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MAC Class of 2018 Fellows Reflect on Their Experiences

As part of the admissions process for the NC State Jenkins MAC Program, candidates may also be considered for the Jenkins Graduate School’s merit-based MAC Fellowships. Accepted candidates may qualify for either a firm-sponsored or an academic fellowship. Those receiving a firm-sponsored fellowship also receive a job offer from the sponsoring firm.

Arnasha Jones and Nick Restuccia are among the 12 NC State Jenkins MAC students who were awarded fellowships to help support their academic studies in the 2017-18 academic year. Along with covering full tuition, the fellowship includes a graduate assistant position in the department of accounting

Restuccia, who received a firm-sponsored fellowship, will begin as an audit associate at Johnson Lambert in Vienna, Va., after graduating in May 2018.  Jones secured her job prior to the start of the Jenkins MAC Program. She will be working at Ernst & Young LLP in McLean, Va., as a tax staff accountant; tax was her concentration in the program.

Jones and Restuccia provided a few details about their experiences with the MAC Program.

Q: Why did you apply to the Jenkins MAC Program?

JONES: I applied to the MAC program at NC State because it is very prestigious and provides a challenge for all students going into the accounting profession – a challenge that I knew came with a reward. Also, I had attended NC State for my undergraduate studies, so I was very aware of the world class education that NC State offers its students.

RESTUCCIA: I applied to the Jenkins MAC Program because the curriculum interested me and the credit hours helped me to clear the 150-hour threshold required for sitting for the CPA exam. It also didn’t hurt that when I visited campus, I immediately felt comfortable and the admissions team was nothing short of spectacular.

Q: How have you benefited from your fellowship award?

JONES: Not only has the fellowship award allowed me to not worry about the financial burden that comes along with pursuing higher education, but it has also allowed me to gain additional experiences and resources. For example, as a part of my award, I work in the accounting tutorial center helping undergrad students with accounting questions they may have from class. I really enjoy being able to meet and help students.

RESTUCCIA: My fellowship enabled me to enroll at North Carolina State University. The moment I received the call that a fellowship (and job offer) had been extended to me has been one of the best moments of my life thus far. The motivation to work hard in classes, in preparation for the CPA exam, and in my future audit position stem directly from my fellowship award.

Q: What would you say to a future student curious about the fellowship program?

JONES: The fellowship program is an amazing award. It enables you to be successful. You will have the resources needed to stay focused on your coursework and excel.  

RESTUCCIA: Although you will be doing multiple interviews throughout the entire fellowship process, do your best to calm your nerves. In my opinion, recruiters are looking for personalities they think will benefit their firm culture in addition to exceptional skill sets. So, be confident, be professional and be yourself. The firm sponsored fellowship package speaks for itself: significant financial aid, a graduate assistant assignment, and a job offer (the main goal of any young aspiring accountant).

Q: Final remarks?

JONES: The NC State MAC Program has not only provided me with academics, but also the support outside of the classroom that has been instrumental to my present success. Continuing into graduate school and earning a Master’s in Accounting will allow me to jumpstart my career, and ultimately prepare me for one of my milestone goals, which is passing the CPA exam.  

RESTUCCIA: If you are fortunate enough to be invited to campus as a firm-sponsored fellow in March,  try to get to know some of the other fellows – your future classmates. This will ease the transition to meeting many new people when everybody begins the program in the fall, and will also calm your nerves as you prepare to network with professionals.

Note: Jones and Restuccia had responded to an email interview with Poole College communications; their responses were lightly edited for flow.