Our Stories

Getting What She Looked for (and More)

Emily Adamson launches accounting career the way she wanted

Emily Adamson
Audit Associate, PwC, Nashville

Vanderbilt MAcc 2019

Once she decided to pursue a Master of Accountancy degree, Emily Adamson looked for two things: built-in CPA prep and a pathway to work for a Big Four firm. “Vanderbilt,” she says, “had a program just like that—and a high pass rate [for the CPA exam] to match.” Meanwhile, she adds, the program’s partnerships with top firms gave her “incredible access” to firm leaders, which she otherwise would not have had.

Beyond the factors that drove her decision, Emily also found bonuses once she arrived at Vanderbilt. For one, she says, “I was able to develop friendships across a multitude of programs. We all have classes together, which creates a great learning environment.” For another, those friendships led to opportunities to spend time together on weekends. She particularly enjoyed going to Nashville’s Lower Broadway district and grilling on the rooftops of friends’ apartment buildings.

The professors were yet another bonus. “They take time out of their day not simply to answer questions but to get to know the students,” Emily says. “When studying at school, Professor [Michael] Stuart would often stop by a table of MAccs to encourage us in anything that we were doing.”

Not least, she says, one of the most valuable takeaways is that the MAcc program “introduced us to amazing women mentors, both through recruiting and through the alumni network, who are true role models of success.”

She credits the Leadership Development Program for preparation that enabled her to “go into my internship with eyes wide open and [with] an understanding of the type of professional I wanted to be.” After the internship at PwC, she met with an executive coach, discussing key takeaways to use when she returned full-time after graduation.

And by starting her career in Nashville, Emily was able to return to her pastime of sampling Nashville’s many and varied restaurants. Ask her favorite so far, and she’ll answer without hesitation: The Smiling Elephant.



Fun Fact: Even though she doesn’t play currently, Emily retains a passion for golf, and she loves watching tournaments and walking holes with her dad.

[The professors] take time out of their day not simply to answer questions but to get to know the students.