Our Stories

Going beyond French and English

Strauss learns new language — accounting — as passport to the business world

Sylvia Strauss
Audit and Assurance Manager, Deloitte

Vanderbilt MAcc 2018

Midway through her undergraduate experience, Sylvia Strauss knew that she wanted to go into business. But her point of entry was an open question. “I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to proceed,” she says.

The more she learned about a MAcc degree from Vanderbilt, the more it appealed to her. “It gives me the opportunity to enter a Big Four firm and gain valuable knowledge and experience that will allow me more time to narrow down my interests and hone my skills for my next career move,” she says. “And given my French experience, I also wanted to enter an industry where I might have the ability to work abroad. The Big Four definitely provide those opportunities.”

While Vanderbilt’s location and rankings were important factors in her choice, what attracted her most to the program, she says, is that “it not only allowed but valued having non-accounting majors in the class.

“It was also important to me that the majority of my class had not already been spending the past four years together, and instead we would all support each other through a rigorous but rewarding year of classes, recruiting, leadership development and an internship. Going through all of that with my classmates was a great experience and really brought us all closer together.”

Sylvia still isn’t quite sure where she ultimately wants to establish herself in the business. But she knows that now she has options. “Because of this program, she says, “I have had an internship and accepted a job with a Big Four firm in a city (San Francisco) in which I always dreamed of living. I will be able to take advantage of special opportunities by starting my career with a big accounting firm and build a solid foundation for my future.”

Fun Fact: In her travels, Sylvia has visited 60 countries.

“Given my French experience, I wanted to enter an industry where I might have the ability to work abroad.”