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Essay for Masters of Accounting Program


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Jan 30, 2010, 11:15pm   #
Im applying to a Masters of Accounting program, and need some advice on my personal statement. I spoke with one person in the admissions office and he mentioned that one of the key things they are looking for is leadership, so I included some of this from my last job, although there is more I could mention with this, but I dont want the essay to get too long. Also, my undergrad GPA was not great, although I earned an A+ in the prerequisite classes Ive taken so far (I didnt major in accounting), and scored a 690 on the GMAT...should I address/mention any of these? Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!


I recently I decided that it was time for me to change my life. I had worked in a job that offered very little room for advancement for a few years, and it had become clear it was time for a new challenge. I decided to reinvent myself, and that is why I am applying to the Masters of Accounting program at (School).

I spent six years working at (Local TV Station), where I was a video editor on the morning newscast. My duties involved getting things organized before the other editors arrived, and then divvying out responsibilities in order to make sure we had all video cut by the start of the newscast. During times of breaking news or continuous coverage, organization became even more crucial, as new video was constantly coming in. Also during my time there, we switched from tape- to file-based playback, and I found myself taking the lead in helping those that were not as tech savvy to catch up with using computers to edit video.

When I began searching for my new challenge, accounting jumped out at me as the obvious direction to take. I have admittedly never worked in the field, but I have always been intrigued by it. I've always kept very detailed records of all my finances, as well as books tracking the details of sales made when I regularly sold items on eBay. Record keeping and tracking money have always been a bit of a passion of mine, and accounting would allow me to apply that in a professional field.

I began taking the MAC program prerequisites this past fall, and have found that I made the right choice in returning to school. I feel like I have finally found my ambition, and I am working harder than ever before to accomplish my goals. I've uncovered that passionate desire for learning that I never really had as an undergrad, and it is driving me to succeed. The instructors that I have in these classes have all been incredible in presenting great lectures that make the material interesting, as well as being readily available outside of class, and I hope to get the chance to learn from them in graduate classes. I'm also planning to join Beta Alpha Psi and the Accounting Society, and I believe both will help me in networking with other students and professionals in the field.

My long-term goal is to become a CPA and pursue a career in a public accounting firm. I believe that the MAC program at (School) offers me the best opportunity to obtain the knowledge and tools that I need in order to reach this goal. I fully believe that the knowledge I have already gained in my prerequisite courses and through life, as well as my new desire for accomplishment make me a qualified candidate for the Masters of Accounting program.

I had worked at a job that offered very little room for advancement for a few years, before it became clear to me that it was time for a new challenge. I changed your sentence a little bit to make it flow better.

Also during my time there, we switched from tape to file-based playback, and I found...

I've uncovered a passionate desire for learning that I never really had as an undergrad,...

... in my prerequisite courses and throughout my life, as well as my...

I think you should definitely include at least your A+ in the prerequisite classes!

Good luck in school!
;^)
Feb 1, 2010, 05:03pm   #
WolfAcct

Hello,

It is, indeed, important to make a case for your leadership skills, especially when you are applying to programs that relate to the business world (as opposed to those focusing on liberal arts). In the content *and in the very composition* of your essay, it is crucial that you demonstrate sharp thinking, clear communication, the ability to distill and present information in a compelling and effective manner, and the capacity to bring your unique strengths to executing tasks and projects.

In general, I would recommend that you avoid listing grades and scores in any admissions essay -- unless explicitly requested by the essay prompt. Keep in mind that you are submitting an entire application, here. The admissions committee can look elsewhere to find a detailed account of your grades and scores. The essay, meanwhile, is your golden opportunity to showcase aspects of yourself that have not been communicated in any other part of the application.

Below are my suggestions -- and please keep in mind that writing is ultimately a subjective process, -- on the different sections of your essay:

You write, "I recently I decided that it was time for me to change my life. I had worked in a job that offered very little room for advancement for a few years, and it had become clear it was time for a new challenge. I decided to reinvent myself, and that is why I am applying to the Masters of Accounting program at (School)."

What made you change your mind? After a few years had passed, what sparked the actual change? You can also get much more specific with this. You wanted to reinvent yourself. This decision could have led to any number of actions/changes. Why graduate school? Why accounting? What are you looking to accomplish? Perhaps these musings would work best later on in the essay, after you have established a clear and specific portrait of yourself and your goals.

You write, "I spent six years working at (Local TV Station), where I was a video editor on the morning newscast. My duties involved getting things organized before the other editors arrived, and then divvying out responsibilities in order to make sure we had all video cut by the start of the newscast. During times of breaking news or continuous coverage, organization became even more crucial, as new video was constantly coming in. Also during my time there, we switched from tape- to file-based playback, and I found myself taking the lead in helping those that were not as tech savvy to catch up with using computers to edit video."

This is all to say... what? You have great credentials and an engaging story. Ask the tough questions, though, to bring your work to the next level. This sounds like exposition. It is an account of what happened, how A led to B, and what that involved. What would make this a lot more dynamic is *your* point of view. What did you learn? How well did you perform in this role? What frustrated you? What were your strengths? How did you overcome obstacles? How did this shape you to become the person you are today? Why are you including this information in the essay? How does is work to support your overarching thesis?

You write: "When I began searching for my new challenge, accounting jumped out at me as the obvious direction to take. I have admittedly never worked in the field, but I have always been intrigued by it. I've always kept very detailed records of all my finances, as well as books tracking the details of sales made when I regularly sold items on eBay. Record keeping and tracking money have always been a bit of a passion of mine, and accounting would allow me to apply that in a professional field."

This sounds very random. The reality is that you have no experience in the field. Okay. Let's work with that! Rather than jumping from video editing work to accounting without much of an explanation, explore the interface between the two. How are they connected? What prompted you to sell things on eBay? Beyond personal finances, how has accounting entered into your life and pursuits thus far? What is it about accounting that you like so much?

You write: "I began taking the MAC program prerequisites this past fall, and have found that I made the right choice in returning to school. I feel like I have finally found my ambition, and I am working harder than ever before to accomplish my goals. I've uncovered that passionate desire for learning that I never really had as an undergrad, and it is driving me to succeed. The instructors that I have in these classes have all been incredible in presenting great lectures that make the material interesting, as well as being readily available outside of class, and I hope to get the chance to learn from them in graduate classes. I'm also planning to join Beta Alpha Psi and the Accounting Society, and I believe both will help me in networking with other students and professionals in the field."

What, exactly, is interesting about this work? It is nice that your professors are passionate, but what is at the core of your drive to succeed in this field? Why this and not any other field?

You write: "My long-term goal is to become a CPA and pursue a career in a public accounting firm. I believe that the MAC program at (School) offers me the best opportunity to obtain the knowledge and tools that I need in order to reach this goal. I fully believe that the knowledge I have already gained in my prerequisite courses and through life, as well as my new desire for accomplishment make me a qualified candidate for the Masters of Accounting program."

Great. Establish this sooner in the essay. Once we understand what your concrete goal is, we can better understand how each piece of the essay works to support the achievement of this goal. Connect the dots for the reader -- it not only makes for a more cohesive essay; it also demonstrates the organization and clarity of your analytic abilities.

Hope this helps. Best of luck with this difficult but rewarding admissions process! Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,
Brooke
IvyEyes Editor
www.ivyeyesediting.com



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