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Carroll School of Management Graduate Programs

MSA Alumni Earn Top Honors for Performance on CPA Exams

Eben Hutchison and Mark Stankevitz
Eben Hutchison, MSA '12 (left) and Mark Stankevitz, MSA '12 (right)

The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Program at the Carroll School of Management boasts a distinguished record of producing outstanding young professionals ready to enter the public accounting industry. Mark Stankevitz, MSA ’12, and Eben Hutchison, MSA ’12, are two of the newest members of this illustrious alumni group. In addition to completing their MSA degrees together at Boston College, Mark and Eben were awarded first and second honors for earning the top two scores on the Massachusetts CPA exam in 2012. Mark also received the AICOA Elijah Watt Sells Award, bestowed on exam candidates who score at least 95.5 on all four sections of the CPA exam. He is one of only 39 winners among over 92,000 who took the exam in 2012.

Mark and Eben's performance is exemplary, but also customary for Boston College, which consistently places among the top 15 large-program institutions for CPA exam pass rates. Mark and Eben both currently work for Grant Thornton, LLP, and credit the Carroll School for helping them achieve their early professional success.

Eben matriculated to the MSA program at Boston College after graduating from the University of Rhode Island, where he majored in accounting. “I wanted to start a career in public accounting and obtain my CPA designation. I applied to a few schools with AACSB accreditation that were reasonably commutable from Providence. BC provided the best value. The campus is beautiful, I heard great things about the faculty, and the BC brand and alumni network is well known.”

Eben found the BC MSA program challenging but rewarding. “It helped me to improve my teamwork, writing, speaking, and analytical skills. I was really impressed with the quality of the students I studied with. There was a lot of group work in many of the courses, and my previous experiences with group work at other educational institutions had been spotty. I could really rely on my group-mates at BC.”

Mark majored in economics and graduated from the University of Chicago in 2010. He worked for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts before deciding to apply to the MSA program at Boston College. “I was attracted to accounting after making friends with several people working in public accounting in Boston. They described how the field combines an analytical perspective with a dynamic, people-focused environment. It seemed to be a great career opportunity.”

The flexibility and accessibility of the BC MSA program appealed to Mark. Within just one year, he was able to complete his graduate degree despite not being an accounting major as an undergraduate. And the curriculum’s focus on applied learning prepared Mark to enter the workforce. “Amy LaCombe’s assurance class was a great experience. The main assignment was to conduct a virtual audit from start to finish, which gave me more relevant experience for my eventual career than any textbook, and a leg up over other new associates.”

Eben lives in Providence, RI, and works for Grant Thornton, LLP’s New England cluster of offices, while Mark works in the firm’s Boston office. They are members of a terrific group of young BC MSA graduates who work at firms such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, McGladrey and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Eventually, Eben would like to manage his own business, either in public accounting or another field. Mark plans to remain in public accounting for the foreseeable future and remains open to working for a private company if the right opportunity presents itself down the road.

The investment in a graduate degree from the Carroll School paid off for Mark and Eben, and it will continue to pay dividends into the future. As Mark reflects, “getting to take so many classes together with my classmates led to lifelong connections that will be important in the years to come as we all build our careers and networks.”