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Graham Gockley

Graham Gockley

Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy 2012

Valuation Analyst, EY , San José, CA


Getting into the People Business

Gockley goes beyond the numbers to advance career


Graham Gockley loves numbers. After majoring in economics at Davidson and deciding to pursue a career in business, he concluded that delving into the financial reports was the best way to learn about the operations and profitability of a company.

Owen’s “great academics, one-of-a-kind access to the top firms and personalized attention to professional development” attracted Graham to the MAcc program. “It’s an incredible combination you will find nowhere else in the country,” he says.

But what he came to appreciate is that accounting is also heavily a people business — one for which Owen’s close-knit, collaborative atmosphere was well suited. “A business school should emphasize relationships, not just transactions,” he says. Instead of merely churning out graduates, Owen is committed to building lifelong relationships and well-rounded professionals.

“The team projects here force students to interact with individuals of diverse backgrounds and personalities,” says the Pittsburgh native, who joined Ernst & Young — one of Owen’s partner firms — upon graduation. “It forces students to be adaptive and more aware of their own actions. This type of professional awareness is invaluable in the global business world, when dealing with a multitude of complex problems and people from assorted backgrounds.”