Mariah Belletti graduated from Isenberg’s MS in Accounting program in 2023, having previously earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Isenberg. She is a Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services (CMAAS) Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Boston Office.
Tell us about your career, and how you thought graduate studies might help.
I graduated from Isenberg with my bachelor’s in accounting in the fall of 2023. Ever since I was a freshman, I wanted to work at a Big 4 Accounting firm and earn my Certified Public Accountant license. To be eligible for the CPA, I had to earn 150 credits rather than 120. I thought that earning my master of science in accounting to gain the extra 30 credits that I needed would not only make me eligible for the CPA exams, but also provide me with deeper knowledge that would prepare me for the exams and enhance the beginning of my career at a Big 4 accounting firm.
How did you find out about Isenberg in the first place?
I was introduced to Isenberg in my senior year of high school by my high school accounting teacher, Mrs. Hoenig. She is the teacher that also introduced me to accounting in general. She had told me all about the opportunities in the profession and helped with my college search. After looking into Isenberg, I realized how great the program was as it had a great reputation. I learned about the great courses the school offered, inspiring professors, engaging clubs to join, and all the opportunities they provided to their students.
What did you hope your degree would help you to accomplish?
I hoped that earning my MS in accounting would help better prepare me for both taking the CPA exams and for joining the accounting profession. The MS in accounting program offers so many courses that are structured for preparing you for various focuses in accounting such as tax, forensics, not-for-profit, and even Excel-related courses. I have taken a max of these courses and can confidently say that they have deepened my knowledge. The courses I completed have also provided me with real-life applications which are beneficial as I enter my career.
How did you use your MS in accounting degree and the resources available at Isenberg, such as the Chase Career Center, to accomplish your immediate career goals?
Isenberg provides an abundance of resources and opportunities to its students. I heavily used the Chase Career Center and experiential opportunities as a freshman. The Chase Career Center helped build my resume and strengthen my networking skills and offered experiential opportunities such as case competitions with the Big 4 firms, which helped build my problem-solving and public speaking skills. As I gained confidence in my capabilities, I began to take leadership roles within the accounting major. I became President of the Delta Nu Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national academic organization that focuses on curating ethical and professional leaders within the accounting profession. I also was the lead teaching assistant for two accounting courses at Isenberg: Accounting 221 and Accounting 423. These leadership opportunities allowed me to gain a variety of skills and understanding that will transcend into my career. The opportunities that Isenberg provided me allowed me to earn an internship and full-time offer with PwC.
How did Isenberg help with your career preparation and job search?
Isenberg hosts career fairs with a variety of companies where students can learn more about opportunities that best suit their career interests and goals. At my first career fair I networked with the Big 4 recruiters, which was the start of my professional network. Isenberg also hosts many events throughout the semester that are major-specific such as exclusive networking events, workshops, and topic-based presentations from professionals. All these opportunities helped prepare my resume, personal brand, network, and understanding of the accounting profession and the firms I could potentially work for.
How has your Isenberg experience benefited you professionally?
Isenberg has benefited me professionally in so many ways. The school provides students with opportunities to learn and enhance a variety of skills. This helped me grow into a student with enhanced skills of networking, public speaking, problem solving, and leadership. The courses offered at Isenberg also provided me with the education and application of material that made me better prepared to begin my professional career. The professors I have had were always there to further explain things when needed, as well as provide advice that inspired me. I owe a lot to them for helping me become the professional that I am today.
What advice would you offer incoming graduate students to help them make the most of their time at Isenberg?
Engage in the work you are doing in all your classes as it will help you understand the material at a deeper level. Don’t be afraid to build a stronger relationship with your peers and professors. Those around you have great insight and experiences that you may not have yet. Talk with them about what you’re learning, what you don’t understand, and their experiences relating to their careers. I learned a lot about myself and my career goals by talking to my peers and professors.
Where do you live?
I now live in Boston, but I'm originally from Webster, MA.