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Touchdown: How a former Boise State football player found success in the Online Master of Science in Accountancy program

Mason Hampton is a seeker — seeker of victory on the football field, a strong team in the workplace and a worthwhile career. He credits his eight years at Boise State for laying the groundwork for his athletic, academic and professional success.

There is little doubt that Hampton’s work ethic also has much to do with his success. The Meridian, Idaho native learned to balance school, sports and work from a young age. “My first job was working in the lumber department at Home Depot in high school,” Hampton explained. So when it came time to go to college, he was already practiced in time management and prioritization.

Choosing Accounting

Hampton joined the Boise State Broncos on The Blue in 2013 as an offensive lineman and achieved success both on and off the field. Following the path of his sisters, Hampton pursued a degree in accounting. His hard work in academics earned him the 2017-18 Mountain West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Hampton was the first Boise State student-athlete, male-or-female-identifying, to earn the conference’s top academic honor.

Mason Hampton dressed in football uniform, hugging coach.
Mason Hampton on the football field as a Boise State Bronco. Photo provided by Mason Hampton.

Following his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Hampton was unsure of his next step. “I had just finished camps for the NFL and I did not know where I was going to go next.” While looking for jobs online, Hampton found a listing for an entry-level accounting position at BodyBuilding.com and decided to apply. Spoiler: he got the job!

Professional Accounting Experience

His professional experience at BodyBuilding.com opened up the world of accounting and revealed a fulfilling career path. “At BodyBuilding.com I’m a Senior Accountant. I deal with a lot of different aspects of the company. Whether that is performing forecasts, reconciling items on the balance sheet or income statement, or helping out with tax items, it really varies.”

“I get to work with just about every department inside the company. We support all departments. When one department needs analysis of new product profitability or whether we should keep running a segment of the business, they come to us. We get to learn the ins and outs of the business. We get to become the most knowledgeable people in the building.”

Although he may have been unsure at first, Hampton’s passion for the accounting field is evident. “The principle of accounting is that you are reflecting the operations of the business on financial statements and you are preparing those statements for external users. Whether that be banks, investors or shareholders — we provide insurance that operations are what [an organization] says they are to be, that they are accurate and complete, and relevant and reliable.”

Mason Hampton stands outside of a brick building and holds a textbook.
Mason Hampton, a student in the Boise State Master of Accountancy program, outside of the College of Business and Economics. Photo by Arlie Sommer, Boise State Extended Studies.

Discovering the Online Master of Science in Accountancy Program

As Hampton continued to work in the field, he desired to deepen his learning and set himself apart with a master’s degree in accounting. He learned about the Online Master of Science in Accountancy program at his alma mater, Boise State. The online program would give him the flexibility to continue working full-time and pursue an advanced degree.  “I think that in the field of accounting, where things are always changing, you must always be learning,” said Hampton. “You are setting yourself up for the future. Getting your master’s degree signals your desire for learning and continuing your education. As an accountant, that is needed as you progress throughout your career.”

Now, nearing the end of his master’s degree program, Hampton has many positive things to say about all he’s learned from his coursework. “One of the most interesting classes I’ve taken so far has been financial accounting theory, which explores less of the nitty-gritty of how to do accounting, but instead focuses on why we do accounting,” Hampton explained. “The purpose of accounting is to provide complete and accurate information to investors and other folks who use financial statements  to provide a safe and secure securities market.”

Mason Hampton inside of a building and wearing a facial covering.
Mason Hampton says that Boise State’s accountancy program is worth the investment. Photo by Arlie Sommer, Boise State Extended Studies.

More about Boise State Online’s Graduate Accountancy Programs

The Online Master of Accountancy program at Boise State is led by nationally recognized faculty who possess valuable industry experience and PhDs from top schools. The programs focus on working professionals, like Hampton, to create abundant networking opportunities and a stimulating learning environment. Recently, the program was also celebrated for achieving one of the highest CPA exam first-time pass rates in the nation. Additionally, all of Boise State’s graduate business degrees, including the accountancy program, are accredited by the International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the gold standard of accreditation. No other graduate business program in the Treasure Valley has achieved this distinction.

In addition to the Online Master of Science in Accountancy program Hampton’s enrolled in, Boise State’s College of Business and Economics also recently launched the Online Master of Science in Accountancy Foundations program. The program provides an entry point for prospective graduate students who don’t have an accountancy undergraduate degree. The flexible, variable credit program allows students to customize their master’s degree path to include the foundational accounting knowledge they need while staying on track to completion. Another option for prospective students is the Graduate Certificate in Accounting Foundations. This program designed for students who want to add an accounting emphasis to a non-accounting master’s degree.

An Accountancy Master’s Degree Is Worth The Investment

You might be wondering: but is a master’s degree worth the extra time and effort? Hampton says yes. “It is an investment in your future. When you are spending 12-15 hours a week doing school, you have to take a step back and remember you are investing in yourself. It’s the accounting term: return on investment. If I can get my degree, then I will be more valuable to a company and more marketable to recruiters.”

Hampton will not let his graduation in December 2020 be the end of his time at Boise State. “I have spent a lot of time at Boise State. I was thinking about it the other day. It has been almost eight years that I have been here. I look back on my time fondly. I am sure I’ll still be around, helping out in the athletics department and accounting department. I won’t break the connection once I graduate.”

If you are seeking a nurturing, flexible environment to deepen your accounting knowledge and skills, contact a Boise State Online Student Success Coach at online@boisestate.edu or (208) 426-5921.

Boise State Online offers a variety of flexible and student-focused online programs, perfect for anyone looking to get a degree. Contact us to start your journey today!

 

Story by Pamela Craig and Arlie Sommer for Boise State Extended Studies