Our Stories

Going beyond Being Good with Numbers

At Vanderbilt, Mack Cox learned a new language—business

Malcolm "Mack" Cox
Audit Intern, KPMG, Denver, CO

Vanderbilt MAcc 2021

Mack Cox was interested in a MAcc program, he says, because “I knew that accounting was ‘the language of business,’ and I wanted to have a skill set to bring to the table no matter where my career ends up taking me.” One obstacle loomed large: He didn’t know the language.

“I was always good with numbers, but [I was] coming from a small liberal arts school,” says Mack, who graduated from Centre College in his hometown of Danville, Kentucky. “I was only able to take two accounting classes. The MAcc program was designed perfectly for someone like me, [someone] who was looking to further in accounting.”

Mack knew that Vanderbilt enjoyed a prestigious reputation and that the MAcc program’s job placement rate and pass rate for the CPA exam were very high. Because Centre and Vanderbilt are “alliance schools,” Mack was also able to obtain an alliance scholarship.

Completing the program during a pandemic year, with courses online, presented its challenges. “But a lot of our courses are set up to encourage collaboration, which is great for getting to know each other,” Mack says. “The staff and faculty have been by us every step of the way through recruiting and have worked so hard to give us the best experience they can.”

While the pandemic also limited his access to what he calls “the full Nashville experience,” Mack has enjoyed exploring East Nashville, where he lived, particularly Shelby Park and neighborhoods that he believes offer the best restaurants in Nashville.

With an internship completed and a job lined up in Denver after graduation, Mack has come to think of the MAcc program as life-altering. “The trajectory I am being set on would never have been possible for a small-town kid like me,” he says. “The staff and faculty work so hard to give you a great experience and catapult you ahead in your career.”

Fun Fact: Mack high-fived Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

The trajectory I am being set on would never have been possible for a small-town kid like me.