Author: Brandon Streaty
A full-time accounting student and part-time cat dad who spends too much time playing video games.
When I first mention that I am majoring in accounting to a new acquaintance, I am typically met by a mundane response. It’s not the “Oh, how fun!” or the “That is so cool!” response, but rather the “Really? I wouldn’t think of you doing that” or the awkward, trying to be respectful type of smile accompanying a “That’s Interesting..” line.
I can’t fault people for thinking that way as accounting is not for everyone, but there is a stigma around business being a boring area of study. Yes, accounting includes lots of numbers and calculations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the people pursuing the degree are all about business and cannot enjoy the fun things in life.
I was able to talk to Joe Beardsley, a classmate of mine, about a typical day in his life while majoring in accounting. Alongside attending the Tabor School of Business, he also plays on the Millikin Men’s Basketball team.
He explained how it is important to him to balance his schoolwork along with his busy basketball schedule. “Finding a good balance can be difficult, but determination is key” Joe says.
Joe starts his days with his usual business classes such as managerial accounting, where he has to prepare financial statements and compute components that go into budgeting. He then progresses through his other business classes, such as economics.
After his classes, he typically takes the time he has to work on assignments that are due soon. He explains that he “takes any opportunity to get work done.” But, his student athlete status also plays a major role in his everyday life. When not working on schoolwork, Joe is either hitting the gym or at basketball practice. Basketball has been something he has been passionate about since his high school days, so continuing his time in basketball is important. After his time in class, working on schoolwork, and at basketball practice, just like a majority of college students, he enjoys hanging out with his roommates and friends here at Millikin.
I also had the opportunity to talk to one of my accounting professors, Shailesh Patel, about his first-hand experience in the accounting world, as well as teaching it here at Millikin. Dr. Patel has worked at multinational companies and has experience as a Chief Financial Officer. He enjoys applying performance learning strategies in his teaching and helping his students prepare for practical accounting skills. Dr. Patel has not only found success in the field of accounting, but also in his teaching career.
I asked Dr. Patel if he believed there was a stigma around the accounting profession. He believes that although accounting is a “critical profession” that requires “dedication and organization,” not everything comes down to just spreadsheets and numbers. Dr. Patel enjoys his own leisure activities, such as hiking and following the latest developments in the business world. “Focus and perseverance is the key to success in the accounting profession” Patel says. He advises that students find their optimal work-life balance, as success will not come with unfocused work.