April Estes met her husband while working on a group project in grad school, but that’s not why she pursued a master’s. In fact, she works as a tax partner at PwC, and her spouse stays home with their two sons, ages 6 and 4. So while Estes helps clients manage their tax profiles, her hubby takes care of household affairs. All because of the Master of Taxation (MTx) she earned from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business.
After earning a B.B.A. in accounting from Robinson, Estes immediately began her MTx studies. Upon graduation in 2004, she took an intern position at PwC, working her way up to associate and then tax partner in 2016. She directly attributes her upward climb at a Big Four accounting firm to the program.
“The Master of Taxation enabled me to think broadly,” Estes says. “But I also developed enough depth across different areas to feel supported for a strong career in tax.”
Estes picked up a powerful skill set throughout the program. The degree grounded her with an understanding of tax law at the international, domestic, federal, state and local levels as well as the confidence to handle issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting. Despite all the technical topics the curriculum covered, she cites communication skills garnered through team presentations as her biggest takeaway.
“That’s what a business environment is,” she explains. “You have to collaborate with people who have different perspectives, backgrounds and expectations.”
When last year’s tax code reform went into effect, the corporate tax rate fell from 35 to 21 percent, enabling Estes to lower one company’s taxable income by 350 million dollars. That resulted in 45 million dollars in permanent savings.
“We added value that extends well beyond the tax function,” Estes says. “When the CFOs, CEOs and investors notice, it feels pretty good.”