Kate Sanders graduated from Xavier with her Masters of Science in Accountancy. She is a guest writer for the Newswire from Cincinnati.
As some of you are just beginning or continuing your journey at Xavier, mine is coming to an end. After five and a half years, I’m graduating with my master’s degree in accounting. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in accounting from Xavier in 2018 and was fortunate enough to complete my master’s degree in only a year and a summer semester later.
My educational experience wasn’t exactly linear though (if having a “linear” education experience is even a thing). I didn’t discover my love for accounting, as nerdy as that sounds, until I was a second semester sophomore. Throughout my first few years at Xavier, I changed my major at least three times and I’ve definitely doubted myself along the way. Nevertheless, I pushed myself — well, dragged myself at some points — through five and a half years to get to where I am today.
As an undergrad, I went back and forth about whether or not getting my master’s right after graduation would be worth it. My friends and I spent a lot of our time talking about what sort of jobs we wanted and the places we wanted to live. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go straight into being an auditor or if staying and getting another degree was the right move for me.
By my senior year I was ready to be done with school and the idea of having more homework and more group projects was undesirable. I wanted to start my big kid job and make the big kid money. I wanted to get my own apartment and feel like an adult. Both fortunately and unfortunately, I chose a career path that would require more education in the long run, especially by wanting to be a CPA.
I started my master’s degree in the fall of 2018 at Xavier. As my friends had their first day of work, I had another first day of class. My friends got to go to happy hour and I had to stay in and do homework. Being at school while my friends moved on was disappointing at first — I felt like I was less than them in a way because I was still in school full-time. I had to constantly remind myself that there was a purpose for the education that I was receiving. It took a few weeks, but I quickly learned that classes in a master’s degree setting are so different than undergraduate.
It was a unique experience. Some of my classes were discussion heavy, as opposed to tests. Others were just like the classes that I had previously taken at Xavier. The program that I was in was a nice mixture of familiarity and unexpected. I had one class where I was the only graduate student and one where I was the only one unemployed. I had classes with nurses, engineers and teachers, and all of them taught me things that I wasn’t going to gain from reading a textbook or taking a quiz.
My take-away from this past year at Xavier is that not all educational paths are equal, which sounds like a given. Watching my friends leave Xavier behind while I was still here was a hard experience. My hope for the seniors this year is this: As some of you watch your friends move on and start their career paths, you choose the path that fits for you. For me, that was furthering my education.
Sure, there were days when I craved to be a “real adult” instead of a student again, but it was worth the wait. Now it’s my turn to be a big girl and make my big kid money. My education at Xavier was worth the extra year. I’m proud of my education and I’m proud to be a two-time Xavier graduate. ff