Challenged to Do Her Best

"My dream to study in America has come true."
Jana Tyfova, a second-semester student in the Master of Accounting Science (MAS) program, already has an MS in accountancy from the University of Economics in Prague, a semester of study at the University of Calgary, and work experience with KPMG Czech Republic, Ltd. She came to the United States -- to Illinois -- to pursue a second master's degree and to gain valuable work experience in the US after graduation.

A 24-year-old native of the Czech Republic, Tyfova was interested in the Illinois program because of the reputation of the campus and because the College of Business offers some of the highest-rated accountancy programs in the US.

"I like the flexible structure of the program," she says. "The electives give me an opportunity to specialize my studies." MAS students have an undergraduate background in accounting and take advanced classes in external reporting, control, and systems.

As part of the 12-month program, which starts in June, students new to campus attend intensive summer classes that prepare them for the rigorous courses and the work load during the academic year. "The summer session was very valuable," says Tyfova. "My English writing skills improved and I am more comfortable giving presentations."

The academic year has brought some interesting challenges for Tyfova. "Faculty focus on case studies that give us real-life experience and teach us how to approach the problems. You don't just read the book, memorize it, and tell the professor about it. These learning situations resemble the decision-making processes of accounting professionals."

Tyfova was recently offered a position with Deloitte & Touche LLP in Chicago, which she is likely to accept. She contributes her job search success to staff in the College's Business Career Services office. "They gave me both professional and emotional support throughout the process," she says.

"I am very glad to be at Illinois. The faculty challenge me to do my best work. And that's great preparation for my career."

--Karen Kalal

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