The nine universities and numerous community colleges in the 21-county area served by the Texas Society of CPAS-San Antonio are home to some of the most outstanding future CPAs in the state. Since March 2020, they have faced many new challenges. This next-generation accounting major talks about what keeps her focused on her professional goals.
I’m Karissa Mitchem, and I attend Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where I am an Accounting major and plan to graduate in May 2021.
Why did you choose accounting as a major and career choice?
I come from a middle class, single parent home. I have overcome many obstacles in my life, but it has been a struggle. I wanted to pursue a career that ensured financial stability and job security. Accounting is a key part of any business. I knew a foundation in accounting could give way to many different career avenues.
Is this a career change? If so, what did you originally major in? Do you have prior or current work experience and what was it in?
I spent my early college career discovering myself, discovering the world and eventually studying my passion. I learned I had a passion for the arts and earned an associate degree in Fine Arts. I decided not to pursue a career in fine arts, but I hope to meld my passion and career together. I worked for Security Service Federal Credit Union for almost four years while going to college and honed my skills in written/verbal communication and many areas of professionalism.
Why do you choose to be involved in the Texas Society of CPAs-San Antonio Chapter, and what are you active in?
I love being involved in school activities and helping students get more out of their college experience. I became the TXCPA Campus Ambassador for TA&MU-San Antonio and founded the TXCPA-affiliated student organization to help give accounting and finance students the information, encouragement and support they need to jump-start their professional careers.
I am also a mentor in the Transfer Student Mentorship Program, a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Vice President 2018-2019).
Who would you consider to be your mentor?
I never had a mentor in my life until recently. The TAMU-SA Transfer Student Engagement Coordinator, Juan Espinoza, has been a tremendous help to me the past year. I can always go to him and ask him for ideas, feedback, advice, and his opinion. My student organization would not be where it is today without his support and guidance.
What has been your best experience as a college student?
I have been involved in so many events on campus, volunteered off campus, attended leadership workshops, forged relationships with students, staff, and faculty that it is hard to pick just one experience. I have to say, I cherish the relationship building moments with individuals through events or volunteer work and when I help a student discover a new opportunity.
Would you change anything about your career path, and if so, what?
No, I do not think I would change anything about my career path. I do not regret studying art or pursuing accounting. The world is full of possibilities, and I cannot wait to explore them. There is much more ahead for me. Accounting is a great foundation to have, and I expect it to take me down many different paths.
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
Within the next few years, I hope to earn my CPA license. I want to stay active within my community as an Alumni of TA&MU-San Antonio and as member of TXCPA. I hope to give back through my career in an environmental non-profit organization or government office.
NOTE: If you are an accounting major currently attending TAMU-SA and would like to learn more about becoming involved in campus accounting major-related activities, please contact Karissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or go to the group’s Link Tree at https://linktr.ee/txcpa_tamusa.
Instagram handle: txcpa_tamusa
TXCPA-San Antonio is looking for student Campus Ambassadors on the following campuses:
Our Lady of the Lake University
St. Mary’s University
Texas A&M International University
Texas Lutheran University
University of the Incarnate Word
To learn more about the benefits and responsibilities of becoming a Campus Ambassador, contact Amanda Talaat at email@example.com.