Choosing the accelerated MSA program

Q&A with Madeline Moynihan '20, '21G, M.S. Accounting
madeline moynihan

Madeline Moynihan earned her undergraduate degree in business administration with an accounting option at Paul College and decided to take advantage of the accelerated MSA program. Her goal: set herself apart from other potential job candidates and be better prepared for the CPA exam.

Tell us a bit about yourself, and why you wanted to get a graduate degree?

I attended UNH as an undergraduate and pursued my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, with an Accounting Option. One of my first business classes at UNH was Introduction to Financial Accounting, and I remember wanting to learn more about what many call the "language of business." The fundamental knowledge of accounting is a necessary skill that can be applied to any field within business, and this universality attracted me to explore potential careers in accounting. After completing several internships in public accounting between my junior and senior year, I knew I wanted to further master my accounting knowledge and set myself apart from other potential job candidates by obtaining a graduate degree. Additionally, I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in order to better prepare myself for the CPA exam.

Are you currently working, and where?

I will begin working at Baker Newman Noyes as a tax staff in June 2021 following my graduation of the MSA program. I completed two busy season tax internships as well as an audit internship at BNN and BerryDunn, respectively, during my undergraduate years at UNH. Both experiences were incredibly beneficial for my accounting education and career goals.

What are you hoping to learn to help you advance or pivot in your career?

In the UNH MSA program, I hoped to learn information and skills that would be useful towards obtaining my CPA license for my career in public accounting. Becoming a CPA is critical in public accounting, and the MSA program has certainly helped with my time management, academic knowledge, and self-discipline used in achieving this goal. I have passed two sections of the CPA exam during the MSA program, and I hope to pass the remaining two sections shortly after graduating.

Why did you choose UNH and Paul College to get your graduate degree?

I chose UNH and Paul College to get my graduate degree because I loved UNH as an undergraduate, and I wanted to obtain my master's degree in one year through the accelerated MSA program. UNH also has a great network of peers, professors, and professionals in the field of accounting.

Have you had a favorite class and/or professor, and what made them outstanding?

My favorite classes during the MSA program have been Advanced Business Law and Corporate Taxation, taught by John Colliander. These classes are incredibly relevant to my future career in public accounting as a tax professional. I have gained real-world insight into tax-related transactions, preparation of tax forms, and tax planning. I anticipate this knowledge will be useful in setting the foundation for my career.

Have you learned/discovered anything during your program that’s surprised you? If so, what and how do you think you will apply it professionally?

I was initially surprised at the breadth of accounting knowledge that I did not have from my undergraduate degree alone. The topics discussed in the MSA program are far more complex than the basics I had previously learned during my Bachelors degree, and each class has furthered my mastery of accounting as well as enhanced other professional and technical skills.

What do you consider to be the strengths of the program?

The strengths of the program are the professors and peers. I attribute much of my success to the support of my classmates and professors.