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November 27, 2017 |
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GGU Helped Me Get Hired by a “Big Four” Accounting Firm in San Francisco

Golden Gate University is different than my undergrad school, UC Berkeley. Cal has definitely helped me build my fundamental foundation in learning and thinking, while the Master of Accountancy program at GGU taught real-world skills.

By Noah Lee, Master of Accountancy (’18)
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I was skeptical at first, because there is only so much you can mimic professional situations, right? However, as I began interviewing for internships at Big Four accounting firms (that include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), I could tailor my answers to show my grasp of what the job really entails. Getting the job as an audit intern at one of the Big Four companies was the most satisfying proof that I learned something relevant.

For example, we had to deliver a mock board presentation as part of a course called Communication and Analysis of Financial Information for Accountants. Professor Ric Jazaie gave us a mock budget and challenged us to answer the client’s question: What should we do; and why are our numbers the way they are? Up front, we had to learn the textbook terms that you might find in an academic class and go right to applying them.

I took inspiration from Prof. Jazaie, who knows what the skills employers are looking for in the accounting field.

Prof. Jazaie gave us barely enough instructions for the presentations, which was slightly unnerving. Aggregating all the broad ideas he gave us and having to narrow it down was our task. We had to decide what we wanted to portray to our audience—and be ready to say why. The reasoning for the assignment is that you may not get all of what you need or get something ambiguous from a client. In the same way, traditional school is different than a business setting where you must eventually succeed.

Prof. Jazaie asked us questions after the presentation that he did not give us in advance. He has a lot of experience giving presentations in court and in front of clients. He wanted to make us feel like we didn’t know what to expect and it brought out the best in us.  Because he threw us into high-pressure moments, we just got used to it.

What did we learn in the Communication and Analysis of Financial Information course?

  • Differentiating what is presentation versus what is casual conversation
  • Critical thinking, which means deciding what is important from hundreds of facts
  • When questioned, coming up with a reasonable explanation without overreaching
  • Having a story to tell rather than just a report of findings, which means linking company strategy to financial statements

I took inspiration from Prof. Jazaie, who knows what the skills employers are looking for in the accounting field. He really opened my eyes to the profession and inspired me when he said that as an accountant, “what you are doing is really impacting the company.” That was great to hear.

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At the next  F-1 Immigration Regulation Focused Session, held on Monday June 14  at 12 noon PT, well discuss on campus employment, on campus employment due to severe economic hardship, CPT, OPT, and STEM OPT. Please join us on Zoom! Meeting ID: 978 7756 2460. Passcode: GGUINT.  💻

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Congrats to Undergraduate Student Award Winner Andres Quintero, BS Data Analytics, '21! 🎓 🎉

“One of the things I loved the most was all the hands-on projects. We were taught theory but were given a lot of real-world projects and the professors all come from professional experience.

In our social media analytics class, we used R and all the data the professor provided was real-world and from a business standpoint. In my machine learning class we learned Python and practiced on real-world data sets from hotel reviews, Yelp, or Airbnb.

There were times when working full time and going to school full time was really hard. One day I spent 23 hours awake doing my work! My wife was really amazing supporting me. I treated GGU as if it was a professional job with work deadlines, and I treated each professor as if they were my manager. That really helped me as well. The teachers were great at supporting me and the material made it really easy to do online. All of that together really contributed to my success.

Right now I am looking at opportunities to pursue my master’s so that eventually I can become a machine learning engineer. I was never really a student in my past, but my experience at GGU helped me to change that and I’m really grateful."
... See MoreSee Less

Congrats to Undergraduate Student Award Winner Andres Quintero,  BS Data Analytics, 21! 🎓 🎉

“One of the things I loved the most was all the hands-on projects. We were taught theory but were given a lot of real-world projects and the professors all come from professional experience.

In our social media analytics class, we used R and all the data the professor provided was real-world and from a business standpoint. In my machine learning class we learned Python and practiced on real-world data sets from hotel reviews, Yelp, or Airbnb.

There were times when working full time and going to school full time was really hard. One day I spent 23 hours awake doing my work! My wife was really amazing supporting me. I treated GGU as if it was a professional job with work deadlines, and I treated each professor as if they were my manager. That really helped me as well. The teachers were great at supporting me and the material made it really easy to do online. All of that together really contributed to my success.

Right now I am looking at opportunities to pursue my master’s so that eventually I can become a machine learning engineer. I was never really a student in my past, but my experience at GGU helped me to change that and I’m really grateful.

Congrats, Cathryn!Congratulations to my daughter Cathryn for earning her Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology and graduating from Golden Gate University with Highest Honors. What an incredible achievement at 24, or any age for that matter. An achievement that came from hard work, diligence, and a persistent work ethic. I am so proud of you! God bless you! <3 ... See MoreSee Less

Congrats, Cathryn!
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