One Thing I Needed to Survive Graduate School

One Thing I Needed to Survive Graduate School

Grad school is a journey.  The MBAPA program presents a rigorous curriculum that pushes you to learn.  As I reflect on some challenging semesters, I am now left with a wealth of knowledge and a great sense of accomplishment.  The endless hours of studying have left me with an extremely rewarding experience.

 

Throughout my time at Canisius the essentials have propelled me through the program.  My taste for coffee has turned into an obsession to motivate me though hours of staying focused on my work.  Finding a balanced schedule with time to run and eat a balanced diet has kept me clear and energized.  The one thing that I did not anticipate being the most critical key to my success was building a strong group of friends to go through the experience with together.

 

The MBAPA program is no doubt a challenge.  From my experience, developing a strong group of friends to share this time with is invaluable.  Having the opportunity to share your day-to-day experience, learn with others, and make some great friends has been my key to survival. As my group pushed through the program, we always found the time to get together away from the books and share a laugh.  Canisius not only provided me with the tools to succeed in the professional world, but also a tight group of friends to support each other through the challenging academic times.  As you embark on your journey through graduate school, remember that finding the time to develop some great friendships can be one of the most beneficial ways to surviving graduate school.

 

The Big Test

The Big Test

 

Just last week the first summer session came to an end, and I took advantage of the opportunity to get two classes completed so that I can enjoy the remainder of my summer.  Well, before I allowed myself that freedom I went ahead and scheduled the CPA exam.  Students have usually met the criteria to begin the CPA exam after completing the Auditing course and my ultimate goal is to have the exam close to completed when I graduate in May 2015.  One statement I have often heard is that once you begin your full-time accounting career it is extremely difficult to find the time to study for the exam.  Also, employers will take notice during the recruiting process this fall if you have completed parts of the exam.

 

August 8 is the true test and the beginning of my 18-month window to pass the exam.  On this date I will be sitting for the AUD section of the exam.  Reflecting upon all the late nights filled with hours of studying I like to think that I have positioned myself for success.  My review course arrived in the mail yesterday and now I have 5 weeks to prepare.  I have chosen to “self study,” which means that you receive your books In addition to a USB drive filled with lectures and practice questions.  I have yet to dig into the contents, but as I scan through the pages of the Auditing and Attestation book it is calming to see a lot of familiar material.  Tomorrow starts my studying, and it appears obvious that Canisius has provided a solid foundation for me to build my studies upon through my past academic curriculum. Best of luck to all the other students and recent grads as well embarking on this challenging exam!

The Results Are In!

The Results Are In!

 

Canisius Alumni ranked first overall among large colleges in New York State on the 2013 CPA exam cycle with a 71% pass rate.  Talk about some positive reinforcement, this is exactly what I wanted to hear as I sat in the library today plugging away on projects.   This semester has been one of my most challenging yet, but as I work through my remaining accounting classes it has become apparent that it’s going to pay off when I begin the CPA exam this summer.  It’s always great to hear that your learnings in school are going to apply in the future, and I have no doubts about that as a Canisius student.

 

With the experience I have had thus far at Canisius, I can vouch for the fact that the faculty at Canisius has built a tremendous program.  The work assigned keeps students on the cutting edge with the knowledge they need to know.  Clearly, the faculty is dedicated to the program and motivating students to work hard and achieve success.

 

While I work hard to keep up with my classes, Canisius continues to provide me excellent opportunities to network.  This Friday, there is a MBAA happy hour at the Flying Bison Brewery.  A great opportunity to meet Canisius graduates, professionals in the field, and other current students.  Next week there is a MBAPA career panel, a great opportunity to meet with recent graduates working in the field.  In early April there is an Accounting Information Systems event.  This will be another great chance to discuss accounting and its relation to Information Technology with the experts.  With all the aspects of accounting, it’s a great to know that Canisius is providing me the opportunities to learn about how diverse the field can be.  It’s reassuring to be able to ask questions and make a career decision based on knowledge from discussions with professionals.

 

In addition to the incredible ranking in regards to the CPA exam rate, Canisius offers so many opportunities to get involved in the profession and hit the field running after graduation.  If you’re thinking about pursuing an Accounting degree, it’s obvious your choice should be Canisius!

It Pays Dividends

It Pays Dividends

 

Making a decision regarding Graduate School and if it is the right decision for you is never easy.  After completing my undergraduate degrees at UB, I took a few years to explore the job market and find out what it was that really motivated me.  I always enjoyed the academic world, but naturally the decision to enroll in a graduate program is one that is initially costly and requires making sacrifices.  On top of that, I would say most students are not gleaming with excitement to take the GMAT right after receiving their undergraduate diploma.  For most, it’s not a simple decision.

 

An MBA will pay dividends though.  Your probably thinking cash, and that is very likely to be one of the benefits.  The benefits extend far beyond an increase in salary.  In a competitive job market, an MBA sets you apart from the competition in many ways.  Graduate school is an opportunity for intellectual growth and develops confidence.  You will grow as a person.  Grad school allows you to become a master in a field you love, and upon completion you will speak confidently to potential employers regarding your knowledge.  Grad school lets you spend more time in school making more friends, many of which will turn into great networking relationships.  Most people have the desire to work in fields that require a high level of skill, and graduate school will open doors to a career that is bound to be more fulfilling.

 

Graduate school requires dedication and hard work.  Everyone values a social life and free time, so to get those opportunities you will become very organized and you’ll probably surprise yourself with your newfound time management skills.  I spend a lot of time speaking to friends and co-workers about my positive experience at Canisius College and how much I’m now looking to starting the career I’v always wanted.  If your currently debating your decision, my advice is to go for it and you will soon be appreciating the return your going to get on your investment.

Welcome to 2014

Welcome to 2014

 

A new year brings about a new semester at Canisius College.  I begin the 2014 academic year as a third year graduate student. My ultimate goal for 2014 is to complete the MBAPA program.  I have a targeted completion date of December this year and look forward to the challenge that lies ahead.  I have my sights set for 2014 on graduating, beginning the CPA exam, and landing a great job during fall on campus recruiting.

 

With the start of a new year usually comes some reflecting on the previous year.  The MBAPA program challenged me many times over the previous year and pushed me excel in my area of study.  I must say that this past year was one of the most challenging I can recall.   I remember many weeks where I had numerous projects due and exams to take, while juggling all my other responsibilities wondering how am I going to get all this done.  Now that it is in the past, I look back and smile knowing that I survived and achieved great results.  My point is this, as we begin a new academic year give it your all because it goes by quick and will soon be a memory where hopefully you can look back and feel good about all you have accomplished.

 

The current semester brings about one of the most challenging for MBAPA students as I prepare to conquer courses such as audit and advanced tax among others.  From my past experience, I am focused and prepared to execute with an open mind.  I have reviewed the course outlines and set out my plan for success in the upcoming months.  I am excited to begin the challenge that 2014 brings and know that before I blink another semester will have passed.   I look forward to this time in 2015 and being able to smile while reflecting on how I turned my 2014 goals into achievements.

 

Best of luck in 2014 to all the Canisius students!