Accountancy: Maddie Zietsman

Maddie Zietsman hadn’t heard about Wake Forest until the summer before her senior year of high school, but when she strolled through the Reynolda Campus for the first time on a warm spring day, when campus was abuzz and students were in high spirits, she knew she’d found her home. 

Four years later, she will graduate from The Forest having found success not only in the accounting major, but in the accounting world — her work experience includes some time at Deloitte. And after four long years, the love Zietsman has for Wake Forest has not waned. She will become a “double deac” when she starts in Wake Forest’s School of Business Masters of Accounting program next year, a prestigious program which is ranked No. 1 in the country for its placement into “Big Four” firms. 

Zietsman came to school knowing she wanted to do something finance-related, but the path of accounting wasn’t yet clear to her.

“I took that first finance class and soon then realized that I preferred the accounting class I’d taken before,” Zietsman said. “I totally transitioned and decided to go with accounting, and I think I definitely made the right decision for me. Now looking back, I definitely like accounting a lot more than finance. I think it was a good decision but definitely not fully intended as when I came into Wake Forest.”

Reflecting on her time, Zietsman is especially thankful for faculty members and professors who helped her and the rest of her graduating class through the difficult period of COVID-19-induced online learning. 

“I took my first accounting class during COVID, so it was all on Zoom,” Zietsman said. “Obviously everyone was online, [so] it was kind of just a bummer for everyone.”

Zietsman continued: “But I’ll still never forget during that class, I had [Dr. Anna] Cianci. And just throughout that whole time, she went above and beyond to just really connect with the students. She put us all into little groups and scheduled these office hours in the evenings just to get to know us.”

To Zietsman, this experience affirmed her decision to become a Demon Deacon.

 “I think that was honestly one of the first times where I was like, ‘Oh, I really made the right decision about Wake [Forest].’”

For Zeitsman, the future is bright. She is particularly intrigued by software breakthroughs in the field of accountancy. She highlighted new programs being created by Deloitte that would efficiently organize often contrived, lengthy audits.

“The industry and the world itself is changing so much with technology,” Zietsman added. “It’s kind of crazy to think that the jobs that all of us might have in the next 10 years might not even exist today.”

She also said that she hopes to play a bigger role at Deloitte in the future.

“I love the team and the culture, so I think that would be a dream down the line to become a partner.

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