in that it’s proving amazingly useful towards the work I’m currently doing for my internship at Greenlights. I am working with our donor database and trying to get good data from our archives to provide the development director with information. Learning about conditional formatting (IF functions and whatnot) and macros has really helped me finesse my approach to data analysis. I’m hoping by the end of the internship to produce a macros for the organization that sorts out information about our donors that will be really valuable for planning. Continue reading Greetings from Chicago!

MPA Council takes Project 2012

The River City Youth Foundation Success Center, where we spent our morning volunteering

Just last Saturday,MPA Council joined approximately 2000 other volunteers to reach out and improve the greater Austin community for Project 2012, UT’s largest day of service. What an experience it was!

Here’s a summary of my memorable day: I had to wake up quite early (especially for a college student) in order to report for duty with council members. We, along with the other morning shift volunteers, were then welcomed and thanked for our help by multiple local politicians. We also were lucky enough to watch the Dove Springs Middle School cheerleading squad perform for us! It was definitely the highlight of the ceremony.

We then went to our volunteer location, River City Youth Foundation, in south Austin. They had a multitude of tasks for us to complete to improve the facility for Austin’s youth. Some members and I were responsible for repainting the interior of the complex, while other members helped re-mulch the trails by shoveling mulch into a wheelbarrow. Continue reading MPA Council takes Project 2012

MPA: My Personal Anecdote

Why MPA?

Growing up, my “dream job” changed weekly. Like most kids, I fluctuated between  the typical dream professions (as well as some atypical ones): princess, astronaut, lawyer, doctor, marine biologist, plumber, etc. The bottom line of all my decisions was that I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life.

Funnily enough, the one thing I did not want to be was an accountant. I come from a family of government accountants, and I remember seeing the look on people’s faces when I told them what my family did for a living and who they worked for. It was not a look that indicated they thought my family was making a positive difference in the world.

It wasn’t until I attended the Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP- now called DYNAMC) here at McCombs, that I began to rethink my views. It was at this camp that I realized accounting was a field that actually interested me. What especially intrigued me was a small tax seminar on filing 1040’s led by Professor Kristina Zvinakis. It was at this camp that I realized that accounting, specifically tax, was exactly the career I was looking for as it satisfied all of the qualities I wanted out of a career:

    • To have work that I find truly challenging and rewarding
    •  To be held to a higher ethical standards than most professionals are
    •  To help people by saving them money that they can use to improve their own lives or others’ lives
    •  To save people time so they can use it to do things they truly love
This here explains my reason for deciding Texas MPA: the people are awesome!

Why Texas MPA?

It was at ACAP that I was first introduced to the integrated MPA program. It seemed too good to be true: a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting in five years!

To be completely honest (and my family and high-school friends can attest to this), I never saw myself attending UT until I attended ACAP. My family is from Washington, and I was always planning on out-of-state in order to escape the heat of Texas.

But when it came time to sit down and think about where I wanted to go to school, all roads lead to Austin. Where else could I get a top-rate education in the number one accounting program at in-state tuition rates? Nowhere, that’s where.

Texas MPA was a logical choice for me. I feel it’s the logical choice for everyone when deciding on where to pursue an accounting or business education. McCombs provides so much for its students: incredible faculty, knowledgeable academic advisors, and wonderful career advisors and services. On top of McCombs’ resources, every student has the resources of the entire university and city of Austin at their disposal.

In conclusion –it’s a splendid time to be a Texas MPA!