Poole Class of 2021 Spotlight: Matt Thomson
This spotlight series explores the relationships our graduating students have built during their time at Poole with their fellow classmates, faculty, advisors, career coaches, companies, partners or other people.
Matt Thomson, Jenkins MAC Program
A self-described nature-loving mountain man with a fascination for economics and self-improvement, North Carolina native Matt Thomson didn’t have to give much thought to where he would pursue his master of accounting degree.
“There was no option for me other than Jenkins! After working with professors like Scott Showalter as an undergraduate accounting student, I knew that the best possible education for me was going to come from NC State’s Jenkins MAC Program,” Thomson says. “Plus it helped that the accounting firm I work at – Carr, Riggs & Ingram – was in Raleigh and the school was just down the road.”
After graduating with his MAC degree this May, Thomson is excited about the opportunity to contribute to a growing accounting industry.
“The accounting industry is complicated and requires critical thinkers, but if I can do it, then I am certain anyone can,” Thomson jokes. “Plus, the accounting industry – and all the future accountants I am graduating with – isn’t full of the stereotypical lifeless calculators that many movies portray us as. It is certainly a lively crowd of vibrant thinkers who are just looking to help make the business world make a little more financial sense.”
Thomson credits his ability to contribute to the accounting industry to Poole professors who went above and beyond to invest in him not only professionally but personally.
I will definitely remember the late-night Zoom calls with Nathan Goldman and Scott Showalter. On Wednesday nights, both semesters, I was in their Zoom calls – sometimes all by my lonesome – where I could go at my own pace and ask personal questions, however far ahead they may be in the curriculum or however off-topic I could get them.
“I will definitely remember the late-night Zoom calls with Nathan Goldman and Scott Showalter. On Wednesday nights, both semesters, I was in their Zoom calls – sometimes all by my lonesome – where I could go at my own pace and ask personal questions, however far ahead they may be in the curriculum or however off-topic I could get them,” Thomson says. “I learned a ton about both professors during these late-night chats and it synchronized with my busy tax season work schedule amazingly.”
The personal relationships students can develop with their professors is a hallmark of the Jenkins MAC Program, Thomson says – and something that sets the program apart.
“I know Dr. Goldman just recently had a newborn baby so it was a blessing to be able to be his student but also have a relationship where I could talk to him about his personal life and be more of a normal person than simply a student to a teacher,” Thomson says. “It was also amazing when at the end of the semester and I made a 100 on his final exam, he messaged me personally to congratulate me and tell me it was a pleasure for him to have worked with me and educated me this semester. It was a proud moment that I still remember every day and use for motivation to strive for greatness.”
“As for Professor Showalter, it was definitely fun getting to pick on and tease each other during the late nights of stress,” he continues. “I know there were more times than one where I would log on and have a look of dread from some new complicated tax return and he never failed to crack a joke and brighten my evening before having to dive back into it. All of the professors in the MAC program, specifically these two for me, are the defining feature of this entire organization. They made learning enjoyable, simple and really pulled the best from their students by setting high expectations and being worthy of that effort.”