My Story: The Winding Path that Led to the CPA Exam
Jen is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
Since I dont have much of an update on my exam prep (ten days to go til I take BEC, after yet another reschedule, eek!), I thought Id tell you a little about my path to becoming an accountant.
Its a winding path, but Ive always thought of myself as a good example of how you dont have to know exactly what you want to be when youre right out of college at the tender age of 22. Or maybe Im a cautionary tale, heh heh.
I was a chemistry major as an undergraduate. After graduating, I worked for several years working as a medicinal chemist in a pharmaceutical company. I was pretty dissatisfied and decided to go back to graduate school.
For round one, I got a masters in social work. I was never a clinical social worker or therapist, instead focusing on community organizing, program management, and nonprofit management.
After a few years of getting to know the nonprofit sector in Boston, I finally landed what I thought was my dream job in the public affairs department at an advocacy organization. But my perspective shifted when I had my kids, and I changed jobs again, looking for something with more consistent hours that was better suited to my new role in life.
Then one day, when my son was about two and a half and my daughter was three months old, I was doing our taxes. Ive always enjoyed that particular taskits so concrete; at least, it is in my small, uncomplicated financial life! And I started thinking that maybe it was time for a change.
Id been in the social work field for nearly ten years, but I felt really stuck. And I wasnt enjoying the work I was doing. So I started to look into accounting masters programs.
If I thought people looked at me funny when I told them I was leaving chemistry to go into social work, that was nothing compared to the looks I got when I announced I was going into accounting!
But here I am, three years later, with 2.5 classes left in my degree, 25% of the way to obtaining my CPA, and working as an accountantat the same nonprofit I joined after my children were born.
Sometimes I feel like I couldnt possibly be The Accountant, especially when my boss asks *me* to tell her the GAAP way to handle a certain situation or transaction. Wait, Im supposed to know these answers?
But then there are the days when we get a new piece of office equipment, and I get excited about capitalizing and depreciating it, and I know that this time, Ive truly found my calling.
Best wishes to all of you as you continue along this crazy journey to the CPA!