Planning to become a CPA? It pays to research which M.S. in Accounting will best set you up for success. And if you’re already a CPA, but don’t yet have an MSA, going back to earn a master’s is one of the smartest decisions you can make to fortify your future. 

So let’s get right to it: You’re here because you’re interested in Siena’s MSA program. To give you a graduate’s perspective, we talked to Terence Holden, a manager at PwC in Boston who earned his undergraduate accounting degree at Siena in 2012, then his MSA at Siena in 2013.

Here’s what he says about his experience. 

What made you choose Siena's MSA program over others?

“Given the familiarity with the Siena community, including many of the professors, there was not even a question as to whether Siena was the right MSA program to pursue. Also, the MSA program at Siena provided me with the required 150 college credit hours required to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, and was designed to ensure that students who pursue the CPA exam are well prepared to pass the difficult exam.”

What was one of your favorite aspects of the program?

“The relationship I was able to build with Dr. Brearey was one of my favorite aspects of the Siena MSA program. I may not remember every lesson that I learned at Siena, but I will always remember the mentorship that Dr. Brearey provided to me. I graduated over 7 years ago, and Dr. Brearey still checks in on me to make sure that I am doing well both personally and professionally, and always provides me with great advice.”

Can you tell us about the rigor, the faculty, the courses?

“The courses within the MSA program were created specifically with the goal of preparing students to pass the CPA exam. The faculty within the program are all knowledgeable and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that students succeed. Lastly, a benefit of the MSA program is that credit hours can be attained by completing an internship, which provides a real world opportunity to apply the lessons learned through a Siena education.”

Why should a prospective student consider Siena's MSA?

“To me there are three reasons to consider the Siena MSA program. First, the faculty genuinely cares about the success of the students, and will go above and beyond to ensure that each and every student has a career path after graduation. Second, Siena directly prepared me to pass the CPA exam within six months of graduation, and third, Siena is well-known in the community, and a master’s degree from Siena will go a long way in the Capital Region.”

Did it have a major impact on your current position/career?

“After graduating, I began my career at PwC. PwC, like most other post graduate careers, provides job training to attain the skills necessary to be successful. However, through the undergraduate and graduate programs at Siena, I was able to learn crucial skills that have allowed me to be successful—including the ability to articulate and document clear and concise thoughts, the ability to think critically to solve problems, and the ability to always maintain an attitude of professional skepticism. All three skills are crucial to a successful career as an accounting professional.”

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