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Mary Sisa

Mary Sisa

M.S. in Accounting 2014 (Tax Consulting Track)

Now: KPMG, Tax Associate (Hamilton, Bermuda)


Most memorable class

My most memorable class was Professor Kieran O'Connor's “Negotiations” class because it was a strictly non-accounting course that focused on problem-solving and analytical skills, which are essential to my job as an accountant. Professor O'Connor was able to make these concepts interesting and unique. I learned so much from him and my classmates during the course.

Leveraging the M.S. in Accounting degree in the workplace

Although there are not a lot of fellow Hoos on the island, my colleagues and other top companies on the island understand that a degree from UVA is prestigious. The M.S. in Accounting curriculum is unbeatable, and I know the alumni network will help me in the future.

A typical day on the job

Because the KPMG Bermuda Tax office is somewhat small (only 17 of us at last count), I am able to do a variety of tasks in a typical day. Projects tend to last 2-8 hours, so there are days I come to work and don't know what I will be working on that day, which I absolutely love. A typical day would be:

8:30 a.m. – Arrive at work, read emails, pick up unfinished return from previous day to complete

10 a.m. - Submit project and receive work from a manager

Noon - Break for lunch

12:30 p.m. - Continue work on project, respond to emails as necessary

4 p.m. – Participate in conference call with client and partner to obtain client information

4:30 p.m. - Update client file and complete client job with new information obtained

What makes the job great

I love the variety (I do personal, corporate, and partnership tax returns as needed) and the international aspect of tax accounting you see in Bermuda. Also, you can't beat the team. The people I work with are smart, patient, and always willing to teach me new concepts.

Advice for future M.S. in Accounting students

Get involved in the Program as much as possible. When I was an M.S. in Accounting student, I was also a Graduate Assistant for Director of Graduate Student Life Sally Armentrout and on the GCOM Council, and those are the most memorable aspects of my time in the Program. It lasts only one year, so take advantage of everything the Program has to offer, socially and academically.  And enjoy Charlottesville; it is a beautiful and diverse town!

Preparation for professional success and leadership in the workplace

The professors and your classmates at McIntire hold you to a high standard academically and professionally, which prepares you for your colleagues' expectations in the workplace. Also, the Program's focus on teamwork and leadership teaches you invaluable skills for the workplace.

Favorite Charlottesville activity

My favorites have to be apple picking at Carter's Mountain, wine tasting, shopping on the Downtown Mall, eating at the great restaurants, Fridays after Five, and the many concerts/festivals held in the community.