Kylie Tobasco, Integrated MAcc Class of 2017

Kyle Tobasco's experience with balancing cheerleading and the MAcc Program

Balancing cheerleading and the MAcc Program

I am a junior MAcc and finance student, as well as a Penn State Cheerleader. My first semester in the MAcc program came with concerns regarding my ability to balance the demanding course load while being a student athlete. I was not alone, many of my peers voiced the same concerns about managing the work along with their other activities. To this point, it has definitely been challenging; however I feel that I am coping well. My week consists of many hours dedicated to daily practices and workouts, publicity appearances, and games to cheer, along with classes and the work associated with them. I have always possessed solid time management skills but I am adapting those even further by learning how to be that much more efficient when completing assignments or readings. Each professor has a plan of action they advise you to follow, but I have found that I have had to modify those plans slightly to accomplish the assignments in the time I have available. The professors have been very understanding and willing to help in accommodating my schedule when needed. Also, within the program there is a strong emphasis on studying and working together in teams outside of class. Being involved in a professional business fraternity, Phi Chi Theta, I am fortunate to have friends in the program who have been willing to study together, working around everyone’s busy schedule. This format has helped to better understand the material as a whole. Another challenge is the inability to attend all of the amazing networking opportunities provided by the MAcc program. Many of these events overlap with my practice schedule but recruiters have been more than understanding when I have been proactive in contacting them regarding my athletic commitment and how it conflicts with their event. I make every effort to attend as many networking events as possible, as well as visit the companies in the atrium of the Business building. It has been my experience that open communication with the professors, recruiters and peers has been one of the keys to managing a demanding schedule.

The MAcc program is going to challenge you, but I feel that I am gaining a deeper understanding of the material than I have in other classes. The professors do not settle for you to simply learn the subject matter for a good test grade, the expectation is to instill the concepts so that you have the ability and confidence to apply your knowledge in a real life setting. I know I will be well prepared and I will stand out in comparison to my colleagues. I believe that the education and networking opportunities provided through the MAcc program along with the skills obtained to prioritize and balance an active schedule will ensure success in a competitive business environment.