Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

MSA Faculty & Students Beyond the Classroom at the USA Branch of the International Fiscal Association (IFA) Conference

MSA Faculty & Students Beyond the Classroom at the USA Branch of the International Fiscal Association (IFA) Conference

Babson was well represented at this February’s USA Branch of the International Fiscal Association in Houston. The conference, which typically focuses on legal developments in the taxation of international transactions, featured a panel on the use of emerging technologies. Aptly titled “Replaced by Robotics? Emerging Technologies in Tax Practice,” the panel featured a series of industry experts, including Babson Professor Brigitte Muehlmann and representatives from Deloitte, KPMG, and General Electric. Also featured on the panel: Chandler McKinley MS’18—the panel’s student secretary.

How does a Master of Science in Accounting student become the IFA’s first-ever student panel secretary and join the ranks of the industry’s heavy hitters? It starts with campus connections and strong student/faculty relationships. Babson’s MSA Faculty Director, Shay Blanchette-Proulx, knows every student in the program—their background, their interests, etc. When the opportunity to recommend a graduate student emerged, Chandler—who will work in international taxation for PwC after graduation—became the obvious choice. After extensive preparation, and support from Babson’s Student Leadership Initiative Fund, Chandler was ready to join the panel during the presentation.

Chandler called the conference eye opening. It opened networking doors, and exposed him to new ways of thinking, new lingo, and emerging policy. And, when it came to fulfilling his role as student secretary, he delivered. Through the application of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (ET&A) and his own background and experience, Chandler complemented the panelists. In session, he presented a well-informed perspective from his graduate studies at Babson and an internship with PwC, where he developed skills in data collection and cleansing, visualization, and optimization software tools. Outside of the session, Chandler was the glue of the panel—he communicated with each panelist and developed the final slide deck for the presentation. He was also critical in assisting Professor Muehlmann prepare, posing thought-provoking questions leading up to, and immediately before, the panel. And, as they sat next to each other during the panel, they exemplified the strong student-faculty relationships that are a hallmark of the Babson graduate student experience.


This blog was co-authored by Chandler McKinley MS’18 and Brigitte Muehlmann, Professor and Chair, Division of Accounting & Law.