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Poole Graduation Spotlight: Randawnique Coakley

When Randawnique Coakley graduates in May with her master’s of accounting (MAC) degree with a concentration in enterprise risk management, she’ll be one of the few students at the Poole College of Management Jenkins MAC program to have passed all sections of her Certified Public Accounting (CPA) and Certified Managerial Accounting (CMA) exams — before even beginning the program.  

“I sat for all parts of the CPA exam during my final semester of undergrad, and I sat for both parts of the CMA exam within a month shortly after graduation,” Coakley says. “I am proud that I completed the exams in a short time frame while working part-time and completing classes since it required a lot of discipline and time management skills on my part.”

While it was a challenge, Coakley believes there were many benefits to completing these exams before starting the graduate program. “I was able to help my fellow classmates when they had concerns or questions regarding the exams by sharing my experience and giving advice when needed. Also, since a great deal of the information that I learned and reviewed for those exams transferred over into my graduate courses, I utilized those concepts to help me with better understanding and studying the courses’ material,” she says.

Coakley was born and raised in the Bahamas and graduated from Saint Leo University in Florida with a bachelor’s in accounting and economics last spring. She learned about NC State from her accounting professor, who was also the faculty advisor for her accounting club. 

After learning more about the professors, courses and concentrations available, and the great track record for job placement, she knew it was the next step.

NC State’s MAC program gives students the opportunity to concentrate, and I choose to concentrate in enterprise risk management (ERM) because it would enable me to learn about various concepts in the risk management field, such as data analytics and identifying and addressing various risks that can affect an organization’s ability to achieve its goals and strategies,” Coakley says.

While at NC State, she worked as a Connect TA (teaching assistant) and tutor. It was rewarding, she says, to have the opportunity to explain various accounting concepts and problems that they may have been struggling to grasp from their classes. She also learned the importance of working in teams, especially in the accounting field. “Since the MAC program pushes students to work in different teams for various assignments and projects in nearly all of the courses, the program showcased the value of working in a team and the importance of overcoming the challenges you may face with certain team dynamics in order to accomplish the desired goal,” Coakley says.

All skills, she believes, she’ll be able to utilize as she enters into the next season of life as she heads to Atlanta to start a full-time position as an audit associate at Big Four firm Deloitte. “Through this experience, I enhanced my skills related to teamwork, and I am definitely prepared for my professional career after graduation.”

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