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Master’s in Accounting: Ali Walter, Brigham Young University (Marriott)

Student Name: Ali Walter

Graduate Business School: Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business

Describe Yourself In 15 Words: Houseplant enthusiast, Chick-Fil-A frequenter, always wants to be in the sun, CPA, Audiobook lover.

Master’s Graduation Class: 2019.

Undergraduate School and Major: Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business, Accounting.

Current Employer and Job Title: Ernst & Young, People Advisory Services Consultant.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I really enjoyed getting to work on a small consulting team that helped a foreign company develop their equity program. 

Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: During my last year of the program, I got to plan weekly club meetings with guest speakers from various accounting professions. There was almost always a great turn out and it helped connect my education with life after college. 

What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It’s a highly ranked program with incredible faculty. I hoped that this combination would make for a quality education that prepared me for my life and career after the program. 

What led you to choose a Master’s in Accounting over an MBA? I wanted to become a CPA and knew the MAcc program would make that easier for me. 

What has been your favorite course and how has it helped you in your career? It wasn’t my favorite while I was in it, but my Tax Research class taught me how to work effectively in groups, think outside of the textbook, and utilize resources to get the solutions I needed. It was the hardest class for me, but in retrospect, the most useful. 

What role did your school play in helping you to land your first job out of the program? The BYU Accounting program provided ample resources for students to make the connections necessary to land their first job out of school, such as career advising, alumni networking events, job fairs, and career exploration assignments. Recruiters and professionals from each of the Big Four accounting firms were in the business building weekly, if not daily, which made networking easy.

How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? It’s possible that I learned more from my classmates than I did from my professors. They were incredibly driven humans with high morals who supported me both in and out of the classroom.

Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? John Barrick was the professor of my first tax class, which was the class that solidified my desire to pursue a tax technical career. He was so funny and open with us. I knew he cared more about us than what we were learning in his classroom.  

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s graduate Master’s program? Get to know the faculty and study hard! 

What was your best memory from your Master’s program? A few friends and I took a golf class one semester. We were mostly terrible, but it was a great break every week and the cherry on top was convincing one of our professors to go golfing with us the next semester.