Paving the Way to Success with the Notre Dame MSA Program
Matt Render, MSA '02
Author: Bryan Fields
Matt Render was halfway through his undergraduate accountancy program at Northern Illinois University when the state began requiring a master’s degree to take the CPA exam. That event led him to the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at Mendoza in 2001, and to continued success in his career.
Now global head of financial reporting and accounting policy at Citadel LLC in Chicago, Render said he chose Notre Dame because it gave him exactly what he was looking for. “I wanted an experience at a university that would prepare me to work at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. That would position me long-term in my career. Mendoza did that.”
He was impressed not only with the student body but also with the coursework that taught him how to handle real-world challenges. In addition, a strong network of Notre Dame alumni also helped him land his first job at Ernst & Young.
“The interview panel were Mendoza graduates and had a strong connection with recruiters who had their own good experiences at Mendoza,” he said. “They understood the value of what the MSA program brings.”
During his career, many have praised the diversity of his educational experience, both from Mendoza and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. This diversity led Citadel to hire him in 2018.
“I asked the interviewer ‘Why me?’ He said because of my educational trajectory that included Mendoza,” Render said.
Render continues to strengthen his relationship with the MSA program, serving on the Mendoza Graduate Alumni Board and evaluating student capstone projects. This allows him to see the value the MSA degree continues to give students, something they look for at Citadel.
“We know the students are going to be critical thinkers and be an asset to the company,” he said. The same attributes Render gained during his time at Notre Dame. “I wouldn’t trade that year on campus for anything,” he said. “It was a wonderful development experience that has paid off throughout my career.”
Topics: Accountancy (MSA)