“Accountants are trusted to do good and to provide financial assurances for business leaders, employees, creditors, investors, and regulators.”
“As a kid, I liked taking gadgets apart, putting them back together, and finding out how they worked,” Kirtley says. Now, he wants to analyze how companies work. So he’s pursuing a degree in accounting.
An internship with the United Kingdom’s Saracens Rugby Club provided his “aha!” moment.
“I participated in the London internship program during my junior year at WashU. I worked in the club’s accounting department, saw how integral the department was to the economic decisions the club made, and how the department affected the entire organization. My epiphany was that I really liked accounting.
Top three takeaways from the MACC program
Here’s what Kirtley thinks are the biggest program benefits: “Number 1 is my interaction with the faculty. Professors are genuinely committed to helping students comprehend material, apply information, and move forward in their career. Number 2 is the confidence I’ve acquired in my career-readiness skills. I can compete with the best. And number 3 is the strength of the WashU community. People look out for each other here.”
His favorite course
“I learned more in Auditing than I did in any other course in my academic career. Adjunct professor David Pearson is passionate about teaching. He knows what each of his students is capable of, and he shows us how to get there.
“Auditing requires a flawless understanding of accounting principles. Applying these principles successfully was a confirmation of my abilities.”
Life in St. Louis
“I love St. Louis. Like Milwaukee [his hometown], it’s a great beer town. In addition to Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis has a lot of craft breweries, like Urban Chestnut and 4 Hands Brewing Co.
“St. Louis is also a great sports town. I’ve really enjoyed going to Blues hockey and Cardinals baseball games.”
What recommendations does he have for newcomers?
“Play darts at Blueberry Hill in The Delmar Loop. Take in a show at The Pageant. Eat barbecue at Bogart’s Smokehouse in Soulard. And take advantage of Forest Park, which is one of the city’s gems.”
Advice for prospective MACC students
“Do it! More specifically, do it in St. Louis at WashU! A MACC degree will never steer you wrong. It’s an investment that will open doors you didn’t even know existed.”
Justin Kirtley, Master of Accounting
Audit assistant, Deloitte, Milwaukee
Education: BSBA, finance and accounting, Washington University in St. Louis
Taylor Community Consulting project, Youth Learning Center
VP of recruitment and social activities, Beta Alpha Psi