Our Stories

Gearing Up for Success

Non-accounting major finds her stride

Alexis DeHan
Audit Associate, KPMG

Vanderbilt MAcc 2022

Once she knew she wanted to pursue public accounting, Alexis DeHan applied to exactly one graduate business program. In college, she majored in economics, and she found that the Vanderbilt MAcc was among the only programs in the country structured for non-accounting majors.

Not only was the program accommodating for students who majored in other subjects but, as Alexis noted, it had a well-established track record of helping those students launch careers in the accounting field. Looking at “the achievements of previous students,” she says, the obvious conclusion was that “the Vanderbilt MAcc program sets up all students for success. I knew that when I entered Vanderbilt, I was going to be successful, and it was going to be the start of a great career.”

As if she needed more evidence, it came at the end of Mod I, when Alexis earned a 3.9 grade point average despite her lack of previous accounting experience. “I realized that I had no problem keeping up with people who had an undergraduate degree in accounting.”

It helped, she adds, to have “professors who really want the best success for you. They’re always willing to go the extra mile to help you succeed. They’re willing to review homework, review tests, teach you something in a different manner than they have taught the class previously that day.”

After her in-program internship back in her hometown in the Seattle area, Alexis felt even more confident. In working with interns who had come from other programs, she realized how well she was being prepared at Vanderbilt. “You receive knowledge in the Vanderbilt MAcc program that a lot of other programs may not include and that allow you to excel in your professional field,” she says.

The achievement of which she is currently most proud? After entering the program with no background in accounting, Alexis received offers from multiple Big Four firms in Seattle. “Vanderbilt,” she says, “gave me the skills to be a confident CPA and businesswoman.”

Fun Fact: To start her days before class, Alexis enjoyed five-mile walks from campus to downtown Nashville and back.

I knew that when I entered Vanderbilt, I was going to be successful, and it was going to be the start of a great career.