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Building a Foundation of Experience with a Master's Degree in Accounting
Franziska Griecci '14, senior II auditor at Ernst & Young, still remembers the first day of the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at Bentley. “Am I really here? Did I really make the cut? Can I really make a difference in business with this? I was so awed and invigorated, and then we started on debits and credits.”
Joking aside, Griecci felt ready to enter the graduate program; she had just completed a bachelor of science in accounting and liberal studies major in earth, environment and global sustainability at Bentley. But on day one of her graduate studies, she knew that her learning would reach well beyond accounting principles.
“Professor Karen Osterheld talked about her professional journey, how she started in a Big Four accounting firm and eventually moved into education,” Griecci says. “It made me feel relieved; relieved that if I ever found myself in a job that no longer fit, it would be okay to move on to something else. That sometimes, your experiences are a foundation for something else you are meant for, something you didn’t even know you were better suited for.”
Indeed Griecci drilled accounting principles (anything on the CPA exam is covered in detail at Bentley), and learned how to master the technology (particularly Excel) that she uses in the full-time job she landed after she graduated.
Her top four takeaways focus on the soft skills that she deems equally as important to her job today:
Commitment. As marketing coordinator on the Tutoring Board at Bentley, Griecci ran the Veterans’ Day Care Package Drive. “I stumbled and asked for help and did reasonably well the first year. I did better each successive year and even created a management guide for the job. This commitment has carried over into my current job, where I am part of the Veterans Affinity group.”
Adaptability. Griecci learned that to reach a goal, you must be willing to adapt. “At Bentley, there is so much information and group work that you don’t have the luxury to stick to one thought process or one way of doing things. Use your strengths to your advantage and always be open to learning how to do something better. The world is ever-changing and what worked before can quickly become a bottle-neck in the future.”
Discipline. Juggling a graduate program with a job, family commitments and friends requires organization. “One of the greatest things you can learn is discipline because it teaches you a certain level of personal responsibility. If you can manage and center yourself, you can tackle anything. And the sooner you learn it, the better you are for the real world.”
Confidence. Griecci gained career confidence through programs in Bentley’s Career Center – résumé writing, mock interviews and connecting with fellow students who had aced interviews. “They even helped me determine what to do better next time. Now I try to do the same for my subordinates, family and friends so that they can succeed as well.”
For those considering a graduate degree, Griecci has practical advice: “Dream big and develop a plan that’s right for you, then adjust it as you go along. But definitely get it. We are moving into a society that stresses the need for qualifications, for specializations and uniqueness. The MSA opens doors, opens networks and opens opportunities for you later down the road, so it can only help you, no matter what you want to do.”
President Larson, along with guest experts, joined Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, to talk about how college and universities are preparing graduates to navigate diverse environments.