Conor Gilson ’17, MPS ’18

Conor Gilson ’17, MPS ’18

Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Undergraduate School: Cornell University
Post Cornell Employer: EY
Favorite Hobbies: Boxing, golfing, snowboarding

“The quality of the education and the faculty are what attracted me most to the program.”

What attracted you to the MPS-Accounting program?

I was a Dyson undergrad, so I had firsthand exposure to the quality of education and expertise that the accounting faculty had to offer. The CPA license is the crux for many students in the program, and the accounting professors across all three schools of the SC Johnson College of Business do an excellent job prepping their students for the exam. Prior to the MPS program, Cornell students already had some of the highest passing rates in the nation. Even if the CPA license isn't a part of your plans, the fact is you won't find a higher-quality accounting education elsewhere. The quality of the education and the faculty are what attracted me most to the program.

What advice would you give to a student entering into this program?

I would tell a new student to make the most of this opportunity because both Cornell and Ithaca have so much to offer. I would tell them to utilize the accounting professors and their classmates as often as possible when it comes to academics and building a strong network for life beyond Cornell. But also, get out and experience the rest of the university and Ithaca; Cornell is a place like no other and I've learned numerous life lessons here.

How would you describe the MPS-Accounting community here at Cornell?

The MPS – Accounting community here is really great and came to fruition surprisingly quickly. We had a few orientation events before the start of the fall semester, and right off the bat, my classmates and I were interacting with each other and the faculty in meaningful ways. We have a group chat that we use to help each other out with classes but also to coordinate fun things to do on the weekends. Everyone feels comfortable with one another and, in addition to having one another as great resources for academic help, we'll do fun things or go out socially to blow off some steam.

Describe your interactions and experience with the program director, Professor Jack Little.

Jack has been a personal mentor of mine and a big reason why I pursued an accounting education in the first place, and I think there are many other students that would say the same. He always tells it how it is, and makes time to meet with students about classes, career advice, or anything else they might want to discuss. Jack's research focus is fraud, which is where my interests lie. In fact, I'm starting my career next fall with EY's fraud investigation and dispute services team. So, when I approached Jack about doing my research with him on a topic relating to fraud, he didn't hesitate at all to say yes. That's just the kind of person Jack is; he's willing to do anything within his power to help and accommodate his students.