Meet Recent MPA Grads Ben Levine-Drizin and Rachel Wolfson
Ben and Rachel are both traditional MPA students who graduated in May 2020 and are engaged to be married! Let’s learn more about them and their experiences at UT, as well as hear their advice for those considering accounting.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND UT?
Ben: Because of its reputation for having the best graduate accounting program in the country, as well as a desire to spend some time living outside of the midwest (I had visited Austin before with Rachel and knew that it would be a fun place to live).
Rachel: I chose to attend UT for the MPA program because I went to UT for my undergrad. I love living in Austin and being a Longhorn. It also doesn’t hurt that UT’s MPA program is ranked #1!
WHAT ARE YOUR POST-GRADUATE PLANS?
Ben: My post graduate plan is to return to Chicago, get married, study for the CPA exam, and start my new job in January in the audit department of Plante Moran.
Rachel: Post-graduation I am planning on being an auditor at Ernst & Young in Chicago.
HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR FIANCÉ?
Ben & Rachel: We actually met in a previous graduate program for teaching at Northwestern University. We both taught for a few years and ultimately decided that it wasn’t for us.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Ben: I grew up in the Northern suburbs of Chicago (Winnetka, IL).
Rachel: I am from Chicago.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?
Ben: I enjoy working out (specifically long-distance running), spending time with Rachel and puppy, and watching sports.
Rachel: Right now, I am really into knitting and yoga. I also love to travel and spend time with family and friends.
HOW WAS TAKING CLASSES REMOTELY DURING THE SPRING 2020 SEMESTER?
Ben: I would say that it definitely was an adjustment, but it wasn’t too bad. The biggest obstacle for me was developing a new routine and staying focused on my work, even when I didn’t really leave my apartment other than to walk my dog.
Rachel: Remote learning was a change! At first it was hard to stay motivated and keep a normal routine, but the professors and university did an amazing job communicating and helped us all adapt to the new learning environment.
ANY TIPS FOR INCOMING MPA STUDENTS OR THOSE LOOKING INTO THE MPA PROGRAM?
Ben: To prospective and incoming students, this is an amazing program with a ton of resources and great people. I have already grown a lot as both a professional and a person since I started school here. I am truly going to miss the people that I have met, the program itself, and the city of Austin. Take advantage of all the time you have here because it goes by fast!
Rachel: The MPA program is challenging but also so rewarding! If you’re looking into accounting as a profession, UT has the best resources to prepare you for the future. I would choose this program again without hesitation!