Alum feature: Fatoumata Kone

Please briefly describe your career path and what led you to choose The School of Business.

Before obtaining my master’s degree in Taxation, I had a bachelor’s degree in Finance from PSU School of Business and was working full-time as a staff accountant for the United Fund Advisors. My next goal in my career was to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and thrive in the public accounting world once I pass the CPA examinations. I, therefore, decided to do a Master’s degree in taxation as my 5th year to qualify for the CPA exam. I chose The School of Business because I had great undergraduate experiences there. Moreover, it offers good resources plus the faculties and staff are there to help you succeed.

What does the average day in your current role at United Fund Advisors look like?

My daily responsibilities are preparing journal entries, posting cash receipts and disbursements, filing bank statements, preparing bank reconciliations, and assisting with BizInsight reporting. I also support UFA’s Asset and Risk Management Team by providing intra-company and investor financial reports and assisting with annual audits and tax returns.

What drew you to the MT program, in particular?

The fact that the master’s degree in taxation is in high demand in Portland is the reason I chose the program. 

What skills gained at PSU have you found most valuable in your career?

I was able to gain more in-depth tax knowledge from the program which really helps me in my daily work and is very valuable for my career. 

What inspires you?

What really inspires me is a good challenge. I challenge myself every day to be the better version of myself, to be better at my job, get the next goal done and be a CPA. 

What advice do you have for current or prospective graduate business students who are interested in your field?

My advice is that taxes are complex but not difficult. If you put the required time and energy into the courses, you will be very successful. If the syllabus tells you that you need 12 hours a week that means you need 12 hours or even more, so start early. The faculty and staff are valuable resources. 

What does “redefining business” mean to you?

When I hear “redefining business”, I think about a change in the agenda, a new approach, and a new voice for a better future. 

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