California State University - Northridge
California State University - Northridge - Comments and Student Experiences|
A little background about me, I started my accounting journey at LAVC and then transferred as a junior (get used to that since most people at upper division CSUN are transfers). The other universities I had the option to attend are Cal Poly SLO and CSULB. I liked how CSUN's program really was an accounting major filled with accounting classes. It was also my cheapest option so I enrolled here, man I regret it at times.
One actually great thing I can say about CSUN is that as someone who is currently putting himself through CPA exams I can safely say the program here does give you a good base knowledge for the exams. The program does cover the majority of topics you will see on CPA exams (still need to study hard). I've been told by those in the MPACC program that it also gears you well for exams. I liked the majority of my accounting courses barring cost accounting and I also really liked Contemporary ethical issues and Business Law II.
On the negative side I feel like the worst classes in this program are the business administration GE's you are required to take. Management 360, Marketing 304, Finance 303, Capstone, those classes are garbage. IS 312 is very useful knowledge but man it is taught in the worst way. Many of my peers who are doing IS as a double major or minor report similar feelings toward all the classes, great knowledge but horrible instructors. I would also like to point out that the most useless classes are the ones that are CSUN specific (not typically seen in other school's curriculum), biggest offender is for sure Gateway which teaches literally nothing and just antagonizes transfers, also noteworthy is ACCT 351COMM and ACCT 350, the last course being a weeder course for those who are "not serious" about the major and actually teaches very few new accounting concepts.
As for recruitment, which is a huge deal if you are an accounting major, that's really hard for me to talk about. The reason being is that I managed to fail to land but many others didn't. We do seem to be a genuine target school for audit and tax at B4 and other firms, not as much as USC or UCLA, we are definitely not a target school for consulting fields. I also personally knew two peers who are in investment banking now, one of which at Goldman Sachs. I have loads of peers doing cool things like finance, risk assurance, and consulting. Not me though, despite having 3.7-3.8 GPA throughout my entire education and other notable achievements I never landed, there are a lot of factors attributable (military obligation forcing me to leave before my final year and being hospitalized for a stomach infection during my last semester included). I want to worn people that there is a lot of racist hiring practices by Big 4, internships that favor pretty much everyone who is not white, those people will people will be first in line for the next years internships then full time. But hey most of my peers who did well in the program and stepped up in leadership roles got offers before graduating, just not me, I'm one of like three exceptions.
Other noteworthy stuff. While the immediate area is far from ghetto there has been some safety incidents while I attended. In the Fall 2018 semester some guy tried to choke out a girl at Bookstein Hall (where you will be taking most of your business classes). The thing that really pissed me off and actually CSUN's fault in my opinion is that damn shooter threat we had at the end of that same semester, which resulted in finals being canceled. Someone tried to pull the same crap next semester and finally the administration got smart and decided to just step up police presence.
I'm happy to say the the accounting student organizations are great (BAP, AA and ALPFA). Yes you can be any ethnicity and be in ALFPA. The other groups like MISA and student finance are also great. That In-n-out and tacos of ALPFA will make you happy, we are well fed in CSUN accounting.
So that's the general gist, was it the worst program ever? Absolutely not, it's actually a great program, I just hate our culture and my individual experience. Others had it great though. It is great that I graduated without any debt (I actually made profits from attending) but I still wouldn't want to go through that again. Ever since I got to CSUN I have been stressed and angry and I was actually happier at community. If I had a chance to do it all again I would have gone to SLO. I'm aware that there is no guarantee that it would have been better but I just would not want to go through my experience and program at CSUN again.
So for final advice for potential CSUN students. Well, as worst options go CSUN really isn't bad but if there is any chance that you could go to a more prestigious university without incurring too much debt do it. Remember, not only will your school choice determine what you will learn but your alumni network upon graduating. You will be judged as a matador for life. Speaking of which, Steven Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter is an alumni of CSUN accounting. Another claim to shame is Anita Sarkeesian who got her Bachelors in communications here.
As for what I've been doing since. Well I'm still looking for a public accounting offer and COVID-19 sure as hell isn't making that any easier, but I have passed 3 out of 4 CPA sections with only REG left to go. What can I say I hate how things have turned out but I love accounting and have come too far to stop. Maybe I'll go for Masters in Accounting if I can't break out of this, SLO is water under the bridge at this point but USC and LMU have attractive programs.
Lastly, to my future CPA candidates, I would like to state that my CPA review course of choice is Surgent CPA. A newer course but highly rated. I paid for it myself since a firm isn't doing it for me and it's a great review course I recommend it. Definitely make use of free trials though before buying one though.
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