CoBPA News

Learn more about how the UND Nistler College of Business & Public Administration (CoBPA) impacts North Dakota, the region, the country, and the globe as we accomplish our mission.

M.Acc. Student Lands Position with Big 4 Accounting Firm

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Madi Gilbertson! I was born and raised in Grand Forks, ND. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in December of 2022 and will graduate with my Master of Accountancy in December 2023. I did the accelerated MACC program, which will allow me to get my master’s and bachelor’s after only 4.5 years of college since I completed most of my generals in high school. I am currently an Alpha Phi Alumni. I was the VP of Finance which allowed me to get experience in the finance world and be a part of an exec team. This experience helped me get an internship with PWC. I was able to refer to my position as VP of Finance in almost all of the interview questions I received. In my free time, I love hanging out with friends, going to the lake, and going to hockey games! 


How did the Nistler CoBPA assist you in obtaining an internship at one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms? 

The Pancratz Center, specifically Kathy Lund, is the reason I got my internship! She was a lifesaver and helped me out in every step of the process. Kathy helped me with interview prep and guided me through choosing which firm was going to be the best fit for me. The accounting career fair was also a big part of helping me in the process of finding an internship and potential career.  

I also took an career course with Kathy Lund and Kate Campbell during my freshman year that helped me get a head start in my career search and networking. This course introduced me to what a Big 4 even is, and I knew that this was the route I wanted to start my career in. I attended every networking opportunity possible, as well as all the career fairs. As a freshman, I looked at working for a Big 4 accounting firm as a dream, and now I am currently hired by PWC and will be moving to New York to start full-time in January! 


How did your internship land you a job offer?

Towards the end of my internship in Spring 2022, I was offered a full-time position starting January 2024. This was super exciting because, at the time, I was 21 years old and had my career lined up once I graduated from college. Most accounting firms will offer a full-time job upon graduation toward the end of your internship. This typically means you will not need to re-interview for a full-time offer. This is a huge perk in the accounting field because once you get an internship, and decide you like the firm, you will most likely not have to interview again for a full-time position. 


How have you enjoyed the 4+1 program at UND thus far? 

The 4+1 program is a program every accounting student should take advantage of. Not only does it save you lots of time, but it saves you money as well! For me, being able to graduate with my Master’s in 4.5 years is a dream, and this would not be possible if it weren’t for this program.  


How do you feel the Nistler CoBPA prepared you for the CPA exam?  

UND and the accounting program have helped to prepare me for the CPA exam by offering a variety of courses that will help give me a head start in studying for the exam. Specifically, cost accounting, econ, and every other accounting course have helped prepare me for the exam. I just took my first test in July, and plan to have all 4 parts completed by next summer!  


What advice would you give to incoming students? 

Network! Network! Network! Take advantage of all career fairs and any networking events available. I know those events can be very intimidating to go to, but I promise you will leave every event thankful that you went, and it will make you feel more confident in yourself! Find a friend/ classmate to go with to make it more of a fun opportunity! Also, don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. If you are in a sorority, I highly recommend being a part of the exec team. You will have that experience to reference in most of the interview questions! Almost all interview questions pertain to being a part of a team and dealing with challenging situations, so it is super important to be involved and have a variety of stories to reference in interviews! I also know that the accounting program can get very challenging at times and be very demanding and stressful. It’s important to not let yourself get burnt out. Work super hard during the week, so you can prioritize hanging out with friends on the weekend. Remember you are only in college with all your peers once so work extra hard during the week to be able to enjoy the weekends!