The gold standard

Master’s student earns prestigious assistantship at Financial Accounting Standards Board

Milad Ghanatios, BS ’20, MS ’21. Photo: Tom Wolf.

Release Date: May 27, 2021

“I can think of no greater start to my career than the opportunity to participate in the process that governs the ever-changing accounting industry. ”
Milad Ghanatios, BS ’20, MS ’21
University at Buffalo School of Management

BUFFALO, N.Y. — After studying accounting standards for the past five years at the University at Buffalo School of Management, Milad Ghanatios will now be part of the standard-setting process with a coveted assistantship at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Ghanatios is one of just eight students nationwide who earned a postgraduate technical assistantship (PTA) in this summer’s cohort at the FASB, which establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for U.S. companies and nonprofits. During his yearlong assistantship, Ghanatios will be involved in all phases of a major agenda project, including analyzing public comments, published research and accounting proposals, drafting due process documents, and preparing memorandums for board members.

“Throughout my college career, I became fascinated with the impact that accounting standards have on financial reporting,” says Ghanatios, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 2020 and received his master’s this May. “I can think of no greater start to my career than the opportunity to participate in the process that governs the ever-changing accounting industry.”

A first-generation college student, Ghanatios grew up in Rochester, the son of Lebanese immigrants. His father is an entrepreneur, which—along with an introductory accounting course that piqued his interest—inspired him to pursue an accounting degree from the UB School of Management.

At UB, Ghanatios expanded his skills both in and out of the classroom. He gained leadership experience as an alternative spring break leader, sharpened his teamwork and critical-thinking skills in case competitions, and helped lead the school’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter through the pandemic as a board member. He also completed the school’s Undergraduate Honors program—and then paid it forward as a mentor during his master’s program.

One of the most impactful experiences he had at UB was participating in the Ghana experiential learning program, during which he traveled to the West African nation, engaged in cultural activities, and met with local leaders. Back in the U.S., he and his teammates won Best Global Experience Poster in the annual Undergraduate Poster Competition for their presentation on the Ghanaian chocolate production process.

“This trip allowed me to question, process and analyze the Ghanaian entrepreneurial mindset,” he says. “I have no doubt this insight into the global economy and entrepreneurship at a local level will add value to my career.”

Now, Ghanatios is the eighth School of Management student since 2012 to earn a PTA at the FASB or its counterpart for state and local governments, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). All past FASB and GASB assistants from UB have gone on to careers at Big Four firms and other major companies.

“Joining the FASB will challenge my current skill set and allow me to grow and develop as a professional and leader,” Ghanatios says. “Ultimately, with this position, I know I will be well-prepared for a career in accounting advisory services.”

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

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Matthew Biddle
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School of Management