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'Til Gabriel Blows His Horn

Texas MPA students are much more than future accountants. Despite an incredibly fast-paced year of grad school--complete with recruiting, classes and the looming CPA Exam—most still find time to pursue outside interests. When you consider just how demanding the Texas MPA program is, the fact that three of our current students play in the Longhorn Marching Band (a feat in itself) is remarkable.

Lauren Hiller (MPA ‘16) plays trumpet. Whitney Swimelar (MPA ‘16) plays the clarinet. Ryan Zander (MPA ‘14) plays saxophone. Lauren and Whitney are also section leaders. All three see the Longhorn Band as an opportunity to perform and bring their spirit to the University, but they also note that the marching band is a great place to make social connections. According to Ryan, “It is an organization that surrounds me with highly motivated and highly successful people from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields of study.”

Balancing all the work of earning an MPA degree along with learning sheet music and band formations is an incredible feat for a college student. Lauren sees rehearsals as a nice study break where she can let her stress out through music before hitting the books once more. Whitney’s advice for other students wanting to follow in her footsteps? “Be great with your time management. I make sure to be aware of when I need to be at band practice or when I won’t be able to study on a Saturday because of a game. Being aware of when I will be busy in the future forces me to study in advance so I can get my work done.”

All three agree that the Longhorn Marching Band provides a number of perks like: traveling to all the games, exploring different forms of leadership, and providing service in support of the community. It just goes to show how much positive impact these extra-curricular activities have on developing well-rounded accountants.