Our Stories

Broadening Her Career Focus

Three years past college, Erin Keifer uses MAcc to shift gears

Erin Keifer
Analyst, Manulife Investment Management

Vanderbilt MAcc Valuation 2021

For more than three years after graduating from college, Erin Keifer put her degree in economics and finance to work for an investment services firm in Cincinnati. She began as a financial analyst, then was promoted to an associate consultant position, where she headed the firm’s international equity manager research and wrote market reviews.

But she decided to return to school to further develop her knowledge of accounting and take her career in a slightly different direction. And she chose Vanderbilt because the MAcc program had a well-established track record as a pathway to a career with a Big Four accounting firm.

Even though the pandemic precluded an in-person visit to campus—“my first time there was the day I moved to Nashville,” she says—coming to Vanderbilt wasn’t a leap of faith. In addition to knowing the program’s reputation, Erin had talked to former college classmates who had earned a MAcc degree at Vanderbilt.

And despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, Erin was able to be actively involved in the Owen community with the Max Adler Student Investment Fund and the Women in Business organization—which she credits with “great programming to help with being a successful businesswoman”—and as a MAcc Admissions Ambassador.

“I have really appreciated how hard the Vanderbilt staff worked to make this year as normal as possible,” Erin says. “I also appreciate how helpful Emily O’Dell [the MAcc Program Director] has been in the job search process. She was always available if I needed advice on how to pursue the jobs I wanted.”

She credits the entire Vanderbilt community with supporting her in finding a career path she is suited for and in helping to make it a reality. After she landed an internship with KPMG’s Chicago office, Erin was well on her way toward that reality. “The Vanderbilt MAcc program helped me get a job and also to cultivate skills that I think will be really helpful as I move into an accounting career,” she says.

Fun Fact: Erin has played field hockey since she was in fourth grade–including two years on her college team and still plays in pickup leagues today.

The Vanderbilt MAcc program helped me to get a job and also to cultivate skills that I think will be really helpful as I move into an accounting career.