MPA Student Profile – Jena Mrochek

Name: Jena Mrochek
Hometown:
  El Paso, TX
MPA track: Taxation
Class status: 3rd Year
Graduation date:
 2020 MPA, 2018 BHP BBA

Why did you choose the MPA program?
I really enjoyed financial and managerial accounting, and I liked the career prospects that the MPA program offers. I also appreciate that the MPA program gives a great background for careers not just in accounting but in finance and other business areas as well, which provides leverage.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I look forward to the challenging classes that will hone my skills and improve my ability to make an impact.

What led you to accounting?
My love for structure and for applying complex systems to solve individual problems led me to accounting. Additionally, I appreciate the job stability that a degree in accounting can provide.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
When you take your first accounting classes, do not focus on just learning to do well on the test. Be present in your learning and consider if you enjoy it and whether you would like to know more about it.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The roof of the SAC.

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
I like going to different coffee and tea shops like Bennu and Zhi tea. I also really enjoy hiking in the Austin area, running along Lady Bird Lake, and going paddle boarding.

MPA Student Profile – Kexin Shuai

KexinShuai

Name: Kexin Shuai
Hometown:
  Chengdu, Sichuan, China
MPA track: Financial Reporting & Managerial Control
Class status: tMPA 1st Semester
Graduation date:
 Spring 2018

Why did you choose the MPA program?
The widely acknowledged MPA program at the McCombs School of Business benefits its graduate students by equipping them with strong academic competence, expanded employment opportunities, and offering a great network of alumni; these are the three main reasons I chose the MPA Program.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I look forward to networking with targeted employers and taking CPA tailored courses

What have you been doing since you received your undergraduate degree?
I have been working part-time as a financial assistant for two months and I went to several short trips in the US.

What led you to accounting?
After three years’ pursuit in Finance, I finally discovered my real passion through an accidental event. In the spring of 2016, I volunteered to be trained as a student assistant in the international tax return workshops. Along with four co-workers, I helped more than a hundred of international students in four consecutive weeks, answering questions regarding individual tax returns. Realized how passionate and service-orientated I could be, I decided to follow my heart and declared a second degree in Accounting.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
It’s a very rewarding program and it definitely worth your time and investment 

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I would pick Texas Union because it has so many wonderful restaurants and places you can relax at. Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Wendy’s, and Starbucks are my favorites.

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
Definitely RSC where I play badminton with other club members every Thursday night.

MPA Student Profile – Dillon Barclay

Name: Dillon Barclay
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
MPA track: Generalist
Class status: TMPA
Graduation date:
Spring 2018

Why did you choose the MPA program?
McCombs has exactly what I was looking for in a graduate level accounting program, a large peer network, top level recruiting opportunities, professional faculty and the ability to customize my education to fit my goals.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I most look forward to landing a spot in a rewarding career, where I can finally put all of my education into action.

What have you been doing since you received your undergraduate degree?
Since my undergraduate degree, I worked through a tax season and then took some time off to mentally prepare for graduate school and fall recruiting.

What led you to accounting?
Accounting for me just always made sense. I like working within structure and the framework of accounting has prepared me with an excellent foundation for a career in business. I feel that it provides the widest reach of opportunities and advancement.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
I would recommend two things once you know you want to do a graduate accounting program. First, make sure you know what you want in a school before applying. Match your top considerations with what schools offer, even some of the most expensive schools may not be a fit for your specific needs. Second, look behind the scenes for information during your application experience. For example, take note of how streamline the process is and how friendly, receptive and responsive the faculty is, how many advisors does the school have for your program? You might not find all of these things on the website, though they will have the biggest impact on your experience.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the MPA lounge, it may not be the most productive, but it gives me a moment to catch up with the other students in the program and build some new connections!

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
Where do I even begin? Austin is such a cool place. My favorite things so far have been paddle boarding on the river south of campus, watching the bats at sunset, and meeting up with my wife and friends each week at a new place to eat. The food here is amazing!

MPA Student Profile – Natalie Allen

Natalie AllenName: Natalie Allen
Hometown:Long Beach, California
MPA track:Financial Reporting and Assurance
Class status: First year, tMPA
Graduation date: May 2018

Why did you choose the MPA program?
The prestige of UT’s accounting program motivated me to apply. Though, the deciding factor was the endless resources offered to the MPA students. From career and academic advisors to frequent interaction with diverse groups of prospective employers.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
Being able to take unique and interesting classes and forming friendships with my peers and professors.

What have you been doing since you received your undergraduate degree?
I interned in the finance and accounting department at a biotechnology company and then proceeded to start my graduate degree.

What led you to accounting?
My dad is an accountant and urged me to try out an accounting class when I was in the middle of switching majors. I liked the numbers and the rest is history.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
Figure out if accounting is something you’re willing to spend a lot of time on. It’s not always so clear as debits and credits and can be frustrating when there is so much to learn in the field.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The football stadium!!

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
The Salt Lick BBQ in Dirftwood. It’s a BBQ joint not far from Austin, about 30 mins away. The grounds have such a charming, friendly feel and the food is absolutely delicious.

I Took a Walk

 

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A few weeks ago I had a friend come and stay with me. She had never been to Texas. As a matter of fact, this was her first time in the states (She’s from Wales). I was excited to show her some southern hospitality. I was making my list of things to do and I knew I had to take her on a tour of campus. I couldn’t introduce her to the wonders of Austin, TX without showing her one of the largest universities in the state.

She arrived on Friday and the first thing we did was walk to campus. As we made our way, I quickly tried to figure out which places I wanted to show her. I knew I had to take her the tower because it’s one of the main staples of the university. And, I had to show her McCombs since I was in the business school. But, where else should I take her? The more I pondered where we should go it dawned on me how many places on campus I truly loved.

After going to UT for four years, the excitement of being at the university had begun to wear off. Now that I’m a senior I take a lot of things about the university for granted. When I first got here, I walked around campus in awe. UT is such a huge place. It was overwhelming. Each new building I entered as a freshman held a new undiscovered gem. Now that I’ve been here awhile I’ve lost the feeling of excitement I used to get. It is such a normal part of my life that it’s lost it’s flare. But, walking around with my friend a few weeks ago brought back some of the energy I used to feel. As I gave her a tour, I was able to see UT through her eyes. In the spirit of the UK, I must say the University of Texas is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.

To be honest, the tour made me a bit melancholy. My time at UT is coming to an end. I’m so glad my friend came in town to help remind me how lucky I am to not only be part of an amazing program, but also go to a school with a fantastic campus. As MPA’s were lucky we have a fifth year here. During my next year and a half, I’m going to try and spend sometime enjoying the places that have brought me some of my best memories.

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