Our Stories

Passing the Test with Flying Colors

Miranda praises how well his classes prepared him to succeed

Arthur Miranda
Assurance Staff, EY, Tulsa, OK

Vanderbilt MAcc Valuation 2019

As he contemplated career paths, Arthur Miranda found himself drawn to finance, which he considers “the most interesting industry in the United States.” There was just one problem: He’d taken only one class in the subject as an undergraduate.

“While I planned on starting my career as an auditor,” Arthur says, “I wanted to set myself up to audit financial institutions, maybe eventually joining a public accounting valuation team. Too many people enter that without having a good insider’s view of the motivations and techniques of the people they are auditing when they look at a financial institution.”

Vanderbilt was Arthur’s choice for several reasons. “Having come from a medium-sized public university,” he says, “I wanted to distinguish myself through my degrees, which is even more important if I ever want to get into finance after accounting. The same goes for the networking that happens at Owen. There is no way I would have met as many people going where they are going had I stayed at Oklahoma State.”

The program was even better preparation than he had expected, and he gives a great deal of credit to the faculty—particularly Professor Nick Bollen. “I can’t recall anyone else who has covered so much ground in a difficult subject in such a short amount of time with such great quality and clarity,” Arthur says. “Everything in finance seemed pretty easy after his classes. I don’t know how, but Dr. Bollen managed to fit 90 percent of the Finance content of the Level I CFA exam in his short 10 weeks with us.”

In December, Arthur and his eight MAcc Val classmates took the Level I CFA exam. They all passed. Three of his classmates, he says, scored among the top 10 percent of all exams from that testing window.

For someone who lacked much knowledge of finance coming in, he says, “getting to pass a notably hard test, with pass rates in the 40 percent [range], really motivated me.”

Fun Fact: During his time in Nashville, Arthur trained for his very first marathon, which he ran just before finals week.

Everything in finance seemed pretty easy after [Professor Nick Bollen’s] classes.