by Kylie Gibbs, marketing intern, Mike Cottrell College of Business
Name: Christine Paget
Degree & Graduation Year: BBA in Accounting, 2015
Title: Graduate student at Georgia State University
What is your role? What do you do in your role? I am a graduate student working on my Master of Taxation at Georgia State University while studying for the CPA exam. I am also a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Accounting Principles II at Georgia State University. As a student, I spend many hours reading and studying. In my role, as a GRA, I tutor students and assist the professor with alphabetizing and grading exams and class activities. I will be starting with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their Tax department in October 2016.
What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part about Graduate School is the intensity of what I am learning. I have always loved a good challenge, and I enjoy learning about the subject matter. As a GRA, my favorite part is watching light bulbs go off over my student’s heads. When I can find a way to present a complicated subject in a way that the students understand, it makes me feel good.
How did you get your position? Networking! I decided on Georgia State because I knew a lot about the Mtax program from other individuals who had been through it before. Networking with the admissions personnel helped open the door to be a GRA. As for PwC, I worked hard to make connections by utilizing the people I knew and the resources available to get my name out there.
What was the interview process like? Regarding PwC, the interview process when applying for a Big 4 job was a lot of fun, but it was also time and energy intensive. I’ve equated it to the “rush” process for joining Greek life. There are series of socials and interviews and as you pass each round, you get invited back for the next interview or social.
How do you feel like the Mike Cottrell College of Business prepared you for your career? The Mike Cottrell College of Business has so many opportunities for its students to prepare them for their career. I took advantage of every opportunity to be involved, build my resume and grow, regardless of how uncomfortable the growing experience may have been. As an Accounting major, I got involved in Beta Alpha Psi. I was a Cottrell Scholar. I connected with the faculty and most importantly my professors. I volunteered for speaking engagements when they came up and did community service with the BB&T Center for Ethical Business Leadership. All of these opportunities taught me how to network. They taught me not only how to speak with professionals, but how to be a professional. They gave me confidence for when I was interviewing with the Big 4 to be myself, and it all paid off.
What do you miss most about college? All of the free time! I had no idea how much free time I had in undergrad until I got to graduate school.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything in college, what would it be? Pay attention to all of your classes – not just for the purpose of doing well on the exams, but committing it to memory for use later. Even the classes I thought I would never use, I am using now for the CPA exam, teaching my students effectively, and for my Masters program.
What is the best advice you could give current college students? Go to class, learn from your professors, and take advantage of every opportunity available to you.