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Nikki Palazzo

Nikki Palazzo

Vanderbilt Macc Assurance 2010

Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at PwC

Supersizing a Big MAcc

Integration Sells Palazzo on Owen

Nikki Palazzo likes being in the middle of things. At Furman, where she majored in Communications and Business, the Georgia native was part of a championship volleyball team; completed three internships (one in New York City); and studied abroad in Australia and New Zealand.

When she began looking at MAcc programs, in pursuit of her near-term career goal of working for a Big Four accounting firm, Nikki sought an academically challenging experience that would offer the sense of wider opportunity she had enjoyed as an undergraduate. One reason she chose Vanderbilt, she says, "is that the MAcc program is part of the Owen family, which offers unlimited resources to both current students and alumni. At other schools I considered, the MAcc program was isolated from the MBA students and, therefore, did not offer the networking and learning opportunities that the Owen community provides." Being part of that community also meant "the freedom to impact the curriculum, control student organizations and voice opinions that are heard and acted upon" — a freedom Nikki says she found nowhere else.

"My experience far exceeded every expectation," she says. "Not only did I learn more in the classroom than I ever thought possible, I have learned a great deal about myself. And I have met amazing friends and professional contacts I will cherish for years to come."