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MAcc program helps prepare alumna to pass CPA exams

Accounting always came naturally to Mackenzie Walker (MAcc ’17). “I like the logic behind it,” she says. “I’m really good with numbers, and I also like the technology side of it.”

After taking an accounting class in high school, Walker knew she would declare it as her major at Oral Roberts University. She landed an internship at Grant Thornton, and after her second turn as an intern, accepted a full-time offer with the firm.

That’s when Walker started thinking about graduate school. A friend recommended TU’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program. After meeting with Professors Karen Cravens, chair of the School of Accounting and Computer Information Systems, and Tracy Manly, MAcc program director, Walker submitted her application and was offered a position as a graduate assistant.

Walker says her experience in the MAcc program complemented her undergraduate work. “This program goes into more of the theoretical side of the profession — things like valuing companies, fraud and loss — which I liked.” She also appreciated the program’s flexibility. Students take four core courses and select electives to round out the degree requirements. “You can pick and choose what you want to do,” she says, “and I was able to dabble in areas like international business and finance.”

As Walker completed her coursework in the program, she began studying for the CPA exams. She took the first exam two weeks after graduation and the remaining three over the next several months. “I passed all four the first time,” she says. “The MAcc program covered a lot of gaps that I didn’t realize I had in my undergraduate degree.”

In her role as an auditor at Grant Thornton, Walker works with companies that span sectors including oil and gas and manufacturing. She describes the firm’s culture as accepting, fun and laid back. “Everyone is a people person, and that reflects the firm,” she says. “We’re very much people-first accountants.”

Though she only attended TU for a year, Walker says she felt completely integrated into the university’s community. “It felt like a family,” she says. “And I loved the faculty. Overall, I enjoyed the program and it worked well for me. It’s a great fit for someone who wants to earn a graduate degree and go to work pretty quickly.”