Our Stories

Finding a Recipe for Success

Would-be restaurateur finds accounting an essential ingredient

Taylor Oshana
EY Assurance

Vanderbilt MAcc Assurance 2023

A self-described foodie—“I’ve been one since before the term was coined,” she says—Taylor Oshana always wanted to own a restaurant: “I’ve dreamed about having various concept restaurants that offer sensory experiences to diners.”

Over the course of her college experience at Vanderbilt, the Illinois native believed she had developed the requisite soft skills to achieve her goal. The technical skills were another matter. As a human and organizational development major, she says, “I developed the skills to enter spaces and observe patterns, understanding how an organization’s performance is affected by the human interactions that take place within it.” But even with a minor in business, she adds, “I lacked a solid accounting foundation.”

Taylor found Vanderbilt’s Master of Accountancy program an appealing way to bridge that gap. She liked the one-year format: “I appreciate efficiency.” She liked the program’s track record: “It was practically guaranteed that I’d land a job at a Big Four firm, where I was bound to continue learning at a rapid rate.” And she liked the encouragement she received from family and friends: “I learned that public accounting opens doors to every industry.”

With the MAcc program in mind, Taylor reworked her course schedule to complete her undergraduate degree in three years. “I could complete a master’s degree in what was technically my senior year of college.”

Given her non-accounting background, the coursework did not come easily to Taylor at first. “Grasping accounting concepts was quite difficult,” she admits. “There wasn’t anything for that information to cling to. It slipped from my grasp.” But after meeting with professors for support a few weeks into Mod 1, she says, “I noticed I was able to apply accounting to other parts of my life, and I was finding it interesting. I was also proud of how much I learned in such a short period of time.”

Now, with a position at a Big Four firm, Taylor is well on her way. “These days,” she says, “I’m not sure about owning restaurants. But I feel certain that I chose a useful degree and career to pursue.”

Fun Fact: Taylor grew up speaking Arabic and Assyrian and later learned Spanish and a bit of Portuguese.

“I was proud of how much I learned in such a short period of time.”