Where are they now?
Meet Tara, a graduate of the class of 2009.
Where are you now?
I am an Assurance Associate at BDO, a public accounting firm in Grand Rapids.
What path did you follow after graduation from Calvin to get where you are now?
After graduation in May 2009, I studied and took the CPA exam. I already had a job offer for BDO from an internship that I did the previous summer. I began working here in December.
What to do you value most about your studies in the business or accounting program at Calvin? Why?
Calvin's accounting program prepares you very well for the CPA exam. I was able to pass on my first try. Calvin's program also has great networking opportunities which I have learned is very important. The school is connected to the professional accounting world and offers great opportunities for internships and interviews for jobs. What I value the most about Calvin's accounting program is the professors who really care about your success and wellbeing.
Did you have an internship while you were a student? If yes, how do you feel you grew from your internship experience?
Yes, I had two internships at BDO ‑ the first one was the summer going into my Junior year as a finance intern, the second one was the next summer as an audit intern. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting an internship. It allows you to build relationships in the working world and learn things about yourself so that you can better position yourself for life after graduation.
How does your faith influence you both professionally, and in your personal life as you have navigated the past few years since leaving Calvin?
The accounting profession is based on integrity, so my faith easily fits into my working habits every day. There are so many opportunities to apply my faith to my working relationships with coworkers and clients.
What advice do you have for students considering business or accounting?
Network! You learn the importance of networking too late. An accountant who knows a lot of people is much more valuable than an accountant who only knows to do accounting. Also, an internship allows you to get a foot in the door which can be very helpful later, even if you learn that you do not want to work there.
What words of encouragement do you have for students in accounting or business as they think about their careers?
Calvin has a great program. If you are willing to work hard and apply yourself, you will be successful. The professors there a great resource, so take advantage of it! The hard work really pays off in the end.