The Stillman School of Business has various students that distinctively
“standout” among their peers and this week’s featured Stillman Standout Senior
is Amanda Karpa. As a senior, she is enrolled in the dual degree program earning
her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in
Accounting and a Master of Science in Professional Accounting at the end of her
fifth year. She exposed herself early to the business world by gaining
internships and joining organizations, which has helped her land a full-time
offer from Deloitte.
Tara Stafford: What made you decide to pursue a degree in Accounting?
Amanda Karpa: I decided to pursue a degree in accounting during high school.
I have several cousins who work in public accounting and my uncle owns a CPA
firm, so I grew up with accounting. One thing I like about accounting is that it
can apply to any industry. Every business, no matter what industry, needs an
accountant. I figured I could have a career where I can find a niche in what
industry suits me.
TS: What kind of internship positions have you held?
AK: The summer after my freshman year, I began to work at a CPA office in my
hometown and continued that internship throughout tax season, second semester of
sophomore year. While I was there, I processed basic tax returns and input
financial data for small local companies (mom & pop shop construction
companies, family owned restaurants, etc). The summer after my sophomore year, I
interned at Prudential Financial in their Real Estate Investing Department.
During the internship, I prepared financials for real estate in Japan, updated
management reporting files, and created a monthly trend analysis. This past
summer, I was an audit intern for Deloitte & Touche in their NYC office. My
client was a marketing company in midtown. I conducted audit testing on the
company’s Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cost of Sales, and Notes
Payable. I like auditing because I like new things. For the most part, you are
typically not on the same client year-round. I like that change of scenery and
TS: Have you learned anything from the internships that you probably wouldn't
have learned in the classroom?
AK: One thing I learned from the internships that I could not learn in school
was a certain level of professionalism and time management. As an intern,
everyone loves to throw random tasks at you and your job is to prioritize them
and work efficiently in order to complete them all. Although school gives you
homework and organizations have meetings, this is a different type of time
management. In addition, it was originally difficult for me to find a good
balance of professionalism and my own personality at work. I wanted to get to
know my co-workers by telling them a certain level about my personal life while
still being professional. By building professional relationships, going to work
becomes more personal rather than just sitting at a desk cranking out financial
data all day.
TS: Are you involved in any clubs or organizations? And would you say they
have played a major role in your success up to this point?
AK: I am involved in the Leadership Development Honors Program. Throughout my
experience with the organization, I have developed my leadership and teamwork
skills by working in initiatives within the program. I have also learned
professionalism by being involved in the junior year mentoring program where I
was paired with an executive from AT&T to design a project to present to a
council at the end of the year. I am currently the Vice President of Beta Alpha
Psi. I have been involved in Beta since the first semester of my sophomore year.
Throughout my experience in the organization, I have learned how to network with
recruiters and professionals from various accounting and finance firms. From
there, I made connections that eventually led me to the internships I have
today. (I am involved in many other organizations, but those are the main two
that affected my college experience)
TS: What made you decide to enroll in the dual degree Master’s program?
AK: I decided to enroll in the dual degree Master’s program for several
reasons. I want to have the competitive advantage in the job market with my
Master’s degree, but I did not want to spend more time in school to achieve
that. I decided taking grad and undergrad courses during my senior year would be
the most time efficient way to earn my bachelor and master degrees. I also
wanted to have more accounting courses in order to better prepare to take the
CPA exam upon graduation.
TS: What do you hope to accomplish with an Accounting degree?
AK: I do not know exactly what I want to do with my degree. I am pretty sure
most college students don’t know exactly where they want to be, and even if they
think they do, that will probably change within the next 5 years. I am really
flexible and I can easily determine whether or not I like something. I know I
want to be in accounting, I just do not know where. I recently accepted a
full-time offer with Deloitte. I am not sure what client(s) I will be placed on,
nor do I know what industry I will be assigned to. Although I do not know
exactly what I want, I think it would be fun to explore different industries. I
am interested in working in the entertainment or sports industries because that
seems exciting to me. I jokingly tell my mom that I want to be a celebrities’
personal accountant because that sounds fun. I just want to work somewhere with
enjoyable people and with a job that I can willingly spend 5/7ths of my week
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