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Accounting Program Prepares Students for Passionate Careers Programs
Networking, mentoring and stewarding students beyond the classroom sets them up for career success even before they graduate. At Irvine Valley College, accounting faculty take their classroom instruction to the next level by connecting students with professional opportunities, giving them a competitive edge for today’s high-demand business careers. Associate Professor Bennet Tchaikovsky is dedicated to assisting his students as they begin their academic journey and discover a career path in the accounting field.
“There is nothing more satisfying than seeing my former students obtain internships or full-time employment at area accounting firms,” he said. “It’s part of my privilege as a professor to connect students to the opportunities that pave the path for their careers.”
Tchaikovsky’s impact on the students he teaches is evident in both their glowing appreciation of him, as well as in their academic and career success. Students who have taken his accounting classes have gone on to pursue bachelor’s degrees in prestigious accounting programs and landed coveted internship at large firms.
When Sophia Montano began at Irvine High School in 2010, she wasn’t really focused on her future plans, but she was certain they didn’t involve college.
“Coming out of high school and going straight to a university was completely out of the question for me,” she said. “I knew I was not academically prepared for a four-year institution.”
With the help of her older brother, also an IVC student, Sophia enrolled in two college courses the summer after she graduated from high school. From that small beginning, she discovered her love of working with numbers and became excited about the field of accounting and its career possibilities. She cites her favorite college courses as Accounting 1A and 1B with Professor Bennet Tchaikovsky.
“Those classes challenged me like never before and I never felt so accomplished after receiving my final grades,” she said. “I even made lifelong friends that I still keep in contact with to this day.”
Sophia recently transferred to Cal State Fullerton where she will pursue a business administration degree program with a concentration in accounting. She is currently completing a summer internship with Big Four accounting firm, Ernst and Young. She credits her IVC professor for igniting her passion for her future career.
“Professor Tchaikovsky is one of the biggest reasons why I decided on accounting,” she said. “He not only made sure we understood the material but also taught us how to apply it to the real world. I know that I would not be where I am today if it was not for IVC and its faculty who saw the potential I did not see in myself.”
Danielle Richmond already had a busy life balancing time with her children and working as a manager in the hospitality industry. But she knew she wanted to pursue an education, so she enrolled in IVC as a re-entry student to study accounting.
Being a single mom of two in a demanding academic program at IVC didn’t hold Danielle back from extracurricular involvement. In addition to her accounting classes, she served as secretary in the Accounting Society and as an IVC student ambassador. She also works in the IVC Library.
“I enjoyed being involved on campus and making connections with the campus community,” she said. “I would encourage any future students to engage on campus in any and every way they can.”
Danielle is finishing up her final classes at IVC this summer and is the first in her family to complete a college degree. She will transfer to Cal State Fullerton in the fall to pursue a business administration degree with a concentration in accounting. She credits Professor Bennet Tchaikovsky for igniting her excitement for the accounting profession and providing invaluable insight into a future accounting career.
“Professor Tchaikovsky is part of the reason that I am going to pursue a career as a CPA,” she said. “He has a gift to teach and is a true model of what a professor should be.”
Arash Moradi always planned to attend IVC, because the college offered him a more financially accessible path to education. When he took his first accounting class and excelled, he knew had found the right field. He dove in to the program, completing not only his associate degree, but also two accounting certificates, in financial accounting and managerial accounting.
Arash graduated from IVC in May 2016 and finished his bachelor’s degree at Cal State Fullerton in May 2018. He completed an internship with a regional accounting firm in Irvine and it currently an intern at Big Four accounting firm, Deloitte, in their audit practice.
“IVC was definitely a stepping stone to my internship,” he said. “From getting involved on campus to figuring out what I wanted out of school, IVC helped me out. My professors were very helpful in my path.”
Kara Barnett admits she dabbled in a few other disciplines, biology and computer science, before she landed in accounting. In a quest to discover her passion, she enrolled in a financial accounting course. She had no experience with the subject and had heard that the major was tough, but she decided to take a chance.
She was surprised to find that despite its challenges, she loved the class. Ultimately, she switched her major to accounting.
Kara graduated from IVC in May of 2016 with an associate degree and transferred to the University of Southern California (USC) where she expects to graduate in December of 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“IVC helped prepare me to manage my time more efficiently,” she said. “I worked multiple jobs and was a full-time student while attending IVC. I learned to juggle multiple tasks which has translated to my work as an intern.”
She is currently completing a demanding summer internship at Ernst and Young. She hopes it will turn in to a full-time position after she graduates and passes her CPA exams next year.
“My internship experience with the firm has exceeded my expectations,” said Kara. “I would love to continue to work for Ernst and Young.”
The School of Business Sciences at Irvine Valley College offers programs in Accounting, Business Management, Computer Information Management, Entrepreneurship, Paralegal Students and Real Estate. IVC also offers more than 50 Career Technical Education Programs, and multiple proficiency certificates in accounting and other fields.
To find out more information about Irvine Valley College’s accounting program, visit http://academics.ivc.edu/bus/accounting/.
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