Whitman Voices

Introduction

Student Continues Education at Whitman with M.S. in Professional Accounting

Student Continues Education at Whitman with M.S. in Professional Accounting

When Emma Tangel ’20 G’21 graduated from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management in spring 2020, she decided that couldn’t be the end of her time in Syracuse. “After completing my undergraduate education at Whitman, I knew returning would be the right decision,” she explains. 

And return she did—the following spring, she graduated with a master’s in professional accounting. Though her undergraduate degree was in both finance and accounting, for her graduate degree she chose to focus solely on the latter. “I chose to focus on accounting in graduate school because I wanted to get my CPA license,” she explains, referencing the credit requirement tied to becoming a CPA. To obtain the license, those interested must have completed 150 credit hours. While a master’s degree is not required to be a CPA, many undergraduate degrees are only about 120 credit hours, so oftentimes students turn to graduate school to fulfill the requirement. Tangel explains, “All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. Having the extra credentials and license provides clients with a level of trust and professionalism that will help me further along in my career.” 

Throughout her time at Whitman, Tangel was able to cultivate both hard and soft skills to prepare her for her eventual entrance into the workforce. One of the most important parts of her education was collaboration. She says, “The emphasis Whitman places on team projects and exercises promotes an unparalleled collaborative learning experience that will seamlessly translate into a work environment.” 

Along the same lines, Tangel says that one of the most impactful aspects of her time at Whitman was the focus on relationship-building and networking. “Whitman has taught me to build relationships and expand my network among students, professors, and employers,” she says. “The professors and advisors are always offering their support and are willing to assist you to achieve your professional goals.” 

Professional development is a significant part of what Tangel says sets her graduate experience apart from her time as an undergraduate. While she was pursuing her master’s, Tangel says that she was able to connect with professors who had experience in the fields she was interested in and they helped her better understand what her career could look like. “Since I knew I wanted to go into tax, I was able to make meaningful connections and ask specific questions to my tax professors,” she says. “In addition, the classes in graduate school are much smaller than undergrad which allowed the studies to be more focused. The smaller class size really helped me build relationships with my professors and easily ask for help when needed.”

In fact, with the help of Whitman’s Career Center advisors and campus recruiters, Tangel spent two summers interning in the tax department at Deloitte in New York City. “My time there allowed me to develop my technical and interpersonal skills,” she says of the experience. “Interning at Deloitte was an invaluable experience.”

After graduating in the spring, Tangel returned to Deloitte for the third time, but this time in a permanent role as a multistate tax consultant. “Whitman’s recruiting program allowed me to plan ahead and land the job after interning there,” she says, while adding, “The experiences I’ve had at Whitman are ones that I will cherish for a lifetime.”

Learn more about the M.S. in professional accounting program.

Mallory Carlson