Araceli CruzMAcc Alumna Class of 2019
Hometown: Waukegan, Illinois
Undergraduate University: Alabama State University
Class Year: 2018
Current Employer: EY
How did you choose the field of Accounting?
I actually wanted to go into environmental science, but it wasn't offered at Alabama State. I had always been interested in business, and I knew I wanted to interpret my own thoughts and give my own opinions on financial statements. In order to understand business, you have to know the language of business, and that's Accounting. Also, I liked that an accountant can manage people, but a manager can't always do Accounting.
How did you select a Master of Accounting Program?
I knew I would be challenged at William & Mary and that was important to me. It was the only school I applied to, so all of my eggs were in one basket. I was accepted and received a substantial amount of money for my scholarship and that's when I knew William & Mary was the place for me.
How do you plan to be an Agent of Change with your Master of Accounting Degree?
One of my dream jobs is to become a partner at a Big 4 accounting firm. I'm going to break the statistic of minority women and the idea that we can't do certain things - that's why I'm going for the goal of partner. I still want to be with EY in five years, hopefully at the manager level, and work my way up like the first two black partners for EY, who are also from the Baltimore office where I am. Being open to new experiences and learning are going to be what helps me be that change.
How would you describe our program to a prospective student?
They really get to know you - you're not just a number, you're not just a statistic. There are always people willing to help you, not just the students, but faculty too, even if you need help in a class that isn't theirs. Also, it doesn't seem like a competition here, but more of a feeling that we're all going to get through this together. I've been able to connect with people from different backgrounds and people with different ideas who are willing to collaborate. William & Mary will definitely push you to your full potential.