Kyle Andersen graduated with a Masters in Business Taxation degree in 2013 and is a tax associate at PwC in Minneapolis. Kyle is also the new “alumni representative” on the MBT Advisory Board. The MBT program had the opportunity to interview Kyle for this quarter’s “Alumni Spotlight”.

What is your role at PwC?

I am a tax associate in the transfer pricing team—and working at PwC has been great! I started with the firm in January of 2014 and my role has been expanding month by month as I take on additional responsibilities and acquire more skills. PwC is full of hardworking highly motivated people and has a fun positive atmosphere.  In the beginning of 2015 I will be doing a rotation with our Private Company Services group helping prepare tax returns during the busy season.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I have the good fortune to be married to a wonderful woman and together we have a four year old daughter. We are expecting a new baby in January of 2015 so I have less than two months left to enjoy good uninterrupted sleep. I enjoy playing games with my daughter, fishing, gardening and traveling. This last summer my wife and I went on a few edible mushroom hunting expeditions—it was fun to give hiking more of a purpose. Each summer I like to take a trip to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota—it is a good opportunity to unplug and relax with friends and family.

Which class in the MBT program did you find the most useful? Or which class do you most remember?

The courses that comprise the MBT program, taken as a whole, definitely expand your tax knowledge base. One of the MBT program’s strengths is that all the professors worked or are working professionally in tax; they really helped bring the material to life by sharing real life examples and experiences. One of my most memorable classes was Tax Policy in which we explored the reasons tax law developed to where it is today and also explored various proposals to reform the tax system. It was fun to look at tax law from the policy maker’s point of view rather than taking the rules as a given constant.

What courses do you recommend as preparation for a career in tax?

The MBT program is quite customizable so you are somewhat free to explore the areas of tax that are most interesting to you. When I was enrolling in classes I tried to balance the subjects I found interesting with the subjects I thought most likely to be applicable in the future. Ironically enough, even though I now work in transfer pricing I did not take the transfer pricing course when I was a student. Nonetheless, the knowledge I gained still helps me on a daily basis.

Are there any relationships you formed in the MBT program that you maintained after graduation?

I made several good friends when I was a student and I believe these relationships will last a long time, maybe a lifetime! I think a significant part of the value that the MBT program offers is the opportunity to meet other people working in tax (call it networking). Let’s face it, mainstream culture considers tax professionals to be something of modern day flagellants, so it is nice to meet kindred spirits who understand that working in tax can be interesting and rewarding. Since graduating, I have come to realize that the Carlson School MBT alumni network is quite strong, especially in the Twin Cities region. When I meet MBT alumni I feel something of a common bond and it makes the conversation flow a little easier.

What do you hope to achieve/contribute to the MBT Advisory Board during your term?

The Advisory Board provides ideas to improve the program and acts as a sounding board for initiatives under consideration. My role on the Advisory Board is to provide support and advice from the perspective of the students. To that end, I welcome the input from any student or recent graduate—please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to share any ideas or experiences. I think success for the Advisory Board is synonymous with success for the MBT program.

How did your experience in the MBT Program contribute to the position you hold today?

For me, the MBT program represented an opportunity to “retool” my skills and start down a new career path. It would have been very difficult for me to land my current position without the MBT program and the knowledge I picked up in class. Granted, a majority of the students in the MBT program already work in tax so for them the program represents more of an opportunity to expand one’s knowledge base and open new doors for career advancement. Regardless, I think the MBT program is very helpful for those people who wish to pursue a long term career in tax.

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