Our Stories

Andrew Foley: Jealous for Accounting

Teacher pursues his true calling with Valuation program

Andrew Foley
Operations Finance Associate, naviHealth, Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt MAcc Valuation 2018

Andrew Foley had planned on a career in finance or accounting. But near the end of his senior year in college, he accepted an invitation from Teach for America to teach high school math in a low-income, under-resourced area. The program brought him and his wife to Nashville, where the next two years, as he describes them, “were the most challenging and rewarding of my life. 

Every day, he recalls, he worked with some children who didn’t know where their next meal would come from. “How do you tell a kid who didn’t have a home to sleep in last night not to put his head down and take a nap during class?” he asked himself. “But if you don't do everything you can to help him earn his diploma, are you failing him in the long run? These are the kinds of dilemmas I dealt with. I learned to celebrate the small victories while never losing focus on long-term goals.”

While Andrew remains grateful for his time as a teacher, he missed accounting and finance. His wife, a CPA, had found a job in Nashville and when she’d tell him about the kinds of projects she was working on, it fueled his desire to work in the field. “When you reach the point of jealousy in regards to ‘cool accounting,’” he says, “it’s probably a sign that is what you should be doing.”

Andrew, who had always been interested in Valuation, began to research Masters of Finance and Masters of Accounting programs. Then he discovered the MAcc Valuation program at Vanderbilt. “It was the best of both worlds,” he says. “I could not find another program like it. The curriculum and opportunity to attend a top-tier school made it an easy decision.”  Once he visited the campus, he says, “it completely affirmed that it was the right fit.”

One year later, Andrew accepted a position with KPMG in New York City. And his envy for others in accounting has been replaced by a feeling of deep satisfaction.

Fun Fact: Andrew’s favorite places in Nashville are the McCabe Park Greenway and Coco’s Italian Restaurant.

“When you reach the point of jealousy in regards to ‘cool accounting,’ it’s probably a sign that is what you should be doing.”