Lindsay McElhose enrolled in the Master of Professional Accountancy program to accelerate her career goals. From Columbus, Nebraska, she saw the advantages of preparing herself for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam while earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a concentrated program in the CBA School of Accountancy.
“As an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to be prepared to sit for the CPA exam. The MPA program sounded better and better to me once I found out I could obtain a master’s degree in one year while also completing the extra credit hours needed to qualify to sit for the CPA exam in Nebraska,” McElhose said. “It also allowed me to continue my graduate program with several friends I made in my undergraduate accounting classes.”
Students enrolled in the bachelor’s program may enter the MPA program their senior year. The accelerated program consists of a minimum of 150 credit hours with 36 taken in graduate credit courses. An internship program is also available for MPA students if they want real-world experience. McElhose feels the focus of the MPA program has prepared her for a career in public accounting.
“My time as an undergraduate made me a well-rounded business student. Now as an MPA student, I am able to narrow my focus and concentrate on topics covered on the CPA exam,” she said. “The nerdy side of me has enjoyed the challenge of constantly learning more about my future profession.”
An active member of Beta Alpha Psi as a UNL undergraduate student, McElhose used her connections through the student organization to land an internship with Seim Johnson, a public accounting firm in Omaha, Nebraska. She is currently in her third internship with the company where she has worked in the audit and tax divisions and has accepted a full-time job with the firm once she graduates in May 2016.
“One of the best lessons I have learned is how important it is to grow your network. You can be the smartest person in the world, but your career will be better if you surround yourself with a great network,” McElhose explained. “I’m confident the connections I have made through the School of Accountancy will help me as I start my public accounting career.”