My name is James White. I graduated from the Post campus of Long Island University with a bachelors degree in accountancy and an MBA. I am currently a commercial auditor for Grant Thornton. My past experience includes tax and not-for-profit audit, as well as a start-up hedge fund which specialized in fixed-income securities in Manhattan. I hope all of the articles find you well!
You walk into the admissions building of [Enter University’s name here]. Likely surrounded by other prospective students, waiting to speak to an academic counselor. Maybe it’s a campus tour, maybe you had an appointment, or maybe it’s the catalyst you’re looking for to pull the trigger on a heavy decision. You’re name gets called, “Mr. /Ms. [Enter last name here], welcome! Please follow me”. As you sit down, you’re looking around the building, getting an early feel for the place; what the next several years could look like. Shortly after you sit down at the desk in the office, and the introductions are done, they ask “So, what do you want to do with your life? What would you like to be?” Everything, and I do mean everything, comes to a halt… in your mind, anyway.
James White here; a twenty-five year old accountant. I attended what is now the Post Campus of Long Island University (formerly C.W. Post Campus). Received my undergraduate degree in accountancy, and a Master of Business Administration within the Accelerated Dual Degree program. I love the situation I describe above, absolutely in love with it. I’ve never experienced it; hell, never even came close actually. I knew what I wanted to do before high school.
See, before you reach college, I think there are two types of people in this world; the type that will bow out and stop reading this article after that last sentence, because “Well then how could he know the importance of that question, how does he know what any of this is like?”, and the type of people that will sit down, figuratively speaking, and say “That’s a good question.”
You’re right, that question was never posed to me, and everyone that I was close with knew exactly what I was looking for. So what’s my point, what am I getting at with all of this? I love the topic because if you don’t have an answer to it, it makes you think; critically, intuitively, whatever it may be. It makes you think about the future. Allow me to pose the question a little bit different, for those who might not see the idea yet… what are you chasing?
I don’t do what I do now because I have a passion for it. I have a passion for the quality of the work that I do, and I have a passion for the outcome (I’ll save the path which led here for another article on another day). I think very few people could tell you, honestly, that they enjoy whipping up taxes, or performing audits for any given entity – in my case. I have a passion for the future, I have a passion for the life I will someday be able to have and provide, I have a passion for that 2 story house surrounded by a white picket fence, which will be the home to a wife, two or three kids, a German Shepherd (mine) a French Bulldog (hers) and a silly Labrador to keep thing interesting when the kids get out of hand. I do what I do for the security, for the nature of the business, for the people I will get to encounter and the experiences that might make national headlines one day; whether it be for going under, or for turning the times around and become a commercial juggernaut. Sure, everything will come with a struggle (for most of us). The CPA test is a monster, and coincidentally, when I finish writing this, I’ll be sitting down to keep on fighting with the Financial portion of it – for the 5th time might I add. The struggle is what reminds us that we’re human. It’s a friendly reminder that we have the power to do and to be whatever we want, but you’ll have to work it; yes, you most certainly will. If you want it, then go get it, do what you have to do to go get it. But first, figure out what you want. Not so much what your purpose is; this is an advice article for a college forum, not the introduction to a philosophy thesis. Don’t do what matters to others, don’t get a degree for the sake of getting a degree, and don’t do anything to appease anyone – including yourself.
So I’ll ask again – one of my elementary school teachers always wanted us to start on a high note, and end on a high note, never look down; what matters is what’s above (in front), not what’s below (in back) – what are you chasing?