There are many places to see in the immediate vicinity of USC and in the Los Angeles area as a whole.
Exposition Park is just south of the USC campus and right across the street from Popovich Hall, where most of my classes are. Besides holding the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the California Science Center, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Exposition Park is a great place to relax or take a jog.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park
Shrine Auditorium, across the street from the north side of campus
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Griffith Park is about 10 miles north of USC. It has great hiking trails and a wonderful view of Los Angeles.
I became a coffee addict once I started the MAcc/MBT program. Thankfully, there are so many cafes in LA to choose from and each place is uniquely decorated. I especially enjoy it when baristas design my coffee.
Below are pictures of a few of my favorite cafes to study or spend time with my classmates outside of campus.
Here is Urth Caffe in the Arts District of Downtown LA. My favorite coffee is the Spanish Latte. It’s not too sweet or bitter, but most importantly, it keeps me alert and ready for my tax classes.
This is a picture of a vanilla latte from Caffe Bene in Koreatown. I come here quite often to study because I love the high ceilings and the second floor is specifically designed for people to study.
Macc Class of 2014
Spring semester has been going exceptionally well, and I am truly enjoying all of my accounting courses. Of all my classes this semester, I must say that Acct 530, Ethics for Professional Accountants, has been by far the most intriguing. In this course, we learn about various theories relating to ethics and we also have prominent speakers visit our class on a frequent basis to talk to us about ethical issues. The guest speakers really add value to the class because through the sharing of their stories, we are able to better understand the complexities in ethical decision making. The guest roster so far included former CEOs, CFOs, and even a Big Four Partner. Being able to interact with such prominent individuals in a classroom setting has been an invaluable experience which served to further enrich my learning at USC.
MAcc Class of 2014
Spring semester is full of choices. Unlike the fall semester, which mostly consists of the required courses, the spring semester is wide open for taking electives. In fact, 4 out of 6 of my spring courses are electives. Here are the electives that I have chosen to take:
Global Accounting Experience
In this course, we will learn China’s accounting, tax, and legal environments, as well as economic, political cultural systems and differences. With a field trip to Shanghai and Beijing, this course will give us a once in a lifetime experience.
Performance Measurement, Evaluation, and Incentives
As the course title suggests, this course takes a deep dive into how firms use management control systems to measure, evaluate, and incentivize their financial responsibility centers. I took this course because I wanted to learn more about the uses of accounting from a management perspective.
Strategy and Operations Through CFO Lens
This is perhaps one of the most popular courses to take as an accounting elective. We need to combine all the knowledge and skills we have gained in the fall semester to tackle real-world business issues. The most exciting thing about this course, of course, is that we get to meet actual CFOs from many different industries. A detailed course description is given on the March, 27th 2013 post of this blog.
Environmental Sustainability and Competitive Advantage
This is my floating elective that I chose from the MBA courses. Yes, it doesn’t seem to have much to do with accounting. Indeed, I am the only MAcc/MBT student in the classroom. But that’s the whole point of having a floating elective in this program. I chose to take this course because someday I wish to work in the field of environmental accounting. As long as you have a legitimate reason behind your choice, you can choose any course you want as a floating elective.
There are literally countless courses you could choose from, including accounting, tax, law, finance, management, and information technology. So it’s no surprise that many students struggle to make up their mind. I too switched two courses during the first week of the semester. It was a tough decision, but after three weeks into the semester, I know I made the right choice.
MAcc Class of 2014
Attention all Harry Potter fans! Yes, you, all of you (even those who won’t admit it). I figured I would turn your attention to a favorite study spot of mine. This will undoubtedly be helpful information when the fall rolls around and you realize you aren’t in Kansas anymore (or an undergraduate). I happen to be a fan of quiet study spaces- places where I don’t have to put in headphones to concentrate.
Meet Doheny Memorial Library. Yes, you have a plethora of library options on campus, and even the courtyards of Popovich Hall (a favorite of many MAccs and MBTs). But if you prefer a quiet environment without glares on your computer screen, Doheny is for you. Doheny is one if not the oldest library on campus. It has a certain classical ere and charm that really draws you in, and coaxes the most work out, most likely due to its lack of distractions. It may not be open 24 hours, but for you morning folk, it opens its massive steel doors at 8 am sharp.
In my opinion, Doheny is the place to go when you need to get work done and want to be surrounded by an elegant, classical environment. But be sure not to talk, Dumbledore may be around the corner!
MAcc Class of 2014
DineLA’s Restaurant Week is a twelve-day dining event (January 20-30, 2014) that showcases premier dining places in Los Angeles. More than 300 higher-end restaurants participate in this program, and diners can enjoy the experience of tasting menus at a more affordable price than usual.
Friends from the program and I went to Fogo de Chao, which is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. The restaurant offers 16 cuts of meat prepared by gaucho chef, gourmet salad bar, and award-winning wine list. DineLA was a good opportunity for me to try out new dining restaurants that I would not have been to. Apparently, many locals enjoy this opportunity too, because the restaurant had a long waiting line and we had to wait long even though we made reservation.
The price was worth it, because all of us walked out of Fogo de Chao with stomachs full with delicious Brazilian meat. I encourage prospective students to utilize this opportunity to enjoy all the popular restaurants in Los Angeles.
MAcc Class of 2014
It is time to welcome back USC MAcc & MBT students from a lovely holiday. Almost a full month of visiting family, friends, and sleeping in has perfectly prepared us all for this final round of education. We just finished the second week of classes and already I can tell it will be a great semester. With the new term, we have seen an increase in fun events like group dinners, beach trips, and soon a Chinese New Year celebration through USC!
For me though, the most memorable event to come this semester will be studying for the CPA exam. In the wake of Recruiting many of the students have been turning to the books to try and get study time in before we begin working after graduation. I cannot imagine a better scenario to study for the four most infamous tests in the Accounting Industry than with my fellow students at USC.
MBT Class of 2014
The beginning of the second semester is an exciting time! Everyone is back and well rested from finals week last semester. As a New Jersey resident I was surprised to realize that in January the weather is in the 80’s and perfect for an end-of-the-week beach day. A couple of classmates and I went to Malibu for the day. While we were there, we warmed up to the water and jumped waves at the beach. Before we got out we saw a couple of dolphins off in the horizon enjoying the warm California weather as well.
At Point Dume, there is a hill that overlooks the ocean and has a great view for catching the sunset. Some people rock climb but we decided to take the fifteen minute hike. Once we got to the top we knew we made the right decision. We were able to sit at the top for a while before coming down and we got some great pictures.
After coming back down, we relaxed on the beach for a little bit and then headed to a local fish diner for dinner. This area is great because the beach is close enough that a quick trip is possible even during the week day. I love the beach and I think everyone should go at least twice.
I’m back! I enjoyed my undergrad experience at USC so much that I wanted to do it all over again and pursue my master’s here at this fine university. After meeting students who started in the summer and in the fall, I realized that I am not alone. Out of the 180+ students enrolled in the USC MAcc/MBT program, over 40 of us did our undergrad at USC and are “Double Trojans.”
Still, even after being here for more than 4 years, I constantly witness new things about USC every day. I have come to realize that much of USC’s beauty lies in the details. I stumbled upon these gems last fall!
Statue located in between Bridge Hall and the Leventhal Accounting building. I’m pretty sure it is holding a football!
Statue located on the side of Seeley Wintersmith Mudd Memorial Hall and can be seen from Trousdale Parkway
Vinnie Saint John
MAcc Class of 2014
Words to live by as we go through finals week
Fall semester is officially coming to a close as MAcc and MBT students take on their final exams this week. For me, I have one more exam to take before I can finally say that I’m on break! Although the semester is not quite over, I’m already looking forward to spring semester because I’m excited to begin my elective courses.
The flexibility in choosing courses and the ability to tailor my degree to my career goals are two really great aspects of USC’s Master of Accounting program. There are so many interesting courses to choose from, and we can even take courses with MBA students! Next year, I will be working in both audit and tax, and I’m grateful that I have the ability to include more tax courses into my spring curriculum to better prepare me for my career. Fall semester has been memorable in so many ways, and I’m looking forward to an equally great experience in the spring!
MAcc Class of 2014