Stephanie Aranda

AICPA Legacy Scholarships

Learn more about this and other AICPA Legacy Scholarship programs here.

 
 
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Recipient of AICPA Minority Scholarship (2012-13)

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Stephanie Aranda
Graduate Student, Southern Methodist University

 

Stephanie Aranda has gotten a lot from her mother, including her love for business and her dream of owning her own company.

 “During my childhood in Mexico, my mom owned a jewelry shop that was really close to our home. Every day after school, I’d go and help her in the store. I always knew that I wanted to be in business, like her, but I didn’t discover my love for accounting until high school.”

Stephanie knew that accounting is the language of business, so she decided to brush up on it early and take beginning accounting in her senior year of high school. “I fell in love with it. Accounting was absolutely my favorite class in high school.” And, as it turned out, accounting was her favorite subject in college, too. 

Because she found her life’s calling in high school, Stephanie is eager to help other high school students find their way to college. “I’m passionate about working with high school students. I feel like I need to pay it forward because I’ve received a lot of help and guidance in college. I’d love to get them into accounting, but even helping inspire them to go to college is a great step.” 

Stephanie has spent time volunteering with the Hispanic Youth Institute, an organization that helps disadvantaged high school students to experience college life, and, as a recipient of the AICPA Minority Scholarship, she focused her AICPA Legacy Scholars project on exposing high school students to the world of business. She hopes to continue this mission and wants to help the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) to grow their programs for high school students in the Dallas area.

In addition to volunteering and being active in ALPFA (she’s also her chapter’s treasurer), Stephanie is busy as the treasurer of the College Association of Hispanic American Students and works as a tax intern at Grant Thornton. Luckily, she’s pretty good at managing her time. “I wouldn’t survive without my planner. I write everything down. I also wake up very early and go to bed late. I think with a good agenda, priorities for what you should be doing every day, and no procrastination, you can get a lot done. You just have to be very organized.”

Stephanie keeps herself very organized so that she can balance work and school, and she’s so glad that she does. Her work at Grant Thornton has been a great experience. “I really love tax. You have to think outside of the box because it’s not always straightforward what the rule says. I always do something different and I always have a new challenge every day. I love going to work because I get to learn something every single day.”

Stephanie’s work in public accounting is making her even more excited about becoming a CPA. “Having those three letters means that you can be anything you want to be in business. It opens up doors for you at public accounting firms, but also in any business. It says that you know what you’re doing and that you’re an expert in it. 

One day, Stephanie wants to be the CEO of her very own business, but she’s wants to make sure to get a good base in public accounting first. “I really want to work as hard as I can and learn as much as I can every day. I’ll learn as much as I can and keep achieving more until I reach my goals.”

  •  
    6am

    Wake up

     

    Time to start a new day! I’m definitely a morning person. :)

     
  •  
    7am

    Breakfast

     

    I love to drink fresh homemade carrot juice. Yum! While I’m sipping my juice, I check my planner and review my to-do list for the day. 

     
  •  
    8am

    Work

     

    I’m currently a tax intern at Grant Thornton in the Dallas office. I like to make sure that I arrive at the office early so that I can get a head start on my work.

     
  •  
    9am

    Meeting with my Senior

     

    Since I started working at GT, I’ve only worked on large engagements. I like to meet with the senior and update her on where I am in the process. I ask her any questions that I may have and see what her expectations are for my projects.

     
  •  
    10am

     
     
  •  
    11am

     
     
  •  
    12pm

    Lunch time

     

    Time to decide where to go! Currently, a group of 12 of us working on the same engagement all go out to eat together. I love it because I get to know them better. 

     
  •  
    1pm

     
     
  •  
    2pm

    Class time

     

    I’m working part-time because I’m also in school. This is definitely putting my time management skills to the test, but it seems to be going well so far.

     
  •  
    3pm

     
     
  •  
    4pm

     
     
  •  
    5pm

    Dinner (usually)

     

    I normally eat dinner when I get home from class, but today dinner will have to wait until 6:30pm because I have a scholarship reception to attend.

     
  •  
    6pm

    Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Awards Dinner

     

    Thanks to the scholarship I received from the Adelante! Fund, I have been invited to attend the GDHCC dinner. I’m extremely excited for the opportunity because this is a great way to network and meet new people.

     
  •  
    7pm

     
     
  •  
    8pm

    Study time

     

    Time to hit the books! I have school every day, so I must keep up with the reading and projects. I take notes on my readings and write anything I don’t understand to ask my professor the next day in class.