Emotional intelligence may allow accountants to perform better in leadership, team building, client relations, and decision-making. Unfortunately, very little is known about the antecedents to emotional intelligence; however, there have been attempts to improve the emotional intelligence of university students through classroom exercises. It has also been suggested that work experience is instrumental in improving emotional intelligence. In this study, we examined the emotional intelligence of a total of 430 first- and fourth-year accounting and liberal arts students at three universities with accounting programs that include different liberal arts requirements. We also analyzed the relationship between four components of work experience and emotional intelligence. Our findings raise concerns for accounting program development and provide guidance for those seeking to facilitate relevant work experiences for students.

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