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City bridge overlooking downtown Minneapolis

Top Accounting Firms Open Doors

Graduate students often say the proximity to high-profile companies like U.S. Bank and Target was a big factor in choosing St. Thomas. For Kaleb Kier ‘18 MSA, the Minneapolis campus was especially convenient for networking with downtown accounting firms.

In their first class of the MS in Accountancy program, students visit the big four downtown firms: PwC, Deloitte, EY and CLA. Scheduled visits include smaller middle-market firms like Grant Thornton.

Students stay for a few hours, listen to presentations and network with company employees. St. Thomas alumni working there often show up, which turn casual conversations into networking over coffee later.

The professor evaluates students while they are networking at the firm. Students return to campus afterwards, debrief and practice the skills to conduct themselves professionally. “The visits set me up really well and I ended up getting a job because of them,” said Kier. 

Kier was pleasantly surprised by the school's focus on personal skills, which helped ease him into his first internship. “We develop these professional communication skills on top of crunching numbers. It's a big reason why I consider St. Thomas a top school,” he said.

As for his internship at a top downtown firm, Kier was anything but bored. “I was doing the work of a first-year tax associate. They didn’t have us do any coffee runs. We had our own cubes. They treated us like we were working there full-time.”

“I learned I’m not so bad about talking with people,” he laughed.