Magazine article The CPA Journal

How I Became an Accountant, with a Few Stops along the Way

Magazine article The CPA Journal

How I Became an Accountant, with a Few Stops along the Way

Article excerpt

I thought the accounting profession would satisfy my need to be involved in a dynamic field.

It had the potential to be more financially rewarding than audiology and speech pathology.

Editor's Note: Most of the CPAs who responded to my "Would you do it over again?" question posed last year could point to a fairly linear path that led them to the accounting field. This month's guest columnist took a less direct route than most, but she learned about her strengths and weaknesses along the way, absorbing anything she might be able to apply later-- including guidance from people who are successful and happy in their own careers.

BECOMING AN ACCOUNTANT DIDN'T OCCUR to me until my late twenties. When I was young, I never had any aspirations and just assumed that at age 22 I would be an educated housewife, married to a doctor who would take care of me financially. I went to college for fun, studying literature and art and majoring in theater, but I also took math and science courses, which I enjoyed. Unlike my older sister, I did not have a wedding the day after graduation. Instead, I went to Europe for three months, and, to my parents' horror, I moved to Manhattan three months later, still unmarried.

Now what does a college-educated girl with no skills do? After rejecting numerous offers for secretarial jobs, I started telling employment agencies that I wanted the kinds of jobs that men had. That got me to a major advertising agency as an assistant TV media buyer, being wined and dined and entertained regularly. The perks were great, the job was boring, especially because I rarely watched TV I left a year later to work in the fabric department of a major women's pattern company I was able to get this job because I'd been making my own clothes since I was 12. The job was fun, but I didn't relate to the women I worked with, who felt insecure unless they were wearing a designer label. A year later I was bored again, and I realized I needed to be in a more serious field-one that would be more meaningful to society and help people.

So I began a two-year Master of Arts program in audiology and speech pathology. I had been exposed to this area as a theater major because I was required to study anatomy, physiology of speech and hearing, and acoustics. I loved the field of study but found the day-to-day work too routine. …

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