As graduation approached in 2007, I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my life. At UC Davis, I majored in managerial economics, which was similar to a general business concentration, and I also really liked money, so I initially explored entry level roles in finance. Unfortunately for me, Davis wasn’t a hot target for finance recruiters. On the flip side, all the major accounting firms did send representatives to campus.
My only exposure to accounting were the 2 courses I took. Thinking it through, accounting did revolve around money. Plus, I got A’s in both classes. A number of my friends had locked down jobs with the major firms, so with the fear of unemployment breathing down my neck, I decided to give accounting a serious look.
Fast forward, I ultimately spent the first 5 years of my career in accounting, and I honestly have no idea how I endured it for that long. Being a quantitative person, I didn’t find it hard; I just hated the routine, formality, and lack of creativity. I wanted to escape, but unfortunately, I entered the workforce during one of the worst economic recessions ever. Times were uneasy, but accounting was stable and in demand, especially with all the financial scrutiny happening at the time. Eventually I hit a breaking point and pursued an MBA to make a career change.
Even if accounting wasn’t for me (people are shocked when I tell them I was once an accountant), it did help me develop very important skills: problem solving, data presentation, deadline management, budget management, and most importantly, Microsoft Excel proficiency. It’s helped me establish myself as a marketer who can balance creativity with a strong analytical mindset.