Brittany, a financial services representative at Ernst & Young in Boston, talks about how honing her leadership skills as an MBA student at the Charlton College of Business equipped her with the knowledge and skills to succeed in business.
Developing leadership skills in the classroom
While pursuing my MBA at UMassD's Charlton College of Business, I worked in teams to complete group projects and deliver presentations. I realized effective leadership involves developing strong communication skills coupled with passion, commitment, innovation, and collaboration.
As my team's group leader, I motivated my peers to see the importance of contributing to our assignment. This was a major challenge that required innovative thinking. To meet the challenge, I decided to delegate. Delegating responsibility to each team member not only builds team spirit, but it also helps people see where they are going and why. It can also help people understand the meaning behind what they do. Being a leader is seen as an advocate for hope in the workplace.
Overall, the leadership experience prepared me and gave me the ability to acquire and use knowledge, which has enabled me to accomplish goals in my career. I've also learned the value of increased productivity as well as how to make better decisions and encourage future leaders.
Pursuing an internship
While pursuing my bachelor's degree in accounting from Charlton, I completed an internship as a tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program. I prepared and filed moderately complex tax returns in a professional and ethical way in compliance with IRS guidelines. I also evaluated and made recommendations for tax returns.
During this internship, I gained experience communicating with clients on a professional basis and learning complex knowledge on taxes. This internship gave me the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, explore a career path, develop skills, network, and transition into a job.
Beginning my professional career
Being a part of this internship has opened the door for me to a full-time career. I am currently employed with Ernst & Young where I work as a tax staff rep.
My advice for current students
I encourage students to take advantage of internships because internships give you a taste of the work environment and provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the real world.
I also encourage students to get involved in leadership activities on and off campus. There are many student organizations, on campus as well as off campus, that support business majors.
As an accounting major who went on to earn my MBA with a concentration in accounting, I became a member of Beta Alpha Psi. Beta Alpha Psi is an honor society for accounting, finance, and MIS majors. And as a member, I was introduced to many resources that have built my career and given me the opportunity to network with other professionals.