Gaining deeper accounting knowledge

Q&A with Megan Elwell '20, '21G, M.S. Accounting
megan elwell, Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)

Megan Elwell earned her bachelor's degree in business administration at Paul College, dual-optioning in accounting and finance. She decided to go directly into graduate school to gain a deeper knowledge of the field to be fully prepared to sit for the CPA exam.

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

I've always loved UNH, and knew early on it was the only university I would want to attend. I've grown up in the Seacoast area and knew I wanted to spend the next few years of my life here. I graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, dual-optioning in accounting and finance. As I've always enjoyed learning and bettering myself, graduate school was a no-brainer. I decided to pursue an MSA degree in order to gain more accounting knowledge, exposure, and have the ability to work with incredible professors and peers in the field.

Are you currently working, and where?

No, I am not currently working. I previously interned at Baker Newman Noyes in Manchester and Portsmouth, N.H., in audit during the summers of 2019 and 2020.

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

I hoping to learn more about complex accounting issues and transactions, becoming more knowledgable about the field when I start working this fall.

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

I chose UNH having grown up visiting the campus since several of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my parents attended UNH. I could not imagine going to study anywhere else. On top of the breath-taking campus, Peter T. Paul College is one of the top-ranking business schools in the country. I was also impressed with the structure of the Paul College, itself, from the classroom technology, breakout rooms, study spaces, and the courtyard areas.

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

While I have enjoyed most of my accounting courses and professors overall, there is one professor in particular I have had the strongest connection with. Professor Emily Xu taught my Intermediate Accounting I class my junior year and I have enjoyed learning from her ever since. I had the pleasure of working as a research assistant for her during my undergraduate program, as well as writing my Honors Thesis with Professor Xu as my advisor. I am also taking her class during final semester of the MSA program and am thoroughly enjoying it. She is always ready to help and enthusiastic about the subject matter. Her classes are always a joy to be in and she is one the best professors I have ever had the pleasure of taking a class with.

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?

Throughout this program, I have learned a lot about accounting that I had minimal exposure to during my undergraduate education and throughout my internships. This advanced knowledge has helped me directly when studying for the CPA exam, but will also help me further understand the accounting procedures I may complete during my career.

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

Strengths of the MSA program include: the outstanding professors, hardworking cohort and lasting friendships made, in-depth course curriculum, and accelerated nature of the program being able to complete it in only one year.

Anything else we might want to know?

I am set to start working as an Audit staff at Baker Newman Noyes (BNN) in the Portsmouth, N.H., office this fall.