I’m not sure when or how I decided to major in accounting. I remember chatting with one of the many medical technicians I came into contact with at Fox Chase who was telling me used to be an accountant but changed careers. I also remember driving by a billboard that was featuring a local junior college’s accounting program. And I didn’t take any career evaluations that are supposed to point you towards the right field of study based on whether or not you chose chicken or salmon when asked what you’d order for dinner at a restaurant.
I do know that, despite having some of the worst math teachers in history while I was growing up, I somehow ended up being good with numbers. Thanks to a wonderful (and incredibly patient) precalculus professor, I discovered that if I took my time and worked out the problems I could actually be a bit of a “numbers person”. I’ll admit I was way out of my league when Linear Algebra proved to be too much to handle, but I figured getting through Calc 2 was enough of an accomplishment for someone well into her late 30s who still didn’t quite know what she wanted to be when she eventually grew up.
When I decided to go back and really, really, for the love of everything that’s good on this Earth, finish college, I had a more than a few things to consider. The first item on the agenda was time. As much as I would have loved to have majored in art history and forged a new career as an art historian at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I had to seriously think about how many productive years I might have left. No kidding; this is something you have to come to grips with when you’re doing a complete career change in your early 50s. This isn’t something you have to give much thought to when you’re 18 and just starting out.
The next brain wave to consider was how to leverage twenty years of business experience into something I could build a new career out of, which is why accounting made sense. The problem was, I’d never taken an accounting course. Not that not being sure about something had ever stopped me from jumping into the deep end of the pool before (see the previous fifty-one years of my life for starters), but I just wanted to be sure I’d be good at it and, more importantly, that I liked it. I like to think I’m a pretty good executive assistant, but I do know this isn’t what I want to be doing in twenty-five years.
Financial Accounting is required for all Business Administration majors at Delaware County Community College, so I took that as my first class. It was my first dip into college since The Great Linear Algebra Disaster Of 2000. And I aced it. Not only did I pass with flying colors, I was good at it and I loved it.
But this was only for the two-year associate’s degree, not the four-year bachelor’s. Which meant I also had to figure out where to go after DC3.