Recipient of AICPA Minority Scholarship (2012-13)Next profile
Graduate Student, University of Arizona
Anna-Paula Lopez knows that her mom is always right, so she knew it was no joke when her mom told her that “anything is possible when hard work is part of the equation.”
Anna-Paula was the first in her family to graduate from college with her bachelor’s degree, but she’s not going to stop there - she will also be the first to get her Master’s degree. Then she’ll take it one step further and become the first licensed professional in her family when she becomes a CPA. “I want to set the bar high for my younger sister and cousins.”
She has definitely set high standards for herself and those who look up to her. Not only was Anna-Paula chosen as the Outstanding Senior in her graduating accounting class, she was also selected as the most outstanding of all the Outstanding Seniors in the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management. That’s pretty outstanding.
In addition to being super smart and all-around awesome, Anna-Paula paid her own way through college with jobs, scholarships, and loans, and still made time to network and volunteer. As an undergrad, she served on the Executive Board of her chapter of Beta Alpha Psi as the Vice President of Public Relations. She taught exam review sessions for beginning accounting courses and was the link between her chapter and recruiters (which also gave her the chance to expand her network!). She also started a club that focused on her other love – animals. As a founding member of the Animal AdvoCATs Club, Anna-Paula loves volunteering at the pound. She also tries to decrease the pound population there by educating students on what they should think about before getting a pet.
Anna-Paula also had the chance to give back on an international level during her internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers last summer when she was selected to be a part of Project Belize. She went to Belize City for a week to teach financial literacy. She was grouped with senior managers and partners from all over the United States to teach young people how to budget and save money to help get them off the streets. “I’ve never been able to help people so much. It changed my views on life and serving others.”
In addition to everything else, Anna-Paula has spent time volunteering in her college and in public schools in Tuscon, AZ, to help promote the accounting profession as an AICPA Legacy Scholar. “I get to share what an accounting professional does, what CPA licensure means, and what sort of career paths students can take if they choose to pursue a career in accounting. I love sharing the great things about the accounting discipline. You don’t just sit in a cubicle all day and there’s not just one path you can take. CPAs can do anything.”
Anna-Paula is well on her way to becoming a CPA. She’s currently studying for the CPA Exam and will be done with all 4 parts before she starts her career as an Audit Associate at PwC's Phoenix office. “I’ll be really grateful when I can add those three letters to my name.”
Once she’s a CPA, Anna-Paula wants to keep setting lofty goals and challenging herself. Eventually, she wants to be in a position where she can give others the opportunity to go to college and become professionals. Anna-Paula is confident that she can do that, along with everything else she’d like to do, as long as she keeps hard work in her equation.
Get Up and Go
After I wake up and get ready, I take my two dogs – Niko the Yorkie-Poo and Wero the dachshund– out to play, and get ready for school. Wero is still a puppy, so he needs a lot of playtime! Oatmeal and coffee are a must before I head to school.
I work as a graduate student coordinator for the department of accounting. I help plan major events, keep track of placement information, and anything else they need. I’m making final preparations for our department’s Meet the Firms event tonight.
Theory of Accounting
This is my favorite class of the semester. Students teach each class, so we get to learn accounting theory in dynamic ways. It may seem scary when it’s time to teach, but the best way to learn a subject well is by teaching it to someone else.
After class, I head to the deli right outside the business building. Usually I grab a sandwich, but today a salad sounds like a better plan.
After taking a little break, I get together with a group of friends to work together on a class project. This particular project is challenging us to create an entire set of financial statements for a governmental entity by inputting each journal entry and adjusted journal entry, then preparing the financial statements and reconciliations.
This class focuses on accounting for governmental and not-for-profit entities. It’s a very interesting class because everything we learn is very different than what we’ve learned about for-profit entities.
Once I get out of class, I head to the atrium to begin setting up for Meet the Firms. I’ve got to make sure the tables are positioned correctly and that everything runs smoothly at check-in.
Meet the Firms
This event is put on by the department of accounting once a semester and is a career-fair type of event. Students get to meet professionals from approximately 25 accounting firms and learn about career opportunities. Accounting students are highly encouraged to attend. This is what I’ve been focusing on at work for the last few weeks, and it feels great that it’s finally here!
Walk My Dogs
When I get home, I eat a quick dinner and then take my dogs out for a long walk. This is my favorite part of the day! I love my dogs and really miss the three that live with my parents.
Exercise and Homework
Time to go running outside or do the “Insanity” workout! Once I finish my exercise, I begin working on my homework and doing a little daily preparation for the CPA Exam.