Transitioning into Graduate School Courses- Aliah

Aliah Abdul-Malik
Master of Science in Accounting

My name is Aliah Y. Abdul-Malik and I am in the Master of Accounting program. I am currently a first-year student, graduating in May and specializing in internal audit. I am originally from Queens, New York and attended Syracuse University to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. However, I was ready for a change of scenery and decided to pursue my Master’s degree at the University of Maryland.

Before coming to the Robert H. Smith School of Business, I was not aware that some graduate programs are able to divide the classes in terms, rather than semesters. As you may know, a semester consists of 2 halves of the school year from about August-December and January-May. However, there are 4 terms in a school year that lasts about 2 months each term. Being able to make that transition was difficult to get used to at first,  but the advisors did a good job of helping us ease our way into the program. The most challenging part of this process was having to learn a new topic in a significantly shorter amount of time. Nevertheless, the professors are usually available to give you support on a subject if needed.

The positive side of working in terms rather than semesters is that you are exposed to many more learning opportunities. I am able to take courses that are relevant to internal audit, as well as classes that are important to every accountant. I also believe that working in terms was helpful in aiding the transition from undergraduate to graduate classes. Graduate classes are naturally more rigorous than what you may be used to, and being able to start the year off with 2-3 classes is a big help.

Being a fairly new student at the Robert H. Smith School of Business has ultimately been a great experience thus far. Having my classes in terms has helped me to seamlessly ease my way into the graduate program. Also with the help of my advisors, I have been able to give my input on the mixture of classes that I would like to take. This has shown me that this school actually cares about its student’s success and what we are looking for academically.

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