Our Stories

Cooking Up a New Career Direction

Foodie Megan Koontz finds all the right ingredients in Nashville

Megan Koontz O'Connor
Controller, Cedarstone, Chicago, IL

Vanderbilt MAcc Assurance 2017

Megan Koontz filed away something an accounting professor told her in college: Accounting is the language of business. “I was majoring in Spanish at the time,” Megan says, “so I thought accounting would be the perfect launch into the business world.”

Sure enough, as she prepared to graduate from Wheaton College, Megan looked into graduate accounting programs. Vanderbilt offered what she was looking for: “a small community-oriented program aimed at liberal arts students that gets you from zero to CPA in one year’s time — with an internship in the middle of it!”

To take fullest advantage of the resources the program offered, Megan often stayed at school for longer hours to work with her small cohort of peers, which, she says, “really helped me develop relationships and work smarter.”  

Even so, the cooking buff with culinary aspirations still found time to try Nashville’s mushrooming number of new restaurants (her favorite, she says, is 5th and Taylor) and running through Centennial Park near the Vanderbilt campus.

Nine months after she began, Megan was on her way toward her goals, preparing to join PwC back in her home state of Illinois. “There is not another program in the country like the Vanderbilt MAcc,” she says. “Whether you have an accounting background or not, this program will get you to your CPA and to a career in accounting, living and breathing the language of business.”

Fun Fact: Megan not only loves to cook; her secret (until now) wish is to go to culinary school and open a café in her hometown along the Mississippi River.

“There is not another program in the country like the Vanderbilt MAcc.”