Accounting Interview: Spotlight on Matt Johnson


We had the chance to interview senior associate at Alvarez and Marsal. Matt, who is an under-30 accounting professional, has a breadth of experience and shares a great perspective on the accounting profession and his education that has supported his career goals to date. Read his story and insights here:

What is your current role, and what was your professional path up to date?

I am currently work in the transaction advisory group at a consulting firm.  My focus is financial due diligence and my title is senior associate.  Prior to this I was an auditor at a big 4 public accounting firm.

How did college prepare/ not prepare you for the real world? 

College was instrumental in preparing me for the real world.  The subject matter in the classes I took was helpful in developing a base to lean on, however I probably benefited the most from four years of growth and maturity gained from all that college had to offer outside of academics.  The lessons learned outside the classroom helped me grow into the person and professional I am today.

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What is the most challenging thing about accounting professions?  

I think one of the most challenging aspects is trying to figure out where you see yourself 10 years down the road.  There are so many different avenues you can take with an accounting background that its often tough to focus your energy on getting where you want to be 10 years from now rather than 1 year from now.  Its easy to take a pay raise and a new job tomorrow, but will that help or hurt your chances of being where you want to be 10 years from now?

Why did you choose the professional path you did?

I honestly ended up in accounting because my dad is also an accountant.  He encouraged me to give it a try during college and I enjoyed it.  I guess it runs in the family.  I ended up in the transaction advisory role because it is a very fast paced industry that also offers a lot of flexibility.

What advice would you give students currently pursuing a business-related degree? 

I would tell them to focus on getting a degree in a field they truly will enjoy working in.  Business/accounting degrees are often sought after because there are a lot of jobs available upon graduation.  However, if it’s not something that you will enjoy then it might not be worth all the time, money, and effort to complete.

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