The New Normal: TXCPA-SA Candidate Member Monica Sojo-Cervantes

The New Normal: TXCPA-SA Candidate Member Monica Sojo-Cervantes

Monica Sojo-Cervantes in WFH* mode

Your TXCPA-SA Chapter is reaching out to your colleagues – CPAs, CPA candidates, student members and affiliates – to learn how you all are coping with the new normal brought on by COVID-19.

TXCPA-SA candidate member Monica Sojo-Cervantes, Associate Advisor and Research Analyst with Brent Forrest & Associates, LLC, offered the following information about her new normal.

Are you currently working/studying from home, in your office solo or in the normal pre-COVID-19 arrangement?  I have been working from home since March 16th. 

How many people do you work with normally?

I normally work with seven other people. Total of eight in my office not including our office dog, Boon.

What was a typical day like before “Stay Home, Work Safe”?  A typical day would be waking up at 6 am to shower and get ready/breakfast. I would let my two dogs out and feed them before leaving. Then heading to the office and starting work at 7:30 am. We have an open space area excluding the advisor’s office that would allow us to freely converse with one another. We would have clients come in for their reviews or walk-ins. It was nice to see them and talk about what they had been up to. After work, I would usually hit up my neighborhood bar and hang out with friends.  

Sojo-Cervantes with Loki

What is your typical day like now?  I get to sleep in now! Usually, I will get up at around 7 am, have coffee and hang out with my dogs until it is time to log on. We have team Zoom meetings every Monday morning to talk about how the week will go and then again on Friday to end on a good note. We all have office phones connected to our cell phones, so we still have access and client outreach like before. I get to do laundry and wash dishes on my “lunch break.” The house is so clean! I still get to talk to family and friends through Zoom happy hours, and we are hanging out with out-of-town friends a lot more often.

Can you share a small or big success story or silver lining that you didn’t expect?  I had not considered how staying home for long periods of time would go. A silver lining was when the office had a Friday happy hour by having margaritas from Alamo Cafe delivered. It was a great surprise that made being stuck at home all the better. Zoom happy hours have become routine.

Has there been a small or big not-so-successful happening?  I have been studying to take the Series 65 that has been postponed twice due to COVID-19. It has been weird to have to re-study every time that has happened. I am hoping that I can get it over with, so that I can officially get to work and help our clients at a greater capacity.

Any words of wisdom for your fellow accounting types?  Hang in there and try to stick to routine. Don’t let being at home all day deter you from getting dressed up in the mornings. Try to pick up a hobby you had previously set aside while you kept focusing on work. 

What do you miss the most?  I miss people. Being able to strike up a conversation with a stranger had become one of my favorite pastimes. Also, hugging my mom – I have not been able to do it since the stay- at-home restrictions got established.

What are you most grateful for?  Being able to walk outside whenever throughout the day to play with my dogs is the best.

It was nice to think back on the things that I have gotten even though others were taken away because of the coronavirus.

“Hugging Mom” — at the top of everyone’s list right now. Great answer!

*work from home