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Day In The Life Of A Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy Student

Apr 17, 2024
Explore a day in the life of Andrea Aceveda, a Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy student, as she navigates classes, networking events, and executive coaching

By Eigen Escario

Pictured: Vanderbilt MAcc class of 2024 student Andrea Aceveda

Andrea Aceveda

The Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy (MAcc) is a 1-year graduate program that prepares students for a career at the Big 4 Accounting firms and beyond through technical coursework, internship experience, and executive coaching. Andrea Aceveda (MAcc ‘24), walks us through a typical day in her life as a Vanderbilt MAcc Valuation student.

6:00 AM | Commuting to Nashville

Unlike most in her cohort, Aceveda lives at home with her family south of Nashville and has to commute to campus early in the morning for her classes.

“My dogs are the first things I see when I wake up – my 3 labradors are named Coco, Cooper, and Cora,” Aceveda said. “My parents always have our fridge stocked with microwavable food and Starbucks to-go cups, so it makes my life easier before I hit the road.”

A key part of Aceveda’s morning is getting pumped for the day by listening to her favorite music on the drive up to Nashville.

“After getting ready, I hit the road and listen to chill music throughout my drive to Vanderbilt, whether it’s Billie Eilish or SZA,” Aceveda said. “I’ve been listening a lot to Beyonce’s new album too, and mornings with Zach Bryan and Noah Khan vibe so well with morning rides.”

8:00 AM | Introduction to Law and Business with Professor Rose

In her Introduction to Law and Business course with Professor Amanda Rose, Aveceda learns about interesting topics at the nexus of the legal system and corporate business.

“This class is an introduction to the intersection of business with the American legal system,” Aveceda said. “It’s very lecture-heavy, but there are instances where she asks us about our personal judgment in some cases due to the subjectivity of the legal system that requires our opinions. Personally, I am not going to be a lawyer, but it’s still cool to understand.”

11:30 AM | Managerial Strategy with Professor Lawrence

Next on Aceveda’s agenda is Managerial Strategy with Professor Megan Lawrence, which establishes more conventional, economics-based intuitions that are useful in managerial accounting positions in the workplace.

“I honestly really like this class because I had a similar class in undergrad where we talked about firm strategies, whether it concerned differentiators or long-term implementations of business plans that ultimately cultivate their value proposition as a company,” Aceveda says. “We use the strategic frameworks about internal macro and micro factors within the firm into case studies and readings we have in class. It really helps with our weekly topic discussions where everyone just popcorns around about our input on class material.”

1:00 PM | Lunch with Friends

In addition to her Vanderbilt Business coursework, Aceveda is involved with the broader Vanderbilt community by helping out with the intramural volleyball team, which grants her access to the athlete’s dining hall.

“If I don’t bring my lunch from home, I go to Hendrix sometimes,” Aceveda said. “But if I’m eating with other people in the MAcc program, my go-to places near campus are Taco Mama, SatCo, and Cava.”

Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy offers 2 different programs: MAcc Assurance, which focuses on audit and assurance and is the larger cohort, plus MAcc Valuation, which focuses on the intersection of accounting and finance and is intentionally smaller. Aceveda enjoys the close community within her Valuation cohort.

“There are 7 of us in the [Valuation] program. All of us have the same schedule for our classes, so most of us grab lunch and come back to the courtyard to eat together,” Aceveda said. “Our program director is really fun too, and she’s hosted events like holiday parties and other get-togethers that really bring our cohort together.”

2:30 PM | Financial Statement and Analysis with Professor Catherine Lee

Delving into more coursework oriented towards practical skills, Aceveda heads over to Advanced Cost Accounting with Professor Lee to discuss the financial details of the supply chain.

“In this class, we study how businesses look inside their firms regarding internal product manufacturing, cost drivers, and cost pools,” Aceveda said. “It’s essentially normal accounting since we talk about how much it costs to make one product.”

4:00 PM | Executive Coaching Appointment

In order to fully prepare students for a career at a top firm, the Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy program has executive coaches to walk students through their professional development during and after their time in the program.

“We meet with our executive coaches as part of growing our networks and figuring out what our next steps are for our career goal-wise,” Aceveda said. “The 2, one-on-one sessions we get through the program help us figure out how to get personalized help based on our Hogan Assessment results so we get matched with a coach that could best help us.”

Aceveda discusses the impact of the individualized approach of the executive coaching appointments on her professional growth.

“By having an in-depth view of my Hogan Assessment results, I know now that my personality is very high-energy and social, which might influence my career choices later on to work in recruiting or development of new hires or interns,” Aceveda said. “I feel like this insight will help me later on as I get higher up the corporate ladder with more client-facing roles.”

5:00 PM | Decompressing with Friends

There are several opportunities for students to network at Vanderbilt Business, particularly a weekly event called Closing Bell on Thursdays that Aceveda frequents to meet interesting people.

“I take most advantage of our closing bells out of the many programming events that Vanderbilt throws for us,” Aceveda said. “It’s just an informal networking happy hour that they host every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 PM.”

Beyond networking, Aceveda makes the most out of her night in the city before making the drive back home.

“Most of the activities that I do with my friends after my day ends range from going to basketball games, having wine Wednesdays with the girls, or Monday-night Bachelor watch parties,” Aceveda said. “Sometimes, when it’s nicer outside, we’ll go out on a lawn to play pickleball or Spike ball and enjoy the weather before going out.”

8:00 PM | Ending the Day at Home

As the day winds down, Aceveda makes the drive back home and reconnects with her family and pets to decompress for the night.

“Sometimes, I’ll go jogging with my dogs depending on how late I get home, then I’ll shower and usually have dinner with my parents,” Aceveda. “One of the perks of living at home is that I come home to a delicious, home-cooked meal—I always ask my parents on my drive home or any time throughout the day what’s for dinner. It’s the running joke in our family.”

To learn more about the Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy program, student experience, outcomes, and career paths, click here.

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