Alumni Spotlight: Kyle Brisson, MST

For three years after graduating from college, Kyle Brisson drove past Walsh’s Troy campus every day on his way to work. When he was ready to move forward in his career, he began researching master’s programs. He had discovered how much he enjoyed tax and wanted to pursue a degree in that field. A partner in his firm recommended Walsh. Not long after, Kyle became a Master of Science in Taxation student, choosing Walsh for its national reputation, affordability, and experienced faculty. 

I knew Walsh’s tax faculty had industry experience and many were still practicing,” he said.

From Michigan to Colorado

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Brisson enjoyed attending classes on campus. But when a company merger opened up an opportunity in Denver, he decided the time was right to relocate and experience a new city. Moving across the country meant he wouldn’t be able to drop by campus for in-person classes, but Walsh’s remote learning meant he could move from Michigan to Colorado without any disruption to his education.

Faculty with Real World Experience

After graduating from Walsh, Brisson says he felt prepared for his role as a tax professional because of his professors’ focus on practical teaching over straight theory. He notes instructors like Eric Skinner, John Alfonsi, and Lee Sartori make sure their students know how to go beyond theory to solve the kind of problems they’ll face with clients in their careers. “I started connecting real life experiences in my work with what I was learning in class,” he said. “The faculty taught me how to analyze situations and effectively navigate interactions with clients.” Brisson also notes that his professors went above and beyond, whether he was in person or remote, willingly staying after class to answer questions or offer career advice.

Continued Connection

When he could no longer attend in-person classes, Brisson wondered if he’d lose some of the personal connections he’d developed with Walsh students and faculty. Fortunately, he found the remote experience still gave him ample opportunity to connect with his instructors and other students. 

The live synchronous format really helps with learning because you are able to talk with your peers and ask questions in real time.

Capstone Experience

Before graduation, Walsh taxation students work in small groups to complete a capstone project focused on analyzing taxation challenges, finding workable answers, then communicating those answers to their clients. Because there are often hundreds of ways to answer a single taxation question, finding the right taxation solution involves critical thinking and flexibility. “We learned how to analyze a client’s entire circumstances and goals and develop and present a plan that would benefit the client,” he said.

Reflecting on his time at Walsh, Brisson says his Master of Taxation helped prepare him for the challenging scenarios he encounters in his career and has taught him how to better serve his clients.

I wanted to grow my knowledge and technical skill base so I could provide the best guidance for my clients, step into more senior roles at work, and advance my career. My Walsh education is helping me do that.

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