Sam Erichsen, 2020 Hindsight



Sam graduated from the Master of Science in Taxation program  in 2020. He spoke with us about his experience with the MST program and his current position as Senior Staff 1 at EY. His full interview is linked above with some highlights below.

How has the MST program helped you succeed at your current job?

My experiences from MST definitely carried forward into the workspace. Having that higher sense of confidence in myself as I was able to answer more questions in class and started to come into my own as far as professional has been very impactful. I’ve been willing to step up and be like – hey, I know we did this project this way in the prior year. Is there a more efficient way to do this?

What do you like about your job?

I’m in a diversified staff group, which is called the Diversified Staff Group (DSG) program, and what that means is that I get to try out everything.  I’m not limited to just doing federal taxation or state taxation or international taxation. I get to try everything. That’s been really cool for me because I didn’t know what area of taxation I wanted to focus in and so I’ve gotten to just experience all across the board.

What advice would you give future MST students?

The advice I would give them is to just not worry about making mistakes and to be confident in yourself no matter what program you end up choosing. Imposter syndrome is a very real thing. You’re going to feel sometimes like — oh, I just don’t get this and everyone else is understanding it. Or oh, do I really belong here? All these people seem super smart. And the truth is that everyone is struggling, if not with that topic, then another topic and so if you really want to get the most out of this master’s program, it is on you to step up and ask questions and volunteer answers even if they’re not going to be right 100% of the time. Because the fact that you volunteered is always going to stand out to people and show that you tried, and it’s going to put you on the right track to figuring out how to get the correct answer next time.


Learn more about the Master of Accounting programs at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.


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