Master student interview: Accountancy

Master student interview: Accountancy

Hey all!

I am Koen Salet, currently 22 years old and following the master’s in Accountancy. If you are a member of Asset | IB&M, you might know me from the committees I participated in during the last couple of years. I started in 2016 as a writer of the blog committee, followed by a year as the chairman of the activities committee, and last but not least, I was a member of the first ‘Manager for a Day’ event. In between the last two committees I also went on exchange to Finland, a time I will genuinely never forget in my life.

As said, right now I am following the master’s program in Accountancy at Tilburg University. Before I started this master’s program, I finished the bachelor business economics, also at Tilburg University. I already liked all of the accountancy courses that were offered in the bachelor’s program, and that is the main reason I chose to continue with the master’s in Accountancy. Also, I was not really interested in the other masters that Tilburg University has to offer, so it was a clear choice for me.

As of this year, the program of the master Accountancy is completely renewed. The thesis of this master is divided into three minor assignments; (1) a business application, in which you link a relevant academic accountancy topic to a company that faces a problem related to that topic, (2) a replication study, in which you compare a study that already has been conducted with a study you do yourself in a different setting, and (3) a research note, which is a small research you do on your own topic, comparable with a bachelor’s thesis. Because of this so-called ‘Master File’, the workload is more dispersed throughout the year, and your master’s does not end with a big thesis. Therefore, all the four periods (since you work in quarterly periods) include two courses and one assignment of the master file. However, the research note takes two periods, so it starts in February and ends around June. 

“All of the courses lineup really well together, and there is a really good distribution between academically relevant and practically relevant courses”

All of the courses lineup really well together, and there is a really good distribution between academically relevant and practically relevant courses. The academically relevant courses can sometimes be a bit long-winded, but afterwards you will have a lot of knowledge on all kinds of different topics in the accountancy world. Therefore, one may experience these courses as ‘boring’, but if you are interested in accountancy, you will see the bigger picture throughout these courses, and it is actually quite interesting. 

The biggest difference with my bachelor’s is that I really am doing something right now that I enjoy. In the bachelor’s we face courses on all the four pillars of business economics, where I just had no or little interest in the other three pillars. It is, therefore, in my opinion way easier to motivate yourself to follow the lectures and study for the courses that you are interested in. Another big difference is the amount of group projects. Every course in the master has one or more group assignments, which can be annoying but also really educational. These assignments are constructed in such a way that you will better understand the course materials and that you can apply them in the future at your job. It’s also really convenient that you can discuss certain issues that you are facing in the course with your fellow team members.

Currently, I am writing the last past of my Master File – the research note – at one of the big four accounting firms in Eindhoven. Due to the corona crisis, which we are now all facing, I am also working from home, but the first 2 months at the office were actually really nice. The thesis internship is a very common thing to do when you are doing your master’s in accountancy. Because most of the people that study Accountancy are going to work at an accountancy firm, it is really nice to already get to know your colleagues and the workplace environment. I personally chose for a big four firm, but there are also lots of smaller firms where you can start a thesis internship. I would really encourage this if you think about working in the accountancy sector, since it is a really nice step into the world that follows after university.

I hope that my personal experiences can help you in choosing whether this master’s is something for you, or maybe it is not at all. If my story still left something unanswered, feel free to contact me!

Good luck with your study choice!

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