MPA Student Profile – Joel Garcia

Name: Joel Garcia
Hometown: Weslaco, Texas
MPA track: Audit
Class status: 3rd year iMPA
Graduation date:
 Spring 2020

Why did you choose the MPA program?
The MPA program opens up a variety of opportunities within the accounting field. Although I may not know where I will start my professional career, I know that by being in the program, I will have the necessary skills to be successful. In addition, the MPA program is geared towards CPA eligibility, which is essential for many accounting careers.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I look forward to meeting and working with peers and educators who are passionate about the accounting field. Many people outside of the accounting world see the profession as just numbers, but accounting gives a unique perspective that can have influence in making positive changes in both companies and the community.

What led you to accounting?
I have always wanted to be in a career that would give me the opportunity to help others, which is why I initially wanted to become a doctor. With me being afraid of blood though, I knew that being successful in that career was very unlikely. It was not until I started to see the importance that accounting had in every aspect of business, personal finances, and government spending that made me value accounting and the positive changes I could bring by being an accountant.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
Join the program only if you truly enjoy accounting. I know that may seem obvious, but I believe there is a clear distinction between prospective students who want to join simply because it is the top program in the country and students who actually have a passion for it. The courses are difficult, so having a passion for what you are learning makes them enjoyable.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I wish I could say Gregory Gym was where I spent most of my free time, but that would simply be far from the truth. My favorite spot on campus would be the atrium in McCombs, since it is not only close to food, but brings in a lot of natural sun light due to the glass ceiling.

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
I love Central Market. We don’t have one back in my hometown or anywhere near my area, so when I come to Austin that is my go to. I know Austin has so much more to offer than just Central Market, but if you have never been, it is a must!

MPA Student Profile – Alejandra Flores

Name: Alejandra, Ale, Flores
Hometown:
 Laredo, Texas
MPA track: Tax
Class status: 3rd Year
Graduation date:
 MPA- Spring 2020

Why did you choose the MPA program?
A passion for accounting led me to apply to the #1 accounting program in the nation. I discovered the great reputation of UT’s MPA as a participant in UIL State Accounting high school competitions, which were always hosted in the forty acres. In addition, I got to meet some of the wonderful professors as a high school camper in DYNAMC (Discover Yourself in Accounting Majors and Careers), which I was also a camp counselor for this past summer. The MPA program is the primary reason I chose to attend McCombs and I have been exposed and loved accounting since my sophomore year of high school.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I look forward to many things in the MPA program, but a major part is to be able to learn from the other MPA students. The MPA program has some of the brightest minds in McCombs and I think it creates a challenging and motivating environment. I know everyone will be highly successful in the future, whether it’s in academia, public accounting, industry, or any other path, and I am enthusiastic about maintaining and developing relationships with my peers.

What have you been doing before the start of school?
This past summer I was interning with Ernst&Young in San Jose, California. I was actually in the office when I read the email that I had been accepted into the MPA program!

What led you to accounting?
I took my first accounting class in my business magnet high school and really enjoyed learning the language of business. I joined accounting-focused clubs and realized that in my spare time I was reading my accounting textbook or studying for accounting competitions. It kind of turned into a hobby and I know I made the right choice when I feel the same cheerfulness in my 8am tax class.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
I would suggest for students to pay a lot of attention in their ACC311 and 312 classes. I believe these courses are a very good hint of what the MPA program will be like. If you feel interested in accounting then the MPA program is definitely a great opportunity that can open many doors to different careers. There is no specific career path that all MPA students have to follow, the MPA can help develop any professional through rigorous classes, working in teams, and resources such as career advisors.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the union! I can grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks and there are so many options for lunch. I can study in very comfortable couches, catch a movie every Thursday, go bowling underground, or dance as a part of UT’s Texas Latin Dance. I feel like there is always something going on and it is a short walk from home.

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
I really like going to coffee shops and exploring different restaurants. Austin has some of the best food I have ever had (Clay Pit is one of my favorites). I usually volunteer during weekends, because there are so many opportunities to give back in Austin and it is a great motivator for the rest of the week. Hiking, karaoke, and Latin dancing are things I enjoy doing with my friends.

MPA Student Profile – Kara Killingsworth

Name: Kara Killingsworth
Hometown:
  Rockwall, TX
MPA track: Financial Reporting and Assurance
Class status: Fourth-Year
Graduation date:
 2019

Why did you choose the MPA program?
I chose the MPA program because I enjoyed all of my accounting classes and it is the number 1 program in the Nation.

What do you look forward to most about your MPA experience?
I’m looking forward to interning at Ernst and Young next spring and utilizing my skills in the professional world.

What led you to accounting?
When I first came to UT, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I decided on accounting after taking my first accounting course because I really enjoyed it and had a natural knack for it.

What advice do you have for students interested in the MPA program?
Do well in your accounting classes and get excited for all of the amazing opportunities the MPA program brings.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The Tower, every time I pass it I feel proud to go to school at UT.

Where are your favorite places to go and favorite things to do in Austin?
I like trying out all of the different food trucks in Austin.

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.

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