Have MAC, Will Travel
Never ones to turn down an adventure, Danielle and Cody Leach, who graduated from the Jenkins masters of accounting (MAC) program at NC State in 2014, have put their accounting degrees to work across the world.
The couple laughs that they are one of five couples in their class who met and later married through the MAC program. “We joke that the program is also a matchmaking service,” Cody says.
But their time at Jenkins provided them with much more than just a life partner – it also gave them experience, connections and skills that they’ve been able to apply professionally.
After graduating from the Jenkins MAC program, Cody took a position at KPMG in Silicon Valley while Danielle joined the Raleigh office of PwC. However, it wasn’t long before they were ready to go on a new adventure – this time together, and on the other side of the world.
“My manager and mentor at PwC did a rotation in New Zealand and spoke so highly of the experience,” Danielle says. “We couldn’t figure out a way to make the timing work with either of our companies, so we decided to just try on our own.”
The two learned it was relatively easy for accountants to receive working holiday visas for the Commonwealth of Nations where their professional accreditation is recognized in places like Australia, Canada, UK, South Africa and – yes – New Zealand.
The couple headed overseas in June 2019. Danielle took a contract position as a senior accountant with the global telecommunications company MNF group. Her next contract was with the country’s Ministry of Justice, where she currently has a position as a finance business partner overseeing accounting of some of the group’s business units.
As for Cody, he took a position as a senior financial analyst with the Wellington City Council before launching Quesin Consulting, where he serves as an accounting and finance process consultant.
“I love doing accounting consulting and it’s something I hope to continue when we head back to the United States,” Cody says.
As for when the two will make their way back to their home country, it’s still undecided.
“It honestly changes by the day,” Cody laughs. “Our work visas will expire in September, so we may head back then, or we might decide to travel around New Zealand some more.”
Either way, Danielle says, their time with the Jenkins MAC program will serve them well.
“We were able to develop a great network of connections while going through the program,” she says, “And I’m grateful for the practical lessons I took away from my time with the MAC program – because it’s information that I am able to use everyday in the workplace.”
This story is the sixth in our “Life After MAC” series. All Jenkins MAC alumni are encouraged to share their stories with us. If interested, email, Andrea Young. All stories in the series can be found on our alumni website.