FLEXIBLE EDUCATION AND STRUCTURED RECRUITING
Brad Bertinot, a 39-year-old who has served in the military for twenty years, participated in the online program last year. Bertinot had completed his BSBA at the University of Louisiana before beginning his active-duty service, and since then has been stationed in Korea, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, and at different bases across the United States.
Bertinot says his interest in business began during his undergraduate studies, but he had no idea he would ultimately end up in accounting. In fact, when he began looking into graduate programs, he actually wanted to get an MBA, which he then completed at Kenan-Flagler while stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He says he felt like the MBA is a natural fit for military officers, because it requires similar proficiencies to succeed — leadership, analytical, and communication skills.
Bertinot’s interest in accounting was sparked while he was a student at Kenan-Flagler. But the Army was moving him to the Washington D.C. area, and he wouldn’t be able to complete the MAC on campus if he wanted to stay at the North Carolina school. So he enrolled in the online program, knowing it would allow him the flexibility he needed to move and work full-time.
It provided just what he was looking for. “The career services at UNC are amazing,” Bertinot says. “The on-campus recruiting program gave me the opportunity to learn about various public accounting firms as well as corporate accounting opportunities. Both online and on-campus MAC students come together for Meet the Firms week in Chapel Hill. It’s a great opportunity for students to learn about the various accounting career opportunities and also serves as a connection point between both MAC formats.”
After meeting the firms, he says, he learned that Kenan-Flagler has a very structured recruiting program — a fact that lessened the stress of transitioning from the Army to work at a public accounting firm.
Though Wittmayer says the online format is meant to make the MAC program more accessible, she adds that though it is growing, admissions staff are still very selective and careful with their decisions.
“In order for our classrooms to be vibrant, our student teamwork to be beneficial, our graduates to be successful, and ultimately in order to build upon an extraordinary MAC alumni network spanning decades, we always want to ensure our online students meet our standards,” she says. “We took a 30-year-old, top-10 graduate accounting program and expanded into the online space. And we were cognizant of the UNC MAC brand and the careful stewardship that this online launch required.”
At the moment, Wittmayer says, there are a few other schools offering online Master of Accounting degrees, but none is from a school that historically ranks in the top 20. She says she hopes Kenan-Flagler’s program will help lead the business school community to provide more high-quality online education.
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