When students work in cohorts, expanding connections and building relationships becomes easy. For Katherine Gluck and Dragana Lane, the group-work and friendship that blossomed from the cohort-structured program inspired the two M.S. in Taxation students to join forces and start their own CPA practice.
Gluck and Lane’s journey began in October 2010 after meeting at the M.S. in Taxation orientation in October. After only two months of working together in a group within the program, Gluck and Lane knew their talents would work well together in their own business.
“We had a blast the first semester working together,” said Lane. With the same work ethic, Gluck and Lane spent countless hours writing papers and completing homework while working full time. With accelerated courses, the stressful environment mirrors a real life setting in the professional field. Throughout the late hours and busy schedule, however, laughter always remained constant throughout the work, which both Gluck and Lane feel is important in effective teamwork.
“Dr. Efrat’s Tax Research and Communication class taught us that we didn’t want the collaboration to end in the classroom. We wanted it to continue, and for a long time I had been thinking about going into a partnership with someone, but I had never found the right person until I took Dr. Efrat’s class with Dragana. I knew I wanted to continue working with her,” said Gluck.
Both Gluck and Lane wanted to pursue the M.S. in Taxation program to build connections and strengthen skills. Prior to starting the program, Lane says she felt stuck after seven years in public accounting and needed that push to help her advance in the field. Gluck, who has an audit background, worked independently for four years, and says she felt isolated in the profession. Gluck desired to reintegrate herself in the field and says she feels her experience within the program connected her to diverse professionals that she would not have met otherwise.
“It’s hard to find someone who offsets your technical skills as well as the soft stuff that is really important when working with someone. I feel very lucky, and if it wasn’t for this program I wouldn’t have met Dragana and I would still be on my own,” said Gluck.
Working in teams is also no stranger to Lane, who played professional basketball in Europe for 13 years. Lane noted that her background in professional sports as well as public accounting has attributed to her passion to collaborate, compete and work with people in the profession.
“I really wanted to partner up with someone because I enjoy working with people. Teamwork for me is the best and I will do whatever it takes to get the work done. I also like to work with people who do the same,” said Lane.
Both Gluck and Lane say they made the decision to start the business carefully, and are excited to create their own CPA firm together.
“There’s no substitute for having your own firm. Working for other people is different, but having your own firm is great, “ said Lane.
“You have the choice to select the clients you want to work with and set the tone for the firm. We want to create that environment with our future staff where people want to come to work,” said Gluck
Gluck and Lane’s firm is undergoing the process of approval now, and is set to launch early 2012.