Our Stories

Merry Making a Way for Herself

Econ major goes from ‘a little lost’ to the ‘perfect career path’

Marcelline "Marce" Merry
Investment Banking Summer Associate, Mergers & Acquistions, RBC Capital Markets

Vanderbilt MAcc Valuation 2018

When she decided to major in Economics, Marce (short for Marcelline) Merry didn’t really think about where that degree would take her. As she took more courses, she concluded that it would lead toward a career in either investment banking or consulting. Neither path appealed to her.

“I wanted a highly, analytical, technical job involving financial modeling, with some client-facing aspects — and that also allowed me to have a work-life balance,” Marce says.

Feeling a little lost, but knowing that she had loved her undergraduate accounting class, she decided to look into the MAcc Valuation program. “I didn’t know what a career in valuation entailed at the time,” she confesses. “But I knew the curriculum sounded interesting.”

Near the end of the program, after she had already accepted a position with a Big Four firm in Atlanta, Marce was struck by a realization one day during a discussion in her Financial Analysis class of the new leasing standard. “I thought back to just how little accounting I knew before the program began,” she says. “To be able to cogently discuss the leasing standard now, I first had to become very comfortable with accounting in general in Financial Reporting I” (she hadn’t taken an accounting class since her sophomore year).

“Then I had to learn the complex accounting for leases in Financial Reporting II, and then I had to learn about the new leasing standard compared to the old one in Research and Financial Reporting. The amount I have learned since beginning this program is honestly baffling. And it’s not just rewarding to know how much I learned, but also how much I actually used in my internship.

“Now I have found the perfect career path that I am genuinely excited about.”

Fun Fact: As an undergraduate, Marce captained the Vanderbilt Dance Team.

“The amount I have learned since beginning this program is honestly baffling."