Jimmy Groark ’17, MPS ’18
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Undergraduate School: Cornell University
Post-Cornell Employer: Lazard Frères and Co.
Favorite Hobbies: Baseball, fantasy football, watching CBS Survivor, taking care of my Labrador retriever, trying new burger places
“The flexibility and personalization of the MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization program aligned with my short– and long-term career objectives perfectly.”
What attracted you to the MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization program?
After earning an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting, my next logical step was to pursue a graduate degree in business. During my investment banking internship, I realized how important it was for a financier to have a solid foundation in accounting. Accounting is essential to understanding what a business owns and owes, how the business has been performing, and how money moves into and out of the business.
With this in mind, I was searching for a graduate program where I could focus on accounting and still receive the rigorous business management curriculum that I could find in a top MBA program. This led me to the SC Johnson College of Business's MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization program. The program offered me the chance to earn an Ivy League graduate diploma and to study alongside some of the brightest students from around the world. The opportunity to concentrate in accounting, while still being able to take other upper-level management courses, was an opportunity I simply could not pass up.
How has this flexibility and personalization of this program helped you pursue your goals?
The flexibility and personalization of the MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization program aligned with my short- and long-term career objectives perfectly. The program's flexible course curriculum allowed me to simultaneously prepare for my post-graduate career in investment banking while still receiving a practicing grounding in the essentials of accounting. Specifically, I have been able to enroll in upper-level valuation and finance courses that have provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to perform well in my full-time role.
My ultimate career goal is to become a C-suite executive for a Fortune 500 company, and I understand that many of these companies value a candidate who is a licensed CPA. To become a licensed CPA, I will need to pass the CPA exam. Therefore, taking a wide breadth of accounting electives offered in the program (i.e. advanced accounting, auditing and assurance, business taxation, fraud examination) has aided in my preparation for the CPA exam.
Describe your interactions and experience with the program director, Professor Jack Little.
Professor Jack Little is the epitome of what I like to call "the total package." He brings to the classroom setting many years of professional experience as an accounting practitioner, serves as a mentor to students on careers in accounting, and helps students prepare to meet the licensing requirements of a CPA. He is personally invested in the success of each individual student in the program and uses his own time to help students craft curriculums that meet their long-term learning and career objectives.
Based off my own experiences with Professor Little, the biggest thing that stands out to me is how personable and approachable he is. Professor Little keeps an open-door policy at all times and is always willing to meet with students. In fact, he even encourages students to call him by his first name, Jack. It's small things like this that make me view Jack as more of a friend than a director. The MPS in Management - Accounting Specialization program is truly privileged to be under his guidance.
Oh, and I forgot to mention how cool his monarch butterflies are!
What are some of the benefits of being in a collaborative program with learning opportunities from all three schools in the SC Johnson College of Business?
Having access to the three different schools of the SC Johnson College of Business has definitely been a rewarding experience. I am currently taking accounting classes in the Dyson School, a business taxation course in the Johnson School, and a managing-teams class in the Hotel School. Taking classes in these three different schools has not only enhanced my educational experience, but also provided me access to an expanded alumni and faculty network. Developing relationships with members of this expanded network has been valuable, and may even provide me with the professional and personal connections needed to reach my career goals.
Most importantly, the collaboration between the students enrolled in the program cannot be overlooked. We are truly a tight-knit group: we work together on assignments, we study together, we give each other career advice, and we hang out with each other. Heck, we even have a GroupMe! I have formed so many great friendships with other students in the program, and to me, that's what has made the program so special. The opportunity to make friends with students—who, like me, are always willing to lend a helping hand as we accomplish great things over our studies and careers in accounting—is something that I will forever cherish.