New WWS Graduate Melissa Yin '16 Answers: "Why Take Accounting?"

Wednesday, Jun 1, 2016
by restrada

A core aim of The Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance is to support learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. JRCPPF co-sponsors the course ECO361, Financial Accounting taught by Roman Weil, Lecturer with the Rank of Professor in Economics. As we endeavor to guide students to explore issues at the intersection of financial markets and public policy, we were especially thrilled to hear that a graduating senior from the Woodrow Wilson School earned the top grade (A+!) in Weil’s class this spring. Melissa Yin ’16 spoke with JRCPPF just this week about her experience of the class as a public policy student.

Q: Why did you take the accounting course?
Even though I didn’t expect to use accounting on a day-to-day basis [after graduation]...I thought a basic understanding of financial statements would be beneficial. More broadly speaking, I thought accounting could familiarize me with business and government operations, whether I would end up in the private or public sector in the long term.

Q: Would you recommend this course to students interested in public policy?
Accounting is obviously useful for anyone interested in a career in business. But for policy-minded students, I think accounting is also fundamentally important, for an understanding of the financial management of public organizations.

Q: What would you tell a student who is considering taking the course, but is unsure of the level of math required to succeed?
The level of math required for this course is only high-school level algebra. That said, this course does really require you to push ahead as a student. One needs to have read the textbook and worked the homework problems before lecture and precept in order to benefit the most from this class. But I think more students, and perhaps more WWS students, would be interested in the course if the prerequisite math level was explained more clearly.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
I will be working as a management consultant at PwC Strategy& in New York.

Everyone at the JRCPPF congratulates Melissa on her graduation, and on her exemplary accounting course performance. For those who still have a year or years to go before commencement day, click here to view a full list of suggested courses (ECO361 included, of course) for students who want to learn more about the intersection of public policy and finance. NOTE: These will be updated for the 2016-2017 academic year as this information becomes available.