Essay 4

Michele Sargent

Professor Steven Alvarez

English 110

14 May 2012

 Overcoming Life’s Challenges

Growing up in Brazil, I’ve always wondered what would have  been like to learn the American culture and most importantly, the English language.  I was eager to experience college life in America and believed that this  experience would broaden my knowledge and horizons. After I finished high  school in Brazil, I took the proper exams to enter the local University twice  and was unsuccessful.  I believed that  because my mother thrived in school and finished with a Law Degree at the age  of 48, I would also be able to accomplish that by having similar results.
Unfortunately, that is not how it happened for me, but in contrast, that defeat only encouraged even more to strive and I decided to chase after my dreams in  America.

When I first arrived in New York, I did not speak or write a  great deal of English and unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to immediately
go to school and had to go to work instead. Before I knew it, I was married with two children and because of that I could not yet fulfill my dream of returning  to school.

Through my work experience I was able to learn to speak  English and most importantly, to work with numbers and financial statements,
that ultimately sparked an interest in Accounting. My long-term goal is to work  as a CPA in a public accounting firm and I believe that Queens College is the  right place to achieve my goal.

When I heard about Queens College and the ACE program (Adult  Collegiate Education) I believed that returning to school after 10 years of my
high school graduation would be a possibility, even with two children and a  full time job. The guidance by the program director, Mr. Richard Adams was extremely  beneficial to my decision towards my Accounting major. He made my transition back  to school a smooth one and the ACE program has helped me to improve my academic  skills and it prepared me towards my ultimate goal in obtaining an Accounting degree.

Of course I had to face some challenges along to way, such  as finding out about my third pregnancy and having to drop-out after only have taken
a couple of classes in Queens College. My dreams were put aside once again, but  not completely forgotten. I decided to return to school three years later, but as  soon as I registered for classes, I found out that my fourth child was on the  way. I remember making the difficult decision to stay and finish what I had  started. Those were two very long semesters filled with bathroom breaks, but I  still managed to keep a 3.5 grade point average and was also put in the Dean’s  list. After that I was able to take several other classes in the course of  three years, but had to drop out again because of financial difficulties.  Ultimately I decided to quit my job to be able to return to school full time and  finish my Accounting degree.

Besides the ACE program, I have taken other classes that  allowed me to get better acquainted with my major, such as The Introduction to
the Theory and Practice of Accounting with Professor Amy David, also  Intermediate Accounting I with Dr. Marc Levine and Business Law I with
professor Seymour Mintz, all excellent instructors who managed to further my  interest in the Accounting career. Aside from Accounting I am seeking a minor  in Economics, which will help to expand my knowledge in the nation’s financial  system.

After 12 years of acquiring knowledge and experience in  financial reports, journal entries and auditing at my previous employment I  decided that this path was the right one for me. I started as a receptionist  and advanced within the company by learning to manage project budget control and  specific accounting software such as QuickBooks and Timberline, also all budget  related reports had to be presented in MS excel and letters to clients in MS  Word. This bookkeeping position helped me to develop my skills in becoming highly organized and detail-focused and gave me the ability to work well independently  and as a team member.

I presently volunteer at the Boy Scouts of America as a cub  scout leader for the past 2 years and many of the projects we work with the  boys involve financial and monetary reports in order to earn specific badges.  They learn to track their expenses and savings as well as creating reports to  assist their parents with budget management. I believe in the importance for  young children to become familiar with such financial concepts because this  ultimately creates a sense of responsibility to manage their money in the  future. Being a cub scout  leader has  taught me several skills such as leadership and guidance.

I plan on acquiring my CPA in the United States and I  believe that after years of experience recording transactions, posting debits  and credits and ensuring completeness of data will enable me to advance in my  career even more. My comprehensive knowledge of the subject along with an
exceptional track record of working on multiple projects involves and achieves  immediate and long-term goals as well as my talent for fast learning new  accounting software has allowed me to grow personally and professionally.

I am seeking a complete undergraduate experience in Queens  College and I believe that it offers a wide range of new and exciting  experiences and most faculty members are very professional and willing to do  everything in their power to see their students learn and advance. The  strengths I believe I will bring to my undergraduate experience are my  excellent leadership record and my willingness to gain knowledge no matter what  obstacles I will have to overcome. Life is full of challenges and I can’t wait  to be challenged academically so that I can share my knowledge and skills on a  professional level as well as on a personal level.


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