My decision to pursue a Masters of Accountancy was not the result of walking a straight, intended path. As a freshman, I quickly discovered that college offers endless career opportunities. Students must narrow down countless possibilities to one, focused ambition.
While it was a daunting task to begin with, my indecision only made matters worse. I began each semester with a newly declared major, but would lose interest in that subject by finals. Around my second or third year, I realized that I was running in place, never truly making progress. I loved attending the University of Georgia, but I needed a change to get the most out of my undergraduate career. To find my place, I transferred to the University of North Georgia.Soon after arriving in Dahlonega, I was in a position where I was not only starting over at a new institution, but also supporting myself financially. My grades suffered from dividing my attention between full-time employment, and my duties as a student.
I hit a personal low point, and considered dropping out. Despite having the option to take the simpler path and give up, I persevered and focused on the future. I worked harder, and cared deeper, than I ever thought I could. Although it was a hard lesson that hurt my GPA over several years, I learned the importance of an education, along with the skills necessary to balance work and school.
Thankfully, this financial hardship resulted in an interest in personal finance, and my decision to become an accounting major. My personal growth allowed me to work diligently in my upper level accounting courses. I found myself arriving early to class, organizing study groups with classmates, and attending office hours. I even elected to retake courses I had received low grades to fix my prior mistakes. As a result, my GPA began to improve with each consecutive semester. Additionally, I began attending on-campus meetings, networking events, and career fairs hosted by Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting fraternity. I knew that I wanted to use my degree to help people better understand their finances. However, I did not discover my desire to become a licensed CPA until I enrolled in the business college’s Personal Roadmap to Ongoing Success (PROS) Professional Development Program.
PROS provided me with exposure to business leaders within the community, as well as successful UNG alumni, by connecting students with local firms. At an entrepreneur conference, I met the owner of a successful investment firm, who had been a CPA for years. While we were discussing my goals, he said, “Getting your CPA License means you are a member of the club. If you want to be taken seriously in this business, by your colleagues and your clients, it is a must have. They need to know they can trust you.” This is when the seed of becoming a CPA was planted.
I knew that I wanted to be a Tax Consultant, and becoming certified was the next step. I met with several professionals within the accounting department to discuss my ambitions, and how to get there. We all agreed that graduate school would be the best way to launch my career. This all culminated to my decision to pursue a Masters of Accountancy at Georgia Southern.
Although my journey has been unconventional, I am determined to commit myself fully to this program, pass the CPA exam, and live life with a career that I love. I believe this program is the next step in my personal, winding path that I worked hard to discover.