By Arial Starks
Nathan Yates discovered his passion for accounting during his time as an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University, where he double-majored in Economics and Political Science. During undergrad, Yates took an accounting course that piqued his interest, prompting him to attend informational meetings to learn more about the Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy (MAcc) Program.
“Once I learned more about the Vandy MAcc and the fact that it was only a 1-year program, you get a chance to earn your CPA, and the opportunity students get to become well-positioned with the Big 4 Firms, I found all of that very compelling and began my journey down that path,” he said.
Yates entered the program in fall 2011 and began the recruiting process quickly, interviewing with the Big 4 firms. By Thanksgiving, EY extended Yates an offer for an Assurance Internship in their Nashville office for the following January – March, which he accepted. Yates got to work on several different teams and projects over the course of the 10-week program.
“Being able to intern with EY and really get a taste of what public accounting was going to be like, then to get to come back afterwards and reconnect with the class and share our individual experiences, was so valuable,” says Yates.
He went on to receive and accept a full-time offer from EY, where he began working after graduation in 2012. Over the course of his 8 years with the company, Yates earned 3 promotions and participated in an international program, where he spent the summer of 2019 in London.
“That was the summer of a lifetime. I was reaching that point in my career where I had amazing experiences and I had seen a lot of different things. London crystalized for me that I was ready to apply that experience I had gained in a different way,” said Yates.
In April 2021, Yates left EY for a Director-level position with OneOncology in Nashville. He credits the Vanderbilt MAcc program for equipping him with the technical accounting skills as well as some soft skills like public speaking and teamwork. He says the program prepared him for the world of public accounting and put him in a position to earn a job with a Big 4 firm and ultimately land Director of Corporate Accounting with OneOncology.
“If I hadn’t gone through the Vandy Macc program and gone through public accounting, I am confident that I would not be Director of Corporate Accounting at OneOncology. To start the program having no background in accounting and in just 12 months be able to pass the CPA exam and land a job at a top accounting firm, speaks volumes,” said Yates.
Click through the timeline below to see a visual of Nathan Yates’ path to the promotion.