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Gaining Options beyond Accounting

Accounting major pursues MAcc to get more flexibility for future

John "Jack" Benton
Assurance Staff, Ernst & Young Financial Services Office New York City

Vanderbilt MAcc 2018

Jack Benton didn’t join the Master of Accounting program to pursue a career in accounting. He pursued a MAcc to have options.

“There is no better place to start in finance than accounting,” he says. “The opportunities available in all industries with an accounting background are unmatched, and I know that this graduate degree will allow me the flexibility to pursue my career aspirations in the coming years.”

But it wasn’t just the degree itself that Jack saw as a door to opportunity. It was Vanderbilt and the close relationships between the MAcc Valuation program and top firms. “As an accounting student at a Southeastern liberal arts university,” he says, “there were very limited opportunities to land an internship with the Big Four anywhere outside of the region. When I was accepted into Vandy, the first thing [Program Director] Lindsay [Donald] said was, ‘Tell us your top three city choices, and we’ll work to make it happen.’ That really spoke volumes to me about the capabilities of the recruiting team here. I also believe this is a reflection of the prestige associated with the MAcc program.”

Jack found the program challenging, even stressful at times – “especially during Mod I with recruiting,” he says. But he quickly adds that “the coursework and planned activities all have a purpose.

“It might be easy to feel burned out after a series of networking events on top of demanding classes, but when you step back and realize the opportunities available for MAcc students, suddenly the schedule becomes very manageable.”

He saw the payoff even before he finished the program, when he completed an internship and then received a job offer with the firm of his choice, in the city of his choice. “I can say with 100 percent certainty that this would not have been possible without Owen,” Jack says, “and my future is a result of the efforts of the recruiting team here.”



Fun Fact: Jack spent the summer between his college graduation and enrollment at Owen as a self-described “trout bum,” backpacking and fly fishing on rivers in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

“When you step back and realize the opportunities available for MAcc students, suddenly the schedule becomes very manageable.”