When I arrived in Texas last summer, I was a bit anxious about how I would make my way in the program. I skew a little bit far from the previous class’s profile. I’m older. I have more work experience, but no business background. Many of my classmates came out of school with degrees in business, finance, accounting and economics. Much of my undergraduate time was spent studying post-colonial literature and literary theory. But, I’m not the only odd ball here. The program boasts a handful of wacky folks, including a philosopher from Hampshire College, a gourmet chef, a musician or two, a couple of lawyers and a few political science-types.
Over the last couple of months, I have received a few inquiries about how, as a humanities guy, I was able to manage my transition to accounting. What was it like to go from zero to MPA? I have collected a few of the more significant questions and pasted them and my responses below:
How did you prepare for the accounting program? Did you feel ready?
It took me about a year to knock out the program’s four required preenrollment classes and prepare for and take the GMAT. It was not fun. I did most of my coursework at night, at the tail end of 10-hour work days, and on the weekends. When classes began, I did not feel as if I was in over my head. The Intro to Accounting class that I had taken several months before got me up to speed on the basics of financial accounting. The program’s first summer session is designed to help non-accounting majors bridge the gap from introductory Financial Accounting to Intermediate Financial Accounting in the fall. It did its job pretty well.
Can you keep up with the business, accounting, and finance students?
Overall, I think I have not had too much trouble keeping up. There was a major adjustment process that I went through during my first summer session, but that had less to do with the actual course material than with learning to be a modern student. For example, the Internet was still a novelty when I was in college, and I was not at all used to logging into online bulletin boards and downloading class notes. In the beginning, I resisted printing anything out. I preferred to rely on my own handwritten notes. However, I have since learned from the errors of my ways.
That being said, there was one class in this program in which I felt as if I was consistently outgunned. …..click here to read more