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Can I go to grad school while working as an internal auditor?

I just started the Master of Professional Accountancy program at my local university. But I am also interested in working full time as an auditor, however, I am aware that as an auditor you have to travel quite a bit (I know the travel amount varies). One of the opportunities I applied to requires the employee to be able to travel 5-8 months a year. I have class two nights a week (Tuesday from 4:30pm - 9:45pm and Thursday 4:30pm - 7pm) I don't mind traveling am actually looking forward to it and excited about it. Am wondering if this is a good idea to work, travel and do classes at the same time (am taking three classes 9 credit hours by the way). Does anyone have any experience with this. Is this a wise decision? I am single without any kids of my own and I do not have any other commitments/responsibilities at this time. Also, I am currently working full-time as a help desk technician. I have two years of experience working full-time and going to school. Your professional comments is greatly appreciated.


Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

I did it a long time ago. It took me 5 years to complete the program taking one class each semester. You need to have a program that recognizes your travel schedule. When I did it, I had to take a few courses on campus, and the professors dropped letter grades for every two missed classes. Needless to say, I had to drop that course and stick to taking only one class a semester. Taking two classes a semester was almost impossible based on my schedule. A weekend program may be more appropriate for you or you can stretch the classes out over a number of years.

(IT) |

Thank you so much for your insight... It is a one year flexible program I decided to take classes over the course of 4 years.

Julie Hammeras
Title: Manager of Financial Services
Company: Park Water Company
(Manager of Financial Services, Park Water Company) |

I did it and only had a problem once: the professor scheduled the final on a day I was going to be out of town and would NOT make any other arrangement for me when I explained the circumstance. This was in a Fully Employed MBA program too so the expectation was that all the students are working as well. I ended up flying back the evening of the final and racing to school in time to get to class late. In retrospect it would probably be a good idea to talk to your professors at the beginning of the semester to find out how flexible they can be in the event you have to miss.

Robert Ewalt
Title: Exam Development Manager
Company: Institute of Certified Management Accoun..
(Exam Development Manager, Institute of Certified Management Accountants) |

It depends on (a) the job, and (b) the course. Does your boss / HR Dept approve of your classwork? If so, maybe your boss can work your assigned travel around those nights when you HAVE to go to school. Some instructors / colleges make appropriate allowances for students who have to miss some classes (evening / weekend students, especially in business, bring in lots of revenue). IMHO, 9 credits is too much, cut it back to 6 credits.

(Controller) |

(Controller). You can try on-line classes too. I've done the last two years on line and was able to work and travel with no problems. I've had classes with students from Japan, France, Indonesia and Germany. I personally did the University of Phoenix and have loved the experience.

David Ziska
Title: CEO
Company: Council Business Solutions
(CEO, Council Business Solutions) |

Depends on how much pain you can endure. With the travel, an on-line program might be a good fit. I did an MPA program 7 years ago, traditional style program. Took 3 years, taking one course a semester (fall, spring, summer), ocassionally taking two courses at once. Working a full-time job (CFO), all I did was work, study, and sleep. I remember sitting on the sidlines of numerous soccer fields, working through accounting problems or reviewing my study cards. Followed that with 12 months of preparation for, and passing the CPA exam.

Good luck with your endeavor. Stay persistent.

Carla Gordon
Title: Accountant
Company: Govt
(Accountant, Govt) |

Other than the travel, do you have a "normal" 8 hour day? I just finished an MBA from a top program several years ago. Worked fulltime and took night classes. Usually one class was enough. I took two classes some semesters and that was tough. I think three is too much if the program is at all rigorous.

(IT) |

Thank you to everyone for sharing your experience and providing advice. I did drop one class so now I am going to take two classes this semester and I will do the same for future semesters.


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