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Cool Kids Become Accountants

Hi all, my name is Christina, and I’m an accounting major, working on my Bachelor’s degree. I’ll be graduating from Drexel University in June of 2018, and I began interning at Stephano Slack about three and a half months ago. I’ve primarily been working on A&A jobs, which means a lot of 401(k) audits and some compilations as the summer flies by.

As part of my internship, I have the chance for the next couple of months to go on lunches with various staff and managers here at the firm to get to know them and ask any questions I may have. So, make sure you check back in to this blog to get to know more about me and some of Stephano Slack’s staff and managers!

The first lunch I went one was last Friday with Jing, one of the tax department staff. As we began to talk, I learned that like me, accounting wasn’t her initial major when she started college. I initially thought I wanted to do something with psychology, and she thought international business was for her. We obviously both realized along the way that all the cool kids become accounting majors, and made the switch. However, accounting isn’t the easiest major: debits and credits take a while to understand and aren’t as straightforward of a concept as say, knowing the balance sheet should balance, and there will always be more to learn. Nonetheless, the challenge accounting offers, as well as maybe a little motivation to earn good money, led both Jing and I to realize it was the better direction to go in.

I also asked Jing why she likes the firm, and made the choice to start her career here when she graduated, versus somewhere else. Her response was exactly what I have seen so far, that everyone is very friendly, like family, and the work is challenging (which can be frustrating) but ultimately rewarding. So, I went on to ask her for some advice in balancing work and personal lives, the “dreaded” CPA exam, grad school, and anything else she could think of. Here’s the breakdown:
• When considering grad school programs, consider something that will actually further my career, such as a master’s in accounting or taxation, since basically everyone in a business undergrad major decides to go for an MBA, making them less valuable.
• From her experience in the studying process so far, dedicate yourself to it and the CPA exam isn’t so bad.
• To achieve the perfect work-life balance, set a time to go home every day and stick to it by getting as much done by that time as you can, and then letting it go until the next morning.
• Most importantly, don’t take things personally during busy season – people are stressed but they don’t actually mean to snap your head off, if that happens.
Finally, for a bit of fun, I asked Jing what she would be if she wasn’t an accountant. She said, since she loves traveling, probably a travel agent, or maybe just a crazy cat lady. So, if you ever hire a travel agent and find her surrounded by 50 cats… you’ll know what happened.

Thanks for reading! Until next time,
Christina Emsley

July 20, 2017