First comes the degree, and then comes the career. That may seem like the typical sequence of events for most college students, but not for Cal State East Bay student Gaspar Sanchez-Vasquez. Just two quarters into the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at CSUEB, and Sanchez-Vasquez has already landed a job at one of the largest accounting firms in the Bay Area.
“I applied for the position right away,” said the 25-year-old who recommends students start applying to jobs before graduation.
“Send your resume out everywhere,” said Sanchez-Vasquez. “It takes a while to find a nice job, and a job that you are comfortable with. You should apply at least six months to a year ahead.”
Sanchez-Vasquez plans to start his position in September as an auditing accountant with OUM & Co.—a leading Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm with offices in San Francisco, San Ramon and the San Diego area—after he finishes the MSA program in the summer.
The one-year MSA program, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), is designed to prepare students for entry into accounting careers.
“This MSA program is great because it’s tailored to working professionals,” said Sanchez-Vasquez, who currently works as an analyst at a consulting firm in the East Bay. “And [the MSA program] is guided by a well known and knowledgeable director that will help create the pathway for students to become Certified Public Accountants in the future.”
The program’s curriculum provides students with the 36 accounting-education units required for the U.S. CPA exam, in addition to satisfying the accounting and ethics study areas of the new 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) educational requirements for CPA licensure in California that went into effect Jan. 1.
Graduates of the program will gain an understanding of financial accounting and reporting standards, auditing standards, business environment and concepts, ethical responsibilities, effective collaboration and more.
Classes are conveniently held on the Hayward Hills campus on Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The program also is organized in a cohort format, which allows a group of students to start and finish a program together.
“The more you interact with your classmates, the more you learn,” said Sanchez-Vasquez who explained how he learns best when he can work with someone one-on-one, and the cohort program allows him to do this.
Prospective students interested in learning more about the MSA program can attend one of CSUEB’s upcoming MSA information sessions. For more information on the program or to RSVP for an info session, please visit the program’s Web site.