By Jasmine Luna, Fellow Class of 2014
No matter what career path one chooses, it is essential to have mentors to help one network and seek new opportunities. Since forming part of my high school’s mock trial team, I have had the best mentors, all of whom have provided me with incredible advice and support. This past year I mentioned to my former mock trial coach, Dermot Lynch, that I was interested in majoring in business. However, I was not completely sure whether I wanted to major in business administration, with an emphasis in finance or international business, or whether I wanted to major in accounting.
Since Dermot is also on the Board of Directors of LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede, he connected me to Anna Halaburda, a CPA who is also on the Board. I met with Anna at her office and I was able to learn exactly what an accountant does from an accountant herself! She explained to me that, although both majors I am considering are great options, she could give me her perspective from being an accountant. I learned that an accountant has a greater opportunity to move up within a company, such as becoming a chief financial officer, rather than being limited to certain paths one may have with a business administration degree. In addition, accountants critically analyze situations, which is also going to be essential for law school. Anna also brought to my attention that becoming a CPA also requires an exam, just as law school graduates take the Bar exam.
After meeting with Anna, I was still confused as to what major would be best for me. I thought I would think it over through the summer and make the appropriate changes to my schedule for next semester, if I ended up changing my mind. Fortunately, Anna offered me an internship position to assist her throughout the summer in order to help me decide whether or not accounting would be the right major for me. This opportunity could not have come at a better time because not only had I had been struggling over the decision as to my major, but also, whether to take a summer course or do something else during the summer. What better way to make up my mind than from getting personal experience in accounting?
It has been a few weeks now since I have started my internship and I could not be happier! From day one, everyone at the office has been nothing but welcoming and helpful. I am learning something new every day about what an accountant does and what computer software they use. I began my internship by using the accounting software, Sage 50, to reconcile multiple accounts. Next, I was taught the whole process of how the online bank statements of companies eventually turn into the information that I reconciled on Sage 50 through a series of steps. As I begin to gain a better understanding of each task I am assigned, I am being given more and more responsibility. I am looking forward to seeing how much more I will learn by the end of this summer! I appreciate that, through this internship, I am given the trust to handle such important accounting processes and data. I know that I will benefit very much from such an experience, regardless of whether or not I go into accounting. I am grateful to Dermot for introducing me to Anna, because without that introduction, I would not have had such an amazing opportunity. I have come to realize how lucky I am to be involved in a program that offers so many connections and networking opportunities to its Fellows. I am glad to be surrounded by so many people and mentors that not only want to see me succeed, but also, are willing to help me succeed.