Brock Atkins

Brock Atkins, MAcc '24

Finding a Home in the Michigan Ross MAcc Program

After graduating high school in Bay City, Michigan, Brock Atkins toured many different colleges and universities in-state. The Ross School of Business curriculum really stood out to him. He also loved the college-town atmosphere of Ann Arbor and the diversity of people.


“I went to a pretty small high school that didn’t send anybody to the University of Michigan. Getting in, and especially getting into Ross, was really cool for me,” Brock said.


Brock originally came to Michigan Ross thinking he wanted a career in finance. However, after taking a finance course and having many meetings with the Career Development Office, he decided to explore accounting. In his second year as an undergrad, Brock began recruiting for jobs, landed an internship with Ernst & Young in Detroit, and fell in love with accounting. 


After that internship, Brock knew he wanted to pursue a master’s degree in order to secure a full-time offer with EY. Based on his previous undergraduate experience, Ross was his obvious first choice, so he applied and was accepted into the Master of Accounting Program.


Making Michigan Ross Home

To date, one of Brock’s favorite MAcc experiences has been the EY Accounting and Public Policy Symposium, in which MAcc students travel to Washington, D.C. for a week before the fall term. This experience is a combination of program orientation and a core course that provides an insider view of how public policy shapes business standards. At the symposium, he interacted with prominent policymakers, built connections with alums, and learned what an accounting career trajectory might look like.


However, something that really stood out to him was the social events that established a strong foundation of friendships before he even arrived on campus. One event was a baseball game that he attended with his soon-to-be classmates.


“We had a group of seven or eight of us, all coming from wildly different backgrounds, who went to the game together,” Brock said. “We got to really connect before the program, and I found out how much I had in common with people who I didn’t even know yet. It made me feel really glad that I made the decision to join the program.”


Throughout his time as an MAcc student, Brock says that the sense of community he found has remained constant and that he feels at home at Michigan Ross, especially among his fellow MAcc students.


Building a Portfolio of Experience

Outside of his classes, Brock also holds three part-time positions on campus. He works as a student manager in a dining hall, a teaching assistant under Professor Shirli Kopelman, and a graduate student staff assistant. 


In his role as a GSSA, Brock connects with potential MAcc students to share his experiences and help prepare them for the program.


“I’m working directly with the admissions office right now, just trying to be a face for people applying to the program, answer any questions that they have, and really make them feel secure in the whole admissions process,” Brock said. 


From all his roles, Brock says he has learned a lot that he is sure he will take with him into his future career. However, the GSSA role has been especially meaningful to him.


“My GSSA job has helped so much interpersonally,” Brock said. “I’m jumping on a Zoom call with people I don’t know, and I don’t know what they’re going to ask or talk about. I’m getting a lot better at thinking on my feet, interacting with people who I’ve maybe got nothing in common with, and trying to build a rapport in 15- or 20-minute intervals.”


To anyone who is considering applying to the Michigan Ross MAcc Program, Brock has the following advice: “ Go for it. You’re going to be building the skills and the analysis that employers are looking for in any job. It's a great experience. It's a great group of people. I think that anyone who’s considering the program should absolutely apply.”