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Alex (Hale) Deskins

Alex (Hale) Deskins

Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy 2012

Assurance Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Louisville, KY

Finding Room to Grow

Hale takes unexpectedly rewarding career turn

As an undergraduate, Alex (Hale) Deskins majored in International Business, which she thought would give her the broadest business education. But as she approached graduation, she found that breadth didn’t necessarily mean depth. “I realized I didn’t have a defined skill set to offer employers,” she says.

A friend suggested she look into MAcc programs. Alex recalls her response: “Accounting is boring,” she said. “I’m too much of a people person for that.”

Her friend, who was already enrolled in a MAcc program at another school, helped convince her otherwise. Alex gravitated toward Vanderbilt, she says, because of its “unparalleled access to the Big Five firms and Owen’s commitment to its students.”

At Owen, Alex says, “I grew immensely during my one short year” — and not just through her new mastery of accounting. “My Owen experience also challenged me to grow professionally,” she says, “through numerous mock interviews and professional development sessions.”

The value of her degree and her network came home to her — and literally brought her back home — after her internship with Pricewaterhouse in Nashville. “For personal reasons,” she says, “I decided it was time to head home to Louisville. With one single phone call, I was transferred to the Louisville office. Because Vanderbilt has such a reputation for strong students, PwC did not hesitate to transfer me.

“I’ve learned that companies are not afraid to give you a challenge, because they know what they can get out of an Owen student.”