Social Media

My Manchester Story

Jessica Beal

by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

Jessica Beal, from Westfield, Ind., talks about life as an accounting major and what’s in store for her after graduation.

How did you become interesting in accounting?”

“In high school, I wanted to study pre-med to be an anesthesiologist, but then I took Chemistry and realized it was awful. I did what any college student does – I talked to my mom, and she mentioned accounting. I had a family member who was a CPA for a hospital, and he told me that I could still do everything that I wanted to do – help people – without all of the blood and guts. I took my first accounting course my senior year in high school, and I fell in love with it! My accounting teacher convinced me to go into accounting in college, and she gave me informational pamphlets about salaries and job possibilities, so I went into it and came into college as an accounting major and have excelled at it ever since.”

“What made you choose the audit track over tax?”

“I don’t know, honestly. It’s still up in the air a bit. I had my audit class and decided I want nothing to do with audit. I didn’t understand the class and I struggled with the material. I became really nervous because that summer I had an internship lined up with the Indiana State Board of Accountants and it revolved around audit! But I went into the internship with an open mind, got the experience and fell in love with audit. Then this past January, during the busy tax season, I went into my internship with KSM in Indianapolis – all audit – and loved it. But they needed help up in tax and I figured an accountant needs to know how to do their own taxes plus it would be great experience. I went up there and all of the Manchester alumni did their best to push me over to tax! So now I’m 50/50 on what I want to do. I really like audit because I like interacting with people and looking at the puzzle aspect of accounting; however, I like tax because it makes you think.”

What are your plans after graduation?”

“I will start studying for my CPA in the spring of this year, and I’ll sit for the CPA starting in May. Hopefully I will pass all of my tests before I start working for KSM in October. I’m super excited about that!”

What makes Manchester’s accounting program unique”?

“I came here, although I was originally planning to go to IUPUI because it was so close to home, but I wasn’t too thrilled about it. I came on a visit during a break when no one was on campus, and it was snowy and cold - but I looked at my mom and I told her I need to go here. My tour guide had told me that the CPA pass rate was 20 percent higher here than the national average, and knowing my test-taking skills, that just pushed me here more. Over the years, professors have showed how much they care about you and your success. I don’t think I would be where I am today if it weren’t for the professors pushing me to be my best self. This is a place where you prepare for your future and you’re surrounded by people who want to see you succeed.”

What advice would you give to students considering an accounting major?”

“It’s a lot of work! It helps to study with other accounting majors because some understand topics you don’t and vice versa. Intermediate accounting and tax are probably the toughest classes you’ll take, but you’ll get through it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The professors here care about you and will go the extra mile to see you succeed. Ultimately, all of the hard work you put into this major will payout in the end.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?”

“I broke my nose on my 18th birthday and had plastic surgery because of that. I shared that during orientation week with Professor Ogden. A few days later, I was in his Foundations of Business class when he was taking attendance and he didn’t call off my name. Of course, I got nervous and raised my hand to make sure he knew I was here and I was in the right class! He said he remembered my fun fact and he knew me! Who knew a broken nose would be so memorable?”