Our Stories

Finding a Direction, Building Relationships

MAcc Assurance opens multiple doors to both careers and friendships

Duncan Fletcher
Assurance Staff, Ernst & Young, Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt MAcc 2019

Like a lot of business majors, Duncan Fletcher wasn’t sure what area of business to pursue after graduation. Then he learned just how many business leaders had once faced the same uncertainty—and chose to pursue accounting.

“I found that a start in audit would give me a great breadth of experiences with different parts and types of business, which would present me with an unbelievable range of opportunities just a few years into my career,” he says.

Once he settled on a direction, Duncan began researching programs. “I found that Vanderbilt’s reputation with the Big Four firms was unmatched by the other programs I looked at,” he says. “The program’s pass rate is one of the highest in the nation. I also liked the small class size and thought that would fit well with my interests and personality.”

Even with all of that in Vanderbilt’s favor, Duncan says that the students he met on his campus visit were the biggest influence on his decision. “I was impressed by the type of people who made up the class of MAcc students and also by the way they interacted with each other and the relationships they had built together,” he says. “That was the type of thing I wanted to be part of.”

One of the highlights of his year, he says, was celebrating with his classmates after each of them received an offer from a Big Four firm. “It felt like we were all invested in each other throughout the recruiting process,” Duncan says.

He also celebrates the ways—beyond the credential he earned—that “the program has set me up for success in the public accounting world.” He credits the Leadership Development Program with helping him understand “why I do some of the things I do and what I should be aware of moving forward.” In addition, he notes, “the program has given me a tremendous network of alumni who truly care about being invested in our futures. Vanderbilt has done everything I could ask for in terms of presenting me with opportunities to grow and start my career at a great firm.”



Fun Fact: Duncan, the captain of his college football team, enjoys bird watching, owns a 1978 Chevy truck, and had “a fun, near-death experience in a cave in New Zealand” (you’ll have to ask him about it).

I found that Vanderbilt’s reputation with the Big Four firms was unmatched by the other programs I looked at.