Whenever we hear the word “accountant”, we are instantly driven to the idea that they are someone who does our taxes. And while ultimately this isn’t wrong, there’s so much more that an accountant does and I’m a prime example of that. My name is Stephanie Nuesi. I am a first-gen Latina who came to the United States eight years ago without knowing how to speak English. I am a Gen-Z entrepreneur with a business that I founded when I was 19. And I am definitely not your traditional accountant. This is my story…
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, I always dreamt of studying accounting.
I didn’t know what success looked like, but I knew becoming an accountant was part of it. I came to the US in 2015 with two luggages and a big dream: Make my parents’ sacrifice worth it. As a first-gen Latina, I knew I had the opportunity to open doors for others, and that was part of my motivation to enroll in college and get a degree in accounting.
What many don’t know is that I was rejected from all the colleges I applied to — mostly due to my lack of ability to speak English. Not speaking the language made it difficult for me to get the opportunities I had in mind. But I remembered something my mother told me in our hometown: “Sin importar los tropiezos, sigue para adelante mija. Las cosas funcionaran tarde o temprano” – No matter how many obstacles you face, keep going. Things will eventually work out.
I decided to take an English class and apply for college again. This time around, I was accepted into a great school — York College — which set the foundation for a transfer two years later to my dream school, Baruch College. Now that I look back, I realize that the rejections I faced early on in my career were the foundation of the person I am today.
After only a few months of being enrolled in college, I knew I had made the right choice in selecting accounting as my major.
With only 1.5 years in the U.S., I didn’t know how to network, find internship opportunities, or simply create a resume. Fortunately, my first accounting professor became my long-term mentor. He introduced me to my first official job in the U.S. as a CPA ambassador for a CPA publishing firm. He also gave me advice on my resume, and through his work experience, showed me and my fellow classmates why accounting was such an essential division in every organization.
Thanks to the knowledge I gained in accounting and the experience I built while being a student, I landed multiple offers at four big accounting firms, big banks on Wall Street, and prestigious tech companies. In total, I completed five internships during my time in college. The last internship is the one that changed my life forever.
I didn’t think my accounting degree would help me get a space in the competitive tech world, but I was wrong.
After following the traditional path most people follow in accounting, I wanted to try different things. Growing up, I was always passionate about technology and how its advancements change the world every day.
During my junior year of college, an internship opportunity was posted to work at a tech company as an accounting/financial analyst intern. I was hesitant to apply because I didn’t think my background and skills were enough for this opportunity. However, after some research, I discovered that many people were accountants in tech.
Seeing this mass number of accountants working in tech companies gave me the motivation I needed to apply. Two weeks later, I got invited to an interview, and a few weeks later, I received the call: I got the offer to intern at Google!
After successfully completing the internship, I received a full-time offer for post-graduation. I graduated from college a year later debt-free, being the first person in my family to graduate from college in the U.S. and work in Corporate America at a tech company.
Many people thought I was making a mistake when I pursued a different path instead of the traditional one in accounting, but the truth is that there’s no right or wrong path to follow. Everyone has options, and we choose what’s best for each and every one of us.
I visualized myself making a change in the world by using my expertise in accounting to maintain growth in organizations and industries that were creating products to make a better world – and I took the opportunity when it presented itself to me. I gave myself the “yes” after receiving so many “nos”.
Choosing accounting as my major was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made, and creating my own path helped me find success in my own way.
Learn more about what an accounting major can do for you at Accounting+. And remember, there’s no one path to accounting. Accounting is limitless!