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A distinguishing feature of the Michigan Ross MAcc is the EY Accounting and Public Policy Symposium, offered in Washington, D.C. over Spring Break each year. This action-based graduate research seminar explores the fusion of public policy and business through classroom discussion, visits by top-level speakers, and trips to relevant sites around the nation’s capital. No other MAcc program takes you outside the classroom and into the business world in such a transformational way.

With increasing federal oversight, public scrutiny, and evolving professional conduct standards, it is critical that accounting professionals are prepared to understand the context in which public policy decisions are made. The EY Public Policy Symposium brings accounting students face-to-face with Washington insiders who explain how the federal policy-making process works, which issues are currently under debate, and how professionals can best comply with current standards and contribute their expertise to the implementation of new standards in the future.

Ross partners with The Washington Campus to create an agenda that will keep you thinking, including visits with current and former policy makers, leaders of key federal agencies such as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and Securities and Exchange Commission, and a variety of Washington-based stakeholders.

MAcc students find their own transportation to Washington, D.C. and prepare for five days of inspirational discussion with thought leaders. Once in D.C., hotel accommodations and many meals are provided. The course is a unique experience, the least of which includes bonding with fellow classmates. Not all of your time in D.C. is scheduled. You will be given an afternoon to explore the nation’s capital, with access to the Senate and House Capitol galleries and the opportunity to attend committee hearings in the House and Senate Office Buildings. Evenings are typically free, and students have an incredible networking opportunity at a Ross MAcc Washington, D.C. alumni event hosted during the program.

Since it was integrated into the MAcc curriculum in 2003, students have been raving about the experience. In their words:

Jeff Lemanski, MAcc ’14

I cannot adequately convey just how beneficial this trip was for me, but it definitely opened my eyes, and I think what I learned in D.C. will continue to have an impact on me in the future.

Katie Gauthier, MAcc ’14

The entire experience–from the lecturers, to the social events, to the city itself–most definitely broadened my understanding of accounting and its relation to public policy.

Bryn Twinney, MAcc ’14

The D.C. trip most definitely made me a more marketable individual entering the profession of public accounting and made me more knowledgeable about our federal government–more than I would have ever learned in a traditional classroom setting.

Charlie Zeller, MAcc ’14

ACC 695 was the perfect addition to an already terrific MAcc curriculum. Overall, I was extremely impressed by my time in D.C. The symposium was great, and I now know my classmates on a much deeper level. Thank you to all involved!