Lauren Beyer MPAc 17
UC Davis Basketball Player Rebounds Back on the Court—as a Graduate Accounting Student
- Master of Professional Accountancy student
- UC Davis Women’s Basketball Team player
- UC Davis Women’s Basketball – Coaches Award, Perseverance Award
- B.A., Communications, UC Davis
Lauren Beyer MPAc 17 knows what it’s like to be the come-back kid. More importantly, she knows what it takes. Perseverance. Endurance. Faith. Mental strength. Commitment. And support from others.
As the saying goes, that which doesn’t break you makes you stronger. And Beyer learned that the hard way when she suffered severe injuries during her first game as a freshman on the UC Davis Women’s Basketball team in 2011. During her two-year journey of surgeries and rehabilitation afterwards, several doctors told her she likely would never run again, let alone play basketball. She wasn’t buying it.
Beyer stayed in school following her injury, making her way to classes on crutches. She attended every game and practice, watching from the sidelines. And she committed to rehabilitation with a vengeance. By her junior year, she was back on the court, scoring for the Aggies. And since she was red-shirted for two years because of her injury, she is still playing on the team—now as a graduate student pursing her Master of Professional Accountancy.
“I realized not only how great of a support system I have at Davis, but how mentally strong I am and physically strong I am,” she says.
Journey to UC Davis
Beyer grew up in the Sacramento area community of Elk Grove. She attended the Bradshaw Christian School from kindergarten through 12th grade and started playing basketball in fourth grade. She was a talent with an awesome work ethic. It wasn’t surprising that UC Davis came knocking when she was in high school, wanting to recruit her for women’s basketball.
“At first, I was like, ‘I don’t want to go to Davis. It’s too close,’” she says. “But as soon as I came on campus, I was sold right away.”
While in intensive physical rehabilitation for her injury, Beyer pursued her major of communications, eventually graduating with the degree and two minors: coaching, and applied computing and information systems. She began considering pursuing a master’s degree as she approached the end of her junior year and realized she could play another two years of basketball due to the red-shirted years she missed. It was then that her love of math—and that several relatives are accountants—pushed her to pursue an advanced degree in accounting.
“My mom is a math teacher so I’ve been around numbers my whole life,” she says. “I’ve always been good at math.”
Real World Applications
From the very start of the UC Davis Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) program, Beyer says she knew she “had chosen the right path.”
The program started off with a three-week orientation where students get to know each other, meet faculty and attend several workshops to help them prepare for interviews, including perfecting their personal elevator pitches. On the last day of orientation students met with recruiters from top accounting firms.
“We got to introduce ourselves to these prestigious firms,” says Beyer, who early on landed a position at Deloitte LLP as an audit associate. She will begin after she graduates in June.
“They are so invested in your future and your career,” Beyer said of the professors and administrators in the UC Davis MPAc program. “And it’s cool to hear my classmates’ success stories.”
The program’s classes have been engaging, says Beyer. She especially enjoyed her ethics class, which examined ethical issues in accounting. Guest speakers in the course presented real world ethical dilemmas and lapses in accounting. Two FBI agents described the cases they had investigated involving embezzlement, Ponzi schemes and other illegal financial activity.
Despite being on the road quite a bit with the basketball team, Beyer says she has still been able to enjoy the close bonds that exist among the students in the program.
“We’re becoming like a little family,” she says, adding that her classmates often come to her home games and wave signs that read: “Go Lauren.”
“The school has academic prestige, along with a home-like feeling,” says Beyer.
In many of her classes, students are encouraged to work in teams.
“Being in sports, I’ve always thrived in a teamwork environment,” she says.
In one course, students mimicked the game Family Feud—even donning special t-shirts—to explore issues surrounding environmental auditing.
Full-Court Press Future in Sacramento
Beyer is looking forward to launching her career in the Sacramento offices of Deloitte and envisions herself working there for years. She plans to stay local and in the company she initially chose.
As she wraps up her degree at UC Davis—and her college basketball career—Beyer will soon shift into professional mode. She expects to continue her connection to UC Davis and the classmates, faculty and teammates she met there.
“I’m definitely blessed,” she says, when she reflects on the long, arduous journey she endured to get where she is now after suffering such a big injury. She defied the odds.
“I’m definitely not as fast as I was before the injury, but I am still in the game I love,” she says.