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An enhanced value proposition

Providing a world-class graduate accounting education will always be our top priority.  However, we strongly believe that there is an enhanced value proposition if our students select a program that balances academic education with non-technical business soft skills development. Thus, the student experience should reflect a balanced combination of technical and non-technical business skills development.

Four Key Characteristics

The MSA student experience is built around four key characteristics:

Personal attention – all students should feel that they can get the personalized attention they deserve. Access to our Gies Business Graduate Programs team, MSA program director, faculty, and our supporting service partners is paramount.  Our goal is to create a trusting environment where all students can get the help that they need, when they need it.  We strive to get to know each of our students. We are accessible and visible.  We communicate with our students on a regular basis.

Tailored approach – there is no "one size fits all" approach to delivering the student experience. We tailor the experience to the needs and interests of each student by providing a full and varied menu of elective extracurricular developmental activities throughout the academic year.  Thus, students builds their own experience within the welcoming and trusting environment at Illinois.

Focus on individual growth – one of the key outcomes of any student experience should be the growth of that individual, either professionally or personally. Our extracurricular developmental student experiences are developed with the purposeful intent of helping students improve important non-technical business skills – those soft skills that are critical to business success. We want all students to improve their personal brand and became a better personal and professional version of themselves while they are with us.

Active learning – we believe that applying what one has learned is a critical stage of development. Practicing skills is an important component of learning.  At Illinois, we create experiential opportunities for our students to practice key non-technical business soft skills.  The self-discovery that results from active learning opportunities is invaluable and helps to accelerate personal and professional development.

MSA Student Activities

Some of the MSA-specific activities that encompassed our MSA student experience this year included:

  • Social Events                            
  • Professional Development Workshops 
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Personalized Career Advising
  • Career Treks


Gies News and Events

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Bertram helping build a bridge for the next generation

Jim Bertram joined Gies as an instructor of finance this fall after spending 32 years in investment banking, working for major firms like Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Banc of America Securities, and William Blair. He will be teaching Investment Banking (FIN 463) this fall and succeeding Rob Metzger as the director of the Investment Banking Academy in January.

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Torelli: From civil engineer to Gies department head

Carlos Torelli will apply his engineering mindset and marketing expertise to his new role as head of the Department of Business Administration at Gies. “We have a responsibility to give back in academia at a certain point in our careers. I returned to Gies because I knew they would value my skills and my background and give me the opportunity to make an impact."