Matthew StanielunMAcc Alumnus Class of 2019
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Undergraduate University: Lake Forest College
Class Year: 2018
Major/Minor: Finance, Legal Studies
Current Employer: Byline Bank
Emphasis: Valuation and Advisory
What drew you to William & Mary's Master of Accounting (MAcc) program?
I liked that a lot of the professors here have real-world experience working in the field because that's something that was really important to me. When you're learning in the classroom, the professors know the material from both an academic standpoint and how it takes shape in the real world. Another important facet was the fact that there are wonderful career opportunities and exposure to working at the Big Four along with other great firms which is a huge advantage.
What were some of the highlights during your time in the program?
Definitely the faculty members. Every single professor here wants you to succeed. No one wants you to fail. They all want you to learn as much as possible and to be fully engaged. They do so much to be prepared for class and to make it a wonderful experience for the students. You get a lot out of all the classes, even the ones that are difficult. Additionally, all of the coursework is really interesting, especially in the first semester when there's a lot of group work. The program exposes you to working with other individuals which allows you to develop those soft skills that you need to excel in the working world.
What excites you about the field of Accounting?
I like how dynamic it is. It's never the same stale task or routine because every situation is unique, and you have to analyze it on a case-by-case basis. You never know what the day is going to bring because businesses and business environments are always changing, so you much evolve and develop as a working professional. It's a great way to never get bored with what you're doing and that's what I love about it.
If you had to describe our program to a prospective student, what would you say?
William & Mary is definitely a great place to come and learn about Accounting. It really immerses you in all of the different components of the accounting field, from audit to tax to valuation. The first semester curriculum does an excellent job of giving you a broad view and then in the second semester you focus on the specific field of Accounting that's interesting to you. If you don't know exactly what you want to do with Accounting, the first semester will really give you a great foundation to choose from. Beyond that, the faculty is amazing - you really can't go wrong.