Cities (Probably) Overlooked During Recruiting: Part 1

Dinner in San Fran with my brother and cousin

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you all survived finals. I know it can be a rough time of year.

This is the first MPA blog from California!
If not, my apologies to the MPA blogger of the past for stealing your thunder.

Spring recruiting is coming up for us third-years, and I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite cities that I will be visiting over the holidays.  Don’t be afraid to recruit for an internship in a city that isn’t Austin. Of course, Austin is one of the best cities in the world, but let’s not forget the other contenders.

First stop, San Francisco!

I’m here in San Francisco visiting some family and am reminded of my love for the city. There is just so much to do and see.

Disclaimer: All Big 4 firms have offices in San Fran, as well as tons of midcap and boutique firms. Could be a good life for an accountant!

There are lots of great things to do in and around the city, as well. Some of my favorite spots are: 

1. Exploratorium: This famous science museum in San Fran is fun for everyone. I have always been a nerd, and I proudly embrace it. Thus, my first time at the Exploratorium I was wide-eyed and grinning the whole time. And to this day, it is still an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. If we are being honest, when I visit the Exploratorium today, I probably still sport the same cheesy grin I did when I was a kid. Continue reading Cities (Probably) Overlooked During Recruiting: Part 1

Is the classical accounting personality required for success?

You don't have to be a stereotypical accountant like Angela (from The Office) to be successful!

I just read an interesting research article about personality types that succeed in accounting. The article by Bealing, Baker, and Russo researches the Myers-Briggs personality types of graduating accounting students and compares them to the personality type of other graduating business students. The overall Myers-Briggs personality type for accounting students was ESTJ.

For those of you unfamiliar with Myers-Briggs personality type, it measures the perception of individuals and classifies them into one of sixteen different personality types based on four different characteristics (Side note: I highly recommend everyone takes this test, its jaw-dropping to see its description of your personality and definitely helps you become more self-aware. I also think it is crucial for successful teamwork because it helps me understand how others are approaching the same problem but getting such different results.) An ESTJ means that the individual is extroverted (outgoing), sensing (paying attention to information that you collect through your five senses), thinking (making objective decisions), and judging (prefer a structured life style).

You might be asking why I am I telling you this. Am I trying to say that if you are not an ESTJ, you will not be successful in the Texas MPA program? DEFINITELY NOT! Continue reading Is the classical accounting personality required for success?

Fiction & Accounting Venn-Diagram

In honor of both my accounting finals being over AND my internship at American Short Fiction coming to a wrap, I am dedicating this post to accounting & fiction. Think of a venn-diagram – “fiction” written into one circle and “accounting” written into the other.  Here are just a few names that might reside in that overlap. I’m pretty excited about this attempt…

1) David Foster Wallace, a terrific and ground breaking fiction writer and essayist known for his ginormous book Infinite Jest. His last book was, you guessed it, about accounting. Searching around the NYT for a bit, I found this: “David Foster Wallace and the Literary Tax Accountant”.  According to the article, Wallace “pursued tax arcana with an exuberantly obsessive relish.” After enrolling in accounting courses and corresponding with a handful of I.R.S. agents and CPAs, Wallace came up with the world and characters of his posthumously published novel, the Pale King. A plus: his exchanges with various accountants (the brunt of his research) are housed here at the University of Texas at the Harry Ransom Center. Class field trip?

I think that Wallace’s interest in tax accounting /research was genuine. He studied tax accounting with a philosophical interest in system logic and ultimately built his book around the premise that “tax work may be the gateway to transcendent ecstasy.” A bit far fetched and absurd, yes, but let’s think: essentially, within our tax structure lies the minutiae, collective compartments, and number-coded ecosystems of our lives, no? Hmm…

Continue reading Fiction & Accounting Venn-Diagram

Halfway Done and Proud

Well now that finals are over, I can say that I’m very excited that I have completed my first semester!  It was definitely a challenging week studying for all my finals but now that it’s over I feel accomplished and proud.  Kind of like what Paul said – the more effort you put in, the larger the result.  I am just hoping and encouraging myself that all of the effort I put in will give me the results I want.

Anyway – not much else to report on right now.  Most people (including myself) have left Austin for our  month long winter break.  I am excited to be home but at the same time, I already miss my MPA friends :)

I just wanted to mention that although it may seem (from our last slew of posts) that finals are insane, it isn’t really a bad thing.  This is probably the most I’ve studied (at all or at least in a really long time), but honestly I am really happy and feel very accomplished.  You are not coming to the best accounting program to be a slacker.  You are coming to work hard, learn a lot (get your money‘s worth), and get what you can out of your opportunities.  Having said that, I’m glad I spent my free week studying to really get the most out of these tests.  Finals are just tests.  And having almost a week to study for it is a gift – most tests you have to study for in the midst of doing 100 other things.

Also during this break I plan on starting the process of applying and studying for my first CPA section, so I will keep you updated with that process as I get it underway.

Have a great holiday season everyone!

When Things Get Stressful…

The MindBody Lab (photo taken from CMHC)

Finals week, unarguably, is one of the most stressful weeks for MPA students. Fortunately, UT and Austin provide a vast number of self-care options for students when things get a little stressful.  The city boasts enough diverse activities that there are options for everyone. Whenever my brain needs to take a break from accounting or from anything school-related, here are some of the things I do to rejuvenate:

1)   Cooking. Austin has to be among the best cities to get the freshest ingredients to the dishes you are making. I frequent grocery stores HEB on 41st and Red River, Central Market on 38th and N. Lamar, and Whole Foods on 6th and N. Lamar, all of which are a 10-minute drive away from campus. I also go to the Austin Farmers’ Market  downtown on Saturdays and at the Triangle on N. Lamar on Wednesdays. Local farmers from the Central Texas area sell fresh produce and other local products that you would not find elsewhere.  Not only are their goods fresh, but they are fairly cheap, too! Continue reading When Things Get Stressful…

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