By Troy Wilde
December 20, 2016
Phoenix, AZ – Alfredo Nava is an accountant at Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix. It’s the very school where he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting a short time before getting his job.
“I really enjoyed my four years at Grand Canyon University, and I really loved the culture and environment of the school. I decided to apply at GCU, because I knew some of my classmates were working there as well, and they told me that they were gaining a lot of experience on the accounting side. And that’s what I wanted – a lot of experience working as a general ledger accountant, which is the job I have now.”
Alfredo says he’s gaining a lot of valuable accounting experience early in his career, “I’m doing journal entries and audit reports, and I’m pulling up statements and doing the reconciling accounting. I’m learning a lot and I’m meeting a lot of people. It’s nice because GCU is a publicly traded company, which means that I’m getting a lot of work experience that I would not get working for a privately owned company.”
Alfredo, age 23, was born and raised in Phoenix, and graduated from Carl Hayden Community High School in 2012. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Grand Canyon University.
Meanwhile, Alfredo describes his transition from GCU student to employee, as a good experience, “When I was a student the faculty was there to help me out, and thankfully when I became an employee the same faculty that helped me out is still there. Every now and then, if I do have a question, I can easily go to my boss, or some of the teachers that I still stay in touch with on a daily basis, and they’re always there to help me out.”
Some recent college graduates may chill for a spell before tackling a graduate degree. Not Alfredo, “I definitely have a goal that I’m working towards, which is earning my Master of Science in Accounting. When I finish my masters, I’m planning on sitting for the CPA exam, and eventually I would like to transition into auditing or a forensics accounting position. Definitely before I’m 26, I want to be a licensed Certified Public Accountant and be working for a big accounting firm, such as KMPG or Deloitte.”
So far as being satisfied with his course of study and choice of career, Alfredo says, “I know some people who went to school and got a degree, and unfortunately, they’re not working in their field or they don’t like their job. For me, it’s really nice to know that there’s a purpose in what I’m doing for work, and that is making this job really satisfying – knowing that what I’m doing helps me and helps the company I’m working for.”
Alfredo is among the more than one-thousand students who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses, “It was definitely a big help. My parents don’t have much money and they don’t have steady jobs, so them helping me out wasn’t an option. This money definitely helped me with tuition, books, any accounting software that I needed, and housing – I was fortunate enough to live at GCU and have that experience. Thankfully, I graduated with pretty much no debt.”
Alfredo says Myrna Cardenas, his success adviser provided by College Success Arizona, was critical in his college success, “Myrna has been mentoring me for the past four years. She’s really nice and she’s really helped me out with any questions that I had about school, or my own personal life – I always knew that she was there to help me out. Until this day, I still keep in touch with her. I have her in all of my social media and I have her personal phone number. She was a really big influence for me, and I know that this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for her help.”
Alfredo has some advice for middle and high school students considering their own college careers, “Definitely just stick with it and be consistent. I don’t consider myself a really big book type of guy, and some of the information, unfortunately, doesn’t stick. But in college, I knew that as long as I stayed consistent, as long as I did my homework, as long as I read my chapters before class, and as long as I did my quizzes – I knew that I was going to get a good grade. Also, keep motivated and try to keep your focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.”