MACDA Ambassadors

The MACDA Ambassadors below are current MACDA students who are available to answer your questions about the program, student life, and professional development opportunities. We encourage you to connect with one of our students and allow them to share their unique perspective on the program.

Yaya Barry

Yaya Barry

Undergraduate University: Pennsylvania State University

Undergraduate Major: Accounting

Graduation Date: May 2016

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Internship or Previous Work Experience: JP Morgan: process improvement for their retirement team

Favorite Philadelphia, Main Line or Villanova Activity: Running the Kelly Drive Trail

Why did you choose the Villanova MACDA: I picked Villanova because of its incorporation of data analytics, which will be an indispensible asset for the future of auditing.  

Goals or plans for career after graduation from Villanova: Pass the CPA exam and secure a position at a Big Four firm in their audit practice. 

ShirBriya Fletcher

ShirBriya Fletcher

Undergraduate University: Howard University

Undergraduate Major: Accounting

Graduation Date: May 2018

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Internship or Previous Work Experience: 2016 KPMG Audit Intern (NYC), 2017 KPMG Tax Intern (NYC), 2018 KPMG Tax Intern (Tysons Corner & London)

Favorite Philadelphia, Main Line or Villanova Activity: Shopping at King of Prussia (the second largest mall in America)

Why did you choose the Villanova MACDA: The Villanova MACDA met my interest in data and analytics, and needs of the educational requirement for the CPA exam. In addition, I had the opportunity to work alongside professors and assist them with their cutting-edge research through the MACDA fellowship program.

Goals or plans for career after graduation from Villanova: I plan to become a CPA and start my career at KPMG as a Business Tax Associate in Tysons Corner, VA.

Sean MacNeal

Sean MacNeal

Undergraduate University: Penn State - Berks

Undergraduate Major: Accounting

Graduation Date: May 2018

Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA

Internship or Previous Work Experience: Audit Internship for Baker Tilly Vircho Krause (Healthcare practice) and Internal Audit Internship for PJM Interconnection

Favorite Philadelphia, Main Line or Villanova Activity: Going into Philadelphia and trying out new restaurants and happy hour specials; the city has an incredible nightlife for young adults

Why did you choose the Villanova MACDA: The inclusion of Data analytics: New technology and its ability to use big data are changing the accounting industry. Big and small size firms have invested a lot of capital into new technology and its ability to make audits more efficient and effective through the use of big data. I choose this program because it is the first and best master's program that focuses on teaching students the importance of, and the ins-and-outs, of data analytics in the accounting profession

Goals or plans for career after graduation from Villanova: Sitting for all four parts of the CPA exam before my started dated at Baker Tilly, and working full time as an auditor for Baker Tilly starting in October of 2019

Kristen Michael

Kristen Michael

Undergraduate University: Villanova University

Undergraduate Major: Accounting

Graduation Date: May 2018

Hometown: Montvale, NJ

Internship or Previous Work Experience: PwC Core Assurance Winter Internship, Winter 2017

Favorite Philadelphia, Main Line or Villanova Activity: Villanova Basketball games at the Wells Fargo Center

Why did you choose the Villanova MACDA: As a Villanova undergrad, I understand the value of a Villanova Business degree and wanted to further my education at a place I already knew would be a positive experience, with attentive professors and a strong sense of community. The data analytics component also differentiated this program from other accounting programs I had considered.

Goals or plans for career after graduation from Villanova: PwC Core Assurance Associate, Financial Services in New York