Dan Savakus

Dan Savakus, MAcc ‘18

Entrepreneur at Heart

Dan Savakus has big — and specific — plans. He wants to use accounting to help entrepreneurs on an international scale. He says the perfect place to explore that unique path is Michigan Ross.

“The Master of Accounting program allows you to create your own experience through electives. Accounting cannot be siloed; one also needs to understand firm strategy, sales and marketing, supply chain operations, and information technology to be a well-rounded and forward thinking professional.”

One of the ways he’s made the experience his own is through Ross Accounting Outreach, an initiative he created to advise entrepreneurs in Detroit on accounting and general business situations. “I manage a growing team of 10 BBA students; we head to Detroit every Friday to advise real people with real businesses. It’s been a great opportunity to refine both our strategic and financial consulting skills, while supporting positive business in the community.”

I’ve gotten an incredibly high ROI on the MAcc because I seek out additional opportunities.

One of the additional opportunities was a Global Practicum trip to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "International business is particularly colorful in that you constantly discover new cultural quirks and meet interesting people. I’ve had independent internships in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and was able to study in Brazil for two weeks thanks to a MAcc scholarship. It was action-based learning at its finest, and I’m fortunate to build on my prior experiences."

Dan also got a lot out of his position as a Graduate Student Instructor. “I love teaching and influencing students. It’s a unique opportunity to show there’s more to accounting than what meets the eye. I think this will help with the CPA exam too, because I had to review the material before teaching.”

Although Dan has yet to tackle the CPA exam, he feels ready. “The Becker review materials are sometimes redundant, as they explain certain concepts like they’re rocket science, and I know them so well at this point — the MAcc prepares you really well.”

If he’s ever unsure, Dan knows he can go to his fellow MAcc students. “I’m not going into audit, but my friends are, so I can ask them about audit questions just like they ask me about tax. That’s helped a tremendous amount so far.”

In addition to becoming a CPA, Dan plans on working for PwC in Chicago, where he’ll be doing international tax consulting for financial service companies.