masters degree personal statement

November 30, 2010

Golden Gate University
Office of Graduate Admissions

To the Admissions Committee of the Golden Gate University MST Program,

I am honored to submit my application for enrollment to the Golden Gate University Masters of Science in Tax program.  I am submitting this letter to supplement my application.

I graduated ten years ago from law school, unsure of what career path I wanted to follow.  I had taken several tax classes in law school, but tax was not an obvious career choice for me, as I did not have a background in accounting or finance.

Through on campus interviews, I was offered a tax associate position with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  I was fortunate to have the position, and I worked hard to teach myself the accounting and finance concepts that made me a well-rounded tax lawyer and business advisor to my clients.  After several years of working on federal corporate tax projects, I decided to specialize in international tax.

For the subsequent seven years, I developed myself as an international tax specialist, advancing to the level of Director at PwC.  During this time I worked with many innovative multinational high technology companies to implement intangible property structures, advise on tax issues of global business expansion, negotiate with foreign tax authorities, and plan repatriation structures.  Working with high technology companies exposed me to cutting edge tax issues, and I developed the ability to adapt quickly to very fluid business environments.

In 2009, I was presented with the opportunity to join Google as International Tax Counsel.  This opportunity was a perfect fit for the skills I had developed, and matched my desire to continue developing my career with fast-paced high technology companies with a global footprint.  I also knew that working with a growing company like Google would enable me to shape the company's tax positions and have a beneficial impact on business decisions.

An MST degree from Golden Gate University's MST program is a perfect compliment to my career growth.  The executive program will allow me to continue working while I pursue my advanced studies, and the knowledge and skills I gain through the program will be invaluable in expanding my abilities and enabling me to make substantive contributions to the field of tax.

Respectfully submitted,
Travis Wise

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