Poole Graduation Spotlight: Mark Chun
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from NC State, Mark Chun worked full-time as an accountant for two years before making the decision to return to the Jenkins MAC Program for his graduate degree to invest in his future.
“My work experience solidified my passion for accounting and expanded my interest beyond the classroom,” Chun says. “But as I considered how to progress in my career, I knew that I needed to further my studies. The decision to go back to NC State was an easy one.”
Chun will graduate this May from the Poole College of Management with a master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in IT. After graduation, he will complete his CPA exams and then begin his position at KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms.
“I’m extremely excited to have another degree under my belt and a job offer from a Big Four accounting firm,” Chun says.
While Chun has come to the finish line, completing his degree was not without challenges.
“Although I knew my program would be a great investment in my future, I also knew that it would require a lot of time and effort. Plus, it was an adjustment to adapt back to the student lifestyle,” Chun says. “But all the faculty in the program have been incredibly helpful and supportive.”
And for Chun, embracing challenges is not a new part of his academic journey. As an undergraduate, Chun came to a fork in the road when he got his first C in his introductory accounting course.
“I originally chose to study accounting because I was good at math. But at that point, I quickly realized that math is only a fraction of what accounting actually is,” Chun says. “I think the normal response would have been to change my major, but for some reason, I really wanted to take on this challenge. And I’m really glad I did. There’s something oddly satisfying about the feeling of finally understanding a concept after hours of pulling your hair out.”
While completing the MAC program, Chun had the opportunity to participate in a summer class in Prague. “This was one of my highlights during the program,” Chun says. “There aren’t many opportunities in your life to have these types of experiences, especially after you graduate. It’s so important to take advantage of everything that NC State offers.”
As Chun prepares for post-graduate life, he looks back at some of the invaluable lessons he learned in his time at NC State.
“One of the biggest lessons I learned is to just breathe. There will be seasons of endless deadlines and the realization that there aren’t enough hours in the day,” Chun says. “It took time for me to realize that it will pass over. Having this mentality and a positive mindset has served me well in the MAC program and will continue to in my future career.”