Mendoza School of Business

MSA Alum Reflects on Lessons Learned In and Out of the Classroom

Audrey Caplan '21

Author: Bryan Fields

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When Audrey Caplan arrived from Florida to enter Mendoza’s Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program in 2020, she worried about not knowing anyone and fitting in. By the time she graduated the following year, she had found a supportive community that gave her the skills, connections, and friendships that helped launch her career.

MSA Alum Audrey Caplan

Caplan said she was like many in the program from out of state looking to form bonds at ND. She found plenty of ways to connect, including study groups, clubs, and the MS in Accountancy Student Association (MSASA). The association allowed her to work with those from a variety of backgrounds.

“Being a part of the MSASA, I got to interact with people who were in MSA as well as other ND grads and people in other industries that widened my lens,” she said. “We weren’t just in a silo. I really appreciated that about Notre Dame’s program.”

Now an Assurance Associate at PwC in New York City, Caplan still stays in contact. “Some of my closest friends are from that time. I now connect with them and share our experiences. It’s wonderful just to see how many commonalities we have.”

Beyond what she gained from strong community support, Caplan also praised the program’s flexibility. Concise modules kept her goal-oriented and helped her transition to a project-based workplace. Choice in a wide range of electives (including alongside MBA students) broadened her experience, including the data analytics that she uses today.

“Having developed those skills really gave me a leg up at work,” she said.

That flexibility even extended to faculty accommodating her special needs after an accident that required surgery and using a wheelchair during finals. “I’m still shocked by how willing they were to work with me. They were incredible.”

As she approached graduation, the career development staff showed her career paths and opportunities she hadn’t considered, which led to her job and life in New York City.

“If you look at ND, you’ll see it’s not just a degree,” she said. “It’s not just professional development but personal. You’re learning so much more than just what’s on the whiteboard.”

Mendoza School of Business