Identical Twin Sisters Find Career Success with MSA Degrees
Claudia and Caroline Buchegger are identical twins with identical degrees. Both got their Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) from the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy at the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University.
However, the path they took to earn those degrees was not identical at all.
Claudia was the first-born twin and the first to attend SDSU. She enrolled as an accounting major during her freshman year in 2016 with the intent of becoming a certified public accountant (CPA).
“I knew I wanted to become a CPA and I chose to attend SDSU because the university has a great accounting program,” she said. “I loved my professors at SDSU and they taught the skills and knowledge necessary to be very successful in every part of the accounting field.”
As an SDSU junior, Claudia became eligible to enroll in the BMACC degree program, where students earn both their bachelor’s degree and MSA degrees simultaneously within five years. Students who successfully complete the BMACC program also have the required 150 credit hours needed to sit for the CPA exams.
While Claudia was working toward her accounting degrees at SDSU, Caroline was working toward her mathematics degree at the University of California San Diego.
“I always loved numbers and I received my bachelor’s degree in mathematics. But after I took an accounting class during my senior year, I realized I was more passionate about it than the other courses I took,” said Caroline. “I realized my best option to pursue a career in that field was to get my master’s degree in accounting since it would give me the credits and knowledge required to sit for, and pass, the CPA exam.”
Caroline completed her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCSD in the spring of 2020 with her plans for a graduate degree already in place. The following January, she enrolled in SDSU’s MSA program and she joined Claudia as a student in the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy.
“I knew the Big Four accounting firms employed students from SDSU and that I would have a lot of career opportunities if I attended,” said Caroline. “My sister told me how much she loved SDSU and the professors, so that definitely had a big influence on my decision to attend.”
In the meantime, Claudia had already finished four years of her 5-year BMACC program. She took her last classes in December 2021, graduating as the top BMACC student for the 2021 – 22 academic year. Barely a month later, she was working as a tax associate at a local accounting firm before taking a position at Viasat, a multi-billion-dollar global communications company located in Carlsbad, California in January 2023.
“My professors at SDSU prepared me well for a position in public accounting and it’s the reason I landed a job as a tax associate right after I graduated,” said Claudia, who has since become a licensed CPA. “As a corporate accountant at Viasat, I can attribute most of my knowledge and skills back to my education at SDSU.”
Caroline, who graduated with her MSA in spring 2023, is currently an audit and assurance professional with Deloitte’s San Diego office where she had previously worked as an intern.
“My MSA degree program was probably the main reason I got an internship with a Big Four accounting firm,” said Caroline. “I received a job offer from them after my internship and I can definitely attribute all of this to earning my MSA degree from SDSU.”