Louisiana Tech Summer Commencement marked a special occasion for Geormar Owens, Tech’s College of Business, Grambling State University, and Deloitte. Owens became the very first graduate to have benefitted from a unique initiative that provides GSU accounting undergraduates with accelerated entry into Tech’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program.
Owens first learned about this partnership while enrolled as an accounting major at Grambling. Although he was slightly hesitant at first, he knew this was an opportunity that would set him up for future success.
“I knew that taking graduate level courses at Louisiana Tech while taking my senior undergraduate courses at Grambling would be challenging,” said Owens, who had set a personal goal as a freshman to graduate with honors.
“I did not want to jeopardize that,” he said. “I realized, though, this could be a great chance for me to pursue a graduate degree and open up more networking opportunities, both personally and professionally. I wanted to be the first to complete this program so I could use my experience to encourage others to participate.”
Owens has done just that over the course of his two years at Tech, serving as an ambassador for the program to current Grambling accounting students.
“Once students complete their undergraduate degree, they are well on their way to completing their graduate degree in accounting,” Owens said. “For me, I was optimistic about finishing my master’s degree because by the time the fall quarter started, I was halfway through the concurrent MAcc program.”
Now, Owens is preparing to begin a fulltime role as a tax consultant for Deloitte—the same company that made a large investment in the program’s success. Deloitte’s 2021 investment through scholarship support funds the cost of tuition and graduate assistantships for students in the program.
Owens and other members of his cohort have also had the opportunity to network with Deloitte’s leadership, like Stephen Metoyer, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Deloitte Tax LLP and a Tech alumnus.
“You hear people say ‘representation matters.’ I felt that phrase as I listened to Mr. Metoyer discuss his journey from Louisiana Tech to entering the corporate world,” said Owens. “His words had a positive impact on me. To see someone who looks like me in the position he’s in, encouraging me to complete my program and stay the path, was inspiring.”
Owens also received encouragement along the way from his professors and Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business.
“Dr. Andrea Drake and Dr. Martin have been exceptional during my entire academic journey at Louisiana Tech,” said Owens. “During my first meeting with Dr. Martin, he said I would always be able to discuss with him any issues that arose. He was true to his word. There was never a time that I had a question about anything that I was not able to receive sound advice from him.”
As the program continues to grow and impact more students, Owens can rest assured that he has paved the way for others coming after him—graduates who are highly qualified professionals who will diversify the accounting workforce.
“This initiative showcases the quality of students from both universities,” Owens said. “I was prepared by Grambling State University to attend Louisiana Tech University. Louisiana Tech further prepared me for the employment opportunity I have received with Deloitte. The courses I have taken through the MAcc program and the professors I have had will be instrumental in me being able to do my job competently.”
The concurrent MAcc program allows Tech College of Business accounting majors with a 3.2 GPA and less than 30 hours of coursework remaining to begin taking graduate-level courses while still an undergraduate. Through an MOU, Grambling students meeting these same requirements can also begin the Tech program concurrently while maintaining fulltime undergraduate status at GSU.
For more information about this initiative, visit business.latech.edu/