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Business

A Foundation for Success

Kevin Matthews, MST ’17, shares how Kogod propelled him forward

By Jamie McCrary

Man working on taxation

Kevin Matthews, MST '17, doesn't have a lot of time these days. He's running his own company based in Reston, VA. He's an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College. And he's finishing a doctorate in human and organizational learning.

What's his secret? "I'm passionate about what I do," he says. "Every day is a different challenge. I love it."

He wholeheartedly credits Kogod's MS Taxation program with giving him the skills he needed to excel. The program bolstered his confidence, he says, and motivated him to take the next step in his career. "I finished my MST saying 'I know I can do this'."

The MS in Taxation, a 30 credit hour part-time or full-time program, develops students' competencies in the federal and state tax codes. It's perfect for business managers and accountants alike, offering an in-depth dive into one of the business world's key sectors.

"Our graduates work in some of the largest professional service firms in the world, lead the tax function for large corporations and have their own businesses, such as Kevin's. The variety of careers paths is limitless," says Don Williamson, Director of the MS Taxation program.

Matthews says the program is the reason why he finally started his own company, Beta Solutions CPA. His MST classes bridged the gap between what he knew and needed to know, and strengthened his resolve. "It wouldn't have happened without Kogod's help," he says.

Matthews founded Beta Solutions CPA, a consulting firm that does tax preparation, assurance services, compensation counseling and more, in October 2016. His goal was to have 50 clients at the end of his first year. He has 120. "It's my greatest professional accomplishment," he says.

He notes the program's emphasis on problem-solving is what's helped him the most. His classes were not about crunching numbers, he says. They were about learning to approach problems creatively, and developing the research skills necessary to do so.

"Our Graduate Tax Program fosters clear, concise, critical and creative thinking, while developing the technical skills that employers look for," Williamson says.

Before starting his business, Matthews served in the US Navy for ten years, where he also completed service members' taxes on a volunteer basis. He then worked for a number of CPA firms upon leaving the military, where he realized he still had a lot to learn.

This drove him to AU's Kogod School of Business, who boasts the only MST program of its kind in the area. "After speaking with Don [Williamson], I knew I had to come here," Matthews says. "He was very passionate and encouraged me to follow my dreams."

In the future, Matthews hopes to transition to the business management side of business ownership. Though he won't be working directly with clients on their taxes, he believes his MST has given him "the expert knowledge I need to excel." That, in combination with his doctorate work and experience in the Navy, provide a solid foundation for success.

"My time at Kogod got me to where I am here today," says Matthews. "I'd refer anyone to the program in a heartbeat."

Learn more about Kogod's MST program today.