Student Spotlight: Marni Heiten, MSA ’21
Q: Where did you attend college prior to entering Isenberg’s MSA program and what did you study? Are there other aspects of your undergraduate experience that relates to your choice of the MSA?
A: Prior to entering Isenberg’s MSA program, I attended UMass Amherst where I studied accounting in the Isenberg School of Management. Within the undergraduate accounting program, we are presented with a variety of different career and degree paths, one of which is continuing your education through the MSA program. Personally, I completed my undergraduate degree in three and a half years and started my MSA coursework in the spring of my fourth year. With admission in fall, spring and summer sessions, the MSA program at Isenberg is flexible and allows you to work through the degree at your own rate.
Q: What did you hope the MSA degree would help you accomplish? What is your biggest goal in pursuing the degree?
A: I decided to pursue my MSA degree to complete my 150 credits in order to be eligible for the CPA exam. However, this program has given me more than the credits to be able to sit for my exam. This program has allowed me to explore different parts of the accounting field that I would not have had exposure to if I did not choose to enroll in Isenberg’s program. I worked with professors that I had during my undergraduate coursework, new professors in the department and professionals in the field. The faculty and staff have truly made an impact on my education and I know that they will continue to act as resources for me throughout my career.
Q: What was has been your path to securing an internship or full-time employment at PwC? How did the Chase Career Center help you along the way?
A: During my second semester junior year, I participated in the Semester in the Profession Program (SIPP). During this semester I had the opportunity to work in a professional setting while staying on track to graduate. The internship is typically ten weeks long and in the last few weeks of the semester I took two accelerated classes earning a total of 15 credits. Isenberg is one of the only schools in Massachusetts that gives their students this opportunity. The Chase Career Center made the interview process seamless from the preparation stage to accepting my offer. I was able to set up my preparation sessions and interview times through the Chase Career Center which made the process much less stressful. The Chase Career Center has strong relationships with many firms and companies and the students have access to this large network which sets us up for success.
Q: How do you think your Isenberg experience will benefit you professionally?
A: Isenberg has made a significant impact on my life both personally and professionally. I have fostered relationships with peers, faculty, and staff that I know will carry beyond the classroom. Isenberg breeds stand out students. I have learned skills that are unteachable in a typical classroom setting ranging from interview skills to how to network in a global pandemic. Isenberg drives its students to become the best versions of themselves. We stand out in a room of opportunity. Isenberg is not just a school, but it is a place where students are able to become their authentic selves and learn skills that we will carry with us throughout our lives.
Q: What is your top job searching/networking tip for current accounting students, either undergraduates or MSA students?
A: My top job searching/networking tip for current accounting students is be yourself. While this may seem simple, it is easy to lose sight of this. It is easy to get caught up in the preparation stages, but when it comes to networking and the interview process, remind yourself that the interviewers, partners, associates, etc. want to get to know YOU. Show them who YOU are and why YOU deserve the position.
Q: What advice would you offer incoming MSA students, those who come from other backgrounds, to help them make the most of their time at Isenberg?
A: For incoming MSA students, be a sponge. Soak up all that you can whether that means going to office hours, setting up times to meet one on one with your professors, or attending the workshops offered. Although much of the coursework is online, utilize the resources that Isenberg makes available to us.