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Essay for MS Program

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply
SrivastavaRicha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
06 Nov 2011
7 messages

Essay for MS Program

Post Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:07 pm
[size=9]Hi All

I plan to apply to a MS in Accounting Program this summer. Would really be helpful if I get critical comments on this admissions essay I have written!

State your short and long term career objectives. In relation to these, why do you wish to earn a UIC LGSB degree, particularly at this point in your career?

[size=Normal][size=18]“While we cannot direct the winds, we can adjust the sails”

The above saying never stops encouraging me and it is especially relevant at this point in my career. Even after getting hold of one of the most prestigious accounting designations in India and utilizing the in depth knowledge of varied subjects I learnt during the course to practical business situations, furthering my professional knowledge had always been at the back of my mind. When I moved to the US a few months back to join my spouse after marriage and I felt the time is appropriate for me to fulfill my plans of studying further. The Windy City is much more than just a brutally cold city (although my first winter in the city this year has been rather disappointing). It’s a city that is increasingly becoming a hub of financial and economic activity and also has some of the best institutions offering excellent graduate courses in business. The University of Illinois at Chicago Liautaud Graduate School of Business is certainly one of them. Taking everything into account acquiring a Graduate Degree in Accounting is an optimal career decision for me.

“When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”

A Master’s Degree in Accounting is the next logical step for me for career advancement at present. My short term career goals include earning a Graduate Degree in Accounting and attaining a Certified Public Accounting designation. A graduate degree in Accounting will not only help me to widen my academic knowledge but also help me prepare for the CPA Examination.
The Graduates of the UIC LGSB’s MS in Accounting Program are ranked high in passing all the parts of the CPA Exam in the US as per NASBA. I am convinced that being a part of such a program will be of great assistance in preparing for the CPA Exams. As an experienced Chartered Accountant from India I feel accountants tend to remain insulated from what goes on outside their countries’ borders. While I am proficient with Indian Accounting Standards and GAAPs, Auditing Standards and procedures and The Indian Income Tax Act, the convergence of accounting standards with IFRS is the latest drift in the Accounting industry. This convergence which is aimed at a single set of high-quality, international accounting standards that companies worldwide would use for both domestic and cross-border financial reporting requires a globally recognized credential like a CPA. I am absolutely certain that undergoing the CPA course will go a long way in strengthening my knowledge of similarities and differences between the Indian Accounting Standards, the US GAAPs and the International Accounting Standards. An exhaustive US specific knowledge of Accounting practices, Business Law and Taxation will facilitate my plans of further professional growth.

I also plan to secure an internship position with one of the Big Four Accounting firms while undergoing the Graduate Program at UIC LGSB. The overall work- environment and training opportunities that a Big Four firm offers are unparalleled. The duration I spent working at one of the Big Four Firms has been the most intellectually stimulating and exciting part of my career. Most of the projects I worked upon were challenging global projects, not to mention the sheer diversity of people I got to meet and networked with. I aim to replicate this experience during my internship.
The above short term career objectives are interrelated with my long term career objective of starting an independent professional services firm specializing in Risk and Compliance services. After undergoing practical training for almost three years during internship for Chartered Accountancy in India I witnessed widespread application of Accounting and Internal Control procedures. My first year of work experience in the industry with a premier distressed assets management company in India gave me a further chance to develop an understanding of the application of internal control principles. The next one year of work experience with the Forensic Investigation division (in the Risk and Compliance division) of a Big Four firm proved effective in intensifying my interest in this particular area of services. I had the opportunity to be a team member on several global investigations for clients from a catalogue of industries. Several of these investigations constituted corporate scandals and corruption scams which were highly publicized in the media both in India and the world over. Working on such wide ranging projects helped me to appreciate the importance of customized risk management and internal audit solutions for various industries operating in a fluctuating financial environment.

Taking into account my interest and work experience in fraud risk and compliance services, I want to enlarge my practical experience in the above mentioned area and eventually attain sufficient expertise to handle enterprise level risk assessment strategies, internal audit and fraud risk assessment services.

A Graduate degree from the UIC LGSB will not only boost my immediate career plans but will also advance me towards my long term goals. I am confident that during my term at UIC LGSB not only will I enhance my own professional skills, but also add value to the course by sharing my own work experiences in the indu


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Post Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:47 am
Hello good sir,
Instead of us answering you here, it's better if you drop us a line. You can send us this essay:

and we can have a look at it as a part of our free consultation.

Jon Frank
Harvard MBA, 2005
Founder and CEO, Admissionado

Check out our packages: http://bit.ly/1SyngNR
Read our success stories: http://bit.ly/1qohrfA

my700gmatjourney Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
20 Jun 2016
5 messages
Post Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:14 am

I have attended both UIC and DePaul for my MSA. I started at UIC and after 1 semester RAN away and transferred to DePaul. Prior to my enrollment, I did my research, and read all that was available on all forums. I decided to go to UIC. This was the biggest mistake ever. UIC's entire graduate business program (MSA, MIS MBA, etc.) is a joke. I had 4 years of full time work experience in Finance before I decided to obtain my MSA. UIC makes it look like they have a competitive program, with great faculty, and "fabulous" employers coming to their career fairs. LIES LIES LIES !!! Below I will explain very "informally" my experience in UIC's MSA program in 2015.

1. Affordability:
Yes, UIC is cheaper than DePaul, but are you going to graduate school to save money or gain knowledge and branding that will make you money for the rest of your life? To anyone who falls for "UIC is cheaper" ... it is MUCH cheaper in the level of education provided and cheaper in the opportunities you will have after you graduate.

2. UIC's career services:
It is horrible. People who work there do not give a damn about your career as many of them are students who work to get tuition money, and put zero effort into their jobs. They are not held accountable for their work. Your complaints will fall right through the cracks. Your emails and phone calls will NOT be returned the majority of the time. Don't forget it is a PUBLIC school and its administration operates just like the DMV. Everyone working there acts as if they are doing you a favor. I swear, once I was given information about a career fair from 2013, yet this was January 2015. Can you imagine if I did not question it? I would have shown up on the wrong day. The person who gave me this information clearly had no clue, and he/she did not care. I mean, come on people, this is your career on the line. This is a public institution, and it is very hard to "terminate" people who don't want to perform. But the only one who suffers is ... YOU !

The "Student Outreach Manager for accounting students in the Business Career Center" (I will not post her name here) is someone who lacks ANY real experience in finance or accounting yet this is straight from UIC's website (check for yourself).

"She works closely with undergraduate and graduate students and assists in the preparation of internship and full time opportunities. She is happy to meet with students to review their resumes, assist with mock interviews, and conduct workshops to prepare qualified candidates for success".

This "Student Outreach Manager in the Bussiness Career Center" HAS NOT held a job in a real and competitive business environment, but she is suppose to teach you how to interview or conduct workshops? I mean seriously? Shouldn't you be prepared by someone who has a great deal of hiring experience? Someone who actually worked in Human Resources or Talent Acquisition and performed hundreds of interviews? This is just a facade! On numerous occasions, she failed to return my calls or my emails. Also, because UIC is a public school, you are able to see what everyone employed there gets paid (it's yout tax money). While making a decision between UIC and DePaul, check out what these "Managers" who are suppose to "prep" you for success make, and a red flag will go right off. Someone who is making $15,000 less than a STARTING new employee at the Big 4 is going to help you figure out a way to "success," really? Maybe it's just me, but quite frankly, I think that UIC should hire someone with at LEAST 10 years of hiring experiences in Finance or Accounting to conduct these "mock interviews and workshops," which are all VERY important in optimizing your chances of success. Now mind you, this is the same person who is suppose to "advise" UIC's MBA students who should have at least a few years of professional experience prior to their enrollment. 9 out of 10 MBA students will have far better experience in interviewing for finance jobs than that "Career Center Manager". So ask yourself "WHATS THE POINT?"

3. Professors:
The majority of their faculty is horrendous! Look up Michael Kirschenheiter (he is "sort of" in charge of their Accounting program). Try to find his syllabus online. In HIS syllabus he explains that your Midterm Exam grade will depend on your Final Exam grade? What? He tells you that you don't need a book. He tells you that you will submit "cases," yet they will not be graded based on their correctness. As long as you submit ANYTHING you get full credit; he does NOT grade them, and he does NOT check them! He uses the very same cases from the 90's in all of his accounting classes across all levels because he does not feel like doing anything to prep for his class. His blackboard website is a mess. There is stuff on it from the past 20 years. I am not kidding. He puts ZERO effort into his class; he has been teaching for many many years, and it is clear that he is just collecting a paycheck (your tuition money). Overall, the level of teaching is poor. Employers know that. I feel bad for a couple of the teachers who DO care, but they are over shadowed by the rest of the "bad apples". Again, this is your career, and you should demand the highest quality of teaching you can get for the money.

4. Employers:
UIC claims to have some of the best employers come and hire their graduates. They post all the logos of PwC, Northern Trust, etc. The problem is that while some of these employers HAVE shown up in the past, they ONLY recruit a couple of people. I was told by one of the Big 4 recruiters that they have sort of "hiring goals" where they will hire 2-3 people out of UIC. But then they will hire 10-20 out of DePaul, and more from University of Illinois or Notre Dame (obviously). Hope you get the point. Are you going to graduate school to optimize your chances of starting a great career or are you going to put in all this work, and spend that much money, to have very little exposure (if any) to good employers?
If you could see the list of employers that come and hire on any given year, you would see that large majority of the firms are just "nothing to write home about". UIC's career services should not allow employers like TCF Bank or Verizon Wireless to come and hire at all. Why in the world would anyone want to become a Teller or Personal Banker, or a cell phone sales associate after receiving their graduate degree? These seriously are the types of companies that will "recruit you". Again, YES there are a few well-known firms, but they only HIRE a few of the students, IF ANY!!! If you compare the list of potential employers at UIC to the ones at DePaul, you will be amazed by the significant difference in branding.

5. Students:
I honestly can say that there is a huge difference in the attitude of students at UIC and DePaul. First and foremost, I am only GENERALIZING this part because naturally there are serious students at both schools. In my opinion the majority of students at UIC are not as mature or serious about their studies and their careers as are those at DePaul. Perhaps this is due to the different levels of requirements imposed by the admissions office. For example, at UIC ANYTHING over 500 on your GMAT will get you in. While the GMAT score might not predict your success in life, it is a way for higher institutions to optimize their chances of admitting students who are willing to commit a great deal of time and effort to achieve great results in school and in their career. I saw A LOT of people at UIC who slacked, did the bare minimum, and did not really care. In my opinion, it is important that you associate yourself with others who want to achieve more in life- just my opinion on the student body at UIC.

At DePaul, PwC, KPMG, EY, Deloitte, RSM (formerly McGladrey), hire a large number of students every year, all year long- Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring internships, full time positions, and across all areas. But that's just accounting. If

Now, after being exposed to all of these atrocities, I said "enough". I applied to DePaul, got accepted, received an $8,000 transfer scholarship, and I LEFT!!!

And you know what? It was the BEST decision that I made. I absolutely cannot explain how DIFFERENT DePaul's graduate program is. The professors, students, the career services, buildings, etc. are different. At DePaul, I actually felt like a graduate student! YES DePaul is more expensive, but you get ALL of your money back in the quality of education you receive and the quality of the JOB OPPORTUNITIES presented to you when your are done. DePaul has a fabulous career center website called Handshake. It is a platform where you will create your profile (it's quite nice), and you will be able to apply for jobs with a couple of clicks. The jobs, internships, interview schedules, etc. are updated daily!!! Employers (real employers and not TCF Bank) will be able to see your profile and reach out to you. It has happened to me many many times. The first career fair at DePaul, led me to a full time job offer with one of the Big 4 and I still had a year left. It was fantastic. There is a reason why DePaul is MUCH MUCH MUCH more known in Chicago for business than UIC. Now you can go and fight the system and take your chances at UIC, but if you are going to graduate school for Accounting and you REALLY want to put your time and money to good use ... do yourself a huge favor and go to DePaul for your MSA. You will NOT regret it! You and I can't change it, so again, in my opinion, don't make it harder on yourself in this already hard economy. Pay a little more for DePaul's MSA or MBA and get a lifetime of A LOT MORE money and a lot better opportunities!

Clearly you can tell I am quite upset with UIC, but such a poor level of education should NOT be offered to anyone. Your chances of taking you career to the next level are MUCH higher at DePaul than UIC. It is your money, your time, your effort, and your sacrifice. You decide whether you want HIGH chances of success or low chances of success. That is all that I want to say here, and I will post this in other forums because I remember how important it was to get as much of real info on these two programs as possible. People should know what the reality at UIC is. They pay for it with their hard earned money.

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