Tanner Pratt '16

Major: Economics

Minors: Accounting and Business

Graduate degree: Master of Accountancy, University of Vermont

What do you do for a living?

I am currently working for Crowe Horwath, a top 10 public accounting firm in their Nashville, Tennessee office. At Crowe, I am an auditor and I specialize in the insurance industry, with additional exposure to banking and financial institutions. In the insurance industry, I work with many clients that are Fortune 500 companies. 

How did your experience at Saint Michael's help prepare you for your career?

Upon graduating from SMC in 2016, I enrolled at UVM in their Master of Accountancy program. There were many skills that I was able to obtain from SMC that directly helped my success in a graduate program. 

The most significant difference between my time at SMC and UVM that I ran into was the amount of writing that is required at the graduate level. Luckily for me being Economics major, and minoring in Walshology (taking every class offered by Prof. Walsh), I had no other option than to become a skilled writer. As other people at UVM struggled with the increase in writing, I felt that I was well prepared, and actually felt that the writing was more of a volume issue and not so much an issue with content and development, when compared to one of Prof. Walsh's classes. 

Going into the "real world" was also an easy transition for me being a SMC graduate. One of the largest hurdles that most recent graduates have to jump through, especially going into a client-facing field, is the ability to effectively use soft skills. I think it is safe to say, especially in Accounting, that the majority of schools do a good job with teaching the "hard skills," those needed to crunch the numbers. However, what I found to be exceptional at SMC, and really do not see in other institutions is the ability to not only teach the hard skills, but also help with the development of soft skills, which are not easily taught. The professors in every department do an extraordinary job developing not only the required skills, but also helping to develop well-rounded professionals. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at St. Mike's?

Picking a favorite class at SMC is tough. Being part of both the Econ and the Accounting departments, I have lots of favorites for different reasons, so let's go with a memory. 

My favorite memory was being able to do a year long research project alongside my peers for the Econ capstone class. It was fun and challenging to pick a single research question to work on all year, but what made it so memorable was how our 2016 Econ class was set up. Each member had their own research that they worked on, and the topics were so diverse that I felt I learned so much in that one class from my peers, while also seeing the hard work and dedication that was put into them. 

Just what is it about St. Mike's?

As far as academics are concerned at SMC, my favorite part was that I was able to take classes in a wide variety of different departments. At larger schools, you do not have the flexibility to take courses outside the given major(s) that you declare. While at SMC I was able to take classes in Economics, Accounting, Finance, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, History, Fiction Writing, and many others. This not only kept my academics interesting, but it allowed me to develop the skill set that I wanted to, not what was required. I encourage everyone at SMC to find room to take classes that you find interesting, you will be surprised how much those courses will help you down the road.


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