The MS Tax Program’s Convocation Ceremony for its 9th graduating class was held on May 4, 2014 at the University Club of Chicago. The 29 students graduating received a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree. Over 150 guests were in attendance for the celebration, including family members from as far away as India and Korea.
The commencement address was given by Mr. Cary D. McMillan, Chief Executive Officer, True Partners Consulting LLC. Mr. McMillan encouraged the graduates to develop strong business skills in addition to their outstanding tax skills. As a former Audit Partner, CFO, and now CEO, he reminded the graduates that because tax is very technical, it is rarely understood by any of their business colleagues or senior management. As a result, the graduates should strive to differentiate themselves by communicating in language that can be understood by other business people.
Mr. McMillan encouraged the graduates to use plain language rather than tax jargon when working with non-tax colleagues. Doing so would enable them to build trust and become the business team’s “go to” tax person for all things tax.
Mr. McMillan summarized his advice by encouraging the graduates to: keep their message simple; be as brief as possible; present their advice as though they were presenting it to their Moms (in a way that she would understand it); and focus on explaining the “why”, rather than just the “what”.
Other speakers included Dr. Larry DeBrock, Dean of the College of Business and Brendan L. Slade-Smith, Class of 2014.