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Analytical Insight, Global Leaders

Master's in accounting provides CPA prep, other career options

David Valensi

David Valensi
BSA ’13, MSA’14
Ernst and Young

David Valensi thought he wanted to pursue a career with one of the Big Four accounting firms: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young or KPMG. His auditing internship with Ernst & Young confirmed it.

“At Ernst & Young I was able to work 65 hours a week. It was a great learning opportunity,” he says. David’s 2012 internship was from January to March, the months when companies prepare their year-end financial reports and auditors are hard at work.

“The first couple of days you’re thinking, ‘How am I even going to do this? I just want to go to bed right now.’ But the days just flew by. I felt I was never doing the same thing two days in a row.”

David liked the company culture. “Everyone worked hard and as a team to get the report or project to the next stage and completed,” he says. On the last day of his internship in Indianapolis, he and other interns in his group were all extended offers.

But, rather than join Ernst & Young as a staff auditor after earning his bachelor’s degree, David opted to stay at Krannert another year to earn his master’s degree in accounting. He met with professors Mark Bagnoli and Susan Watts about the one-year master’s program. “I was comparing it to my auditing internship and the gaps I discovered that I needed to fill. They addressed all those gaps in that meeting,” David says.

Getting a master’s degree will prepare David for the CPA exam and open doors to other career options. “In order to sit for the CPA exam, you need 150 credit hours. You’re almost going to need a master’s to sit for it. And, if you have a master’s and your CPA, you can teach at college. So that door is open for me now after retirement.”

A Michigan native, David followed his older sister to Purdue. “I’ve been coming to campus since I was in eighth grade and you start to fall in love with it.” David was attracted to Krannert, in particular, because of its strong quantitative curriculum. “I knew I wanted to focus my studies on the math side of business. Krannert makes you take more calculus, statistics and operations classes than any other business school I was looking at.”

During his time at Purdue David has had the opportunity to interact with prospective students as well as alumni. As a Management Ambassador, David shares his Purdue story with high school students. “I love answering questions for students and parents and telling them about all the opportunities that Krannert offers.”

David is also the vice president of finance for the Purdue Foundation Student Board . “With PFSB we get to be the window for all the alumni that come back to campus as part of President’s Council. It’s a completely different end of the spectrum.”