Our Stories

Finding a Career She Can Bank on

Ex-teller gains a window on new career

Rachel Reynolds
A&CP Finance Analyst, Mars Petcare, Franklin, TN

Vanderbilt MAcc 2015

When Rachel Reynolds graduated with a BBA from Nashville’s Belmont University in 2011, she entered what she remembers as “one of the worst job markets ever.”

With no clear idea of what type of career she wanted to pursue, she found a job as head teller at a local boutique bank, where she also was involved with new accounts, branch operations, audit, payroll and HR. She realized she wanted more of a challenge — but without the specialized skills that an advanced degree would provide, opportunities to move up the ladder were limited.

“I was looking at several different programs and the potential careers they led to,” says the native of Clarksville, Tennessee. “Vanderbilt’s MAcc program matched my goals the best.

“I knew I wanted to stay in Nashville. The other schools I looked at had decent programs, but the Vanderbilt name, the intensive recruiting with the Big Four firms, and the small class sizes sold me. No other school could have given me the attention I’ve received here.”

At Vanderbilt, Rachel has enjoyed opportunities to share two of her favorite activities with fellow MAcc students, who have formed a brunch club and an unofficial tennis group called the “Maccenroes.”

Even more, she has enjoyed the opportunities to improve her skills and advance her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever had to work so hard in my life,” Rachel says, “but it’s been incredibly rewarding. I’ve become a better thinker and a more outgoing person.

“You can’t wind up with a better job as a 22- or 23 year-old than with the Vanderbilt MAcc program. I just wish I had known that when I was graduating from college!”