Mitchell Christensen, accounting program student at Minnesota School of Business-Blaine (MSB), was hired to work in his field before graduating. We sat down with Mitchell and talked about his educational experience. Read on to find out more about Mitchell’s story.
Why did you decide to attend MSB?
I chose to attend MSB because of how the classes fit in with my schedule. Also, the Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting allows me to sit for my CPA exam. The teachers have real experience in the fields they are teaching, which allows them to bring in up-to-date issues and concerns going on within the industry.
What inspired you to choose your program?
While talking with my parents one day about what I wanted to do with my life, I was asked, “What do you like?” I answered, somewhat jokingly, “Money.” Days went on after that conversation and I began thinking about careers that deal with money. The first one that popped up was economics, but I was never a big fan of that in high school. So I came across accounting and decided that was the career I wanted to pursue. After looking into the career more, I also decided becoming a CPA was something that I wanted to achieve. Only a handful of colleges offer accounting programs that will allow you to sit for the CPA exam. MSB is one of those schools.
Tell us about your educational experience.
I will be graduating from the accounting program in September 2014. My educational experience has been nothing short of phenomenal. All of the teachers are willing to do whatever it takes to get you to where you want to be. They will not just let you get to that point though; they continue to push you further so that you become even better than what you hoped. I was lucky enough to join the DECA program. The experiences I have obtained from this organization have been invaluable. Getting to apply the skills that you learn inside the classroom to case studies lets you know that what you are learning is actually used in the real world. I was fortunate enough to place high enough in the DECA State Career Development Conference to be invited to DECA International Career Development Conference where I placed within the top 10 in Accounting. DECA gave me the confidence to make the step from student to professional.
What is your current position?
I am currently a staff accountant for Deneen Flanary & Associates, Ltd. It was not an easy process, as I went through a phone screening and two rounds of interviews before I was offered the job. I would not have been as successful through the hiring process if it weren’t for the aid of career services. Not only did career services send me the job posting, but they were there for me the entire way with everything from resume building to mock interviews. My questions were always addressed immediately and as thoroughly as possible.
What motivates you?
I have always been motivated to not only succeed, but excel at everything I do. Once I have set my mind to something, there is no obstacle I will not overcome to achieve the goal(s) I have set in place for myself. I also find it motivating when someone tells me that I cannot do something because it only makes me work harder to prove that I can.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Find something that you love to do and you will never work a day in your life. Also, never give up. I have gained a passion for accounting and love the challenges that it brings on a daily basis. I like to be able to solve problems and make things work out. I am excited to go to work every day, because I know there is always something new that I will get to learn or problem I will get to solve.
What are you most excited for after graduation?
I am excited to continue my career in accounting and further my standing in the accounting profession by starting to take my CPA exam. With the help of my program advisor, Catherine Rice, I was able to register and apply for my first section the CPA exam before I graduated. Getting this out of the way sets a clear path for me to follow, and I know I will always be welcomed back at MSB for anything I could possibly need.