Nico Jeffryes was ready for a change, which wasn’t surprising. Having previously spent time in the Air Force and later working as a government contractor, they were feeling restless after six years as a high school math teacher. They weren’t exactly sure what they wanted to do, just that they wanted something different.
“It could’ve been becoming a dental hygienist or maybe studying for the LSAT,” they say. “I didn’t know accounting would be it.”
Nico still wasn’t certain after having a Zoom meeting with Professor Adriano Lima e Silva, coordinator of HCC’s CPA candidacy certification. But everything he said “resonated and made me feel super comfortable,” they say. “He made me feel like I could really do it and the profession could really benefit from someone like me.”
So, they took an introductory accounting course in summer 2021 to test the waters.
“I loved it,” Jeffryes says. “After taking that class, I decided to quit my job and make a full commitment to pursuing my CPA. Accounting is numerical problem solving, which is my jam. Lots of different things go into it, giving you opportunities to do real-world problem solving. That all really appealed to me.”
They say the CPA candidacy program is tailor-made for students like themself, those who have a bachelor’s degree but took none of the prerequisite courses for the CPA exam.
“I looked at and considered some four-universities that offered something similar,” they say. “But I wanted to go through this program and not accumulate debt. That was my primary motivation. Also, after meeting with the professors, it made me feel like I made the right decision.
“It’s been great. The teachers have been amazing and really great mentors. My first professor, Mary Gardner, kept in touch after the class and now I tutor with her in the accounting lab. I really appreciate how much the professors are invested in me as a person. I don’t feel isolated, like I’m doing this thing without support.”