OBC Alumni Spotlight: Charmaine Higgins
Posted on November 1, 2016
Written by Morgan O'Rourke
Did you know, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the job outlook for accountants (between 2014-2024) is expected to grow 11%? That’s faster than most occupations. Accountants also receive a high salary. In 2015, the median salary for accountants was $67,190.
To enter the field of accounting, you must receive proper training. Graduates of Ohio Business College’s associate degree in accounting gain the critical skills needed to hit the ground running upon graduation.
So, what’s OBC’s program like? Charmaine Higgins, a graduate of OBC’s accounting degree program, gives you a first-hand description as she shares her experiences and career plans:
- Why did you decide to continue your education at Ohio Business College?
I took classes at a community college and it would have taken me five years to complete my associate degree. I chose OBC because the courses gave me what I needed to start my new career in accounting in half the time.
- Why did you enroll in the Accounting Program?
I have been a licensed cosmetologist for 20 years. My life has changed numerous times which forced me to make a career change. I actually took a career test. I bought three books and took all of the tests. My results narrowed [a possible career for me] down to accounting. I stepped out on faith and enrolled at OBC.
- What have been your favorite things about the Accounting program?
My favorite things about the accounting program are when you’re journalizing and doing trial balance and the debits equal the credits. It’s very exciting! I also love managerial accounting. I really enjoyed Intermediate 3 Accounting, too, because I actually got to apply all the courses in a more realistic accounting project. I was amazed at how much information I retained. I got an A in that course.
- What is/was the most difficult or challenging thing about the program?
The most difficult and challenging thing for me was learning the difference between accrual accounting and cash accounting. I had to really take my time and study to be able to distinguish which process was being used. It can get tricky sometimes.
- How did Ohio Business College help you succeed in your studies and accomplish your goals?
The OBC staff helped me in so many ways. They gave me words of encouragement in some very low moments of my life. Also, if I had any questions they would do their best to answer or [direct me to] other staff members who could help. There is also tutoring available if you think you need some extra help.
- Tell us about your externship.
I enjoyed my externship. I was placed at Kellex Seating, a company that manufactures furniture. I was able to get a better understanding of accounts receivables. I got to use QuickbooksTM and SAP® (accounting software employers use) in a real world environment.
- How has OBC helped you in your job search?
The career services department is awesome! Cheryl Jankowski, OBC’s Career Services Director, and Tina Hutchinson, OBC’s Externship Coordinator, are very passionate about finding jobs and externship programs that are compatible to you and your field of study. The mock interview gives you a great idea of what to expect on a real job interview. I enjoyed it.
- Do you have a favorite memory about attending OBC? If so, what is it?
My favorite memory is when I finally completed my classes and saw my name on the graduation board. It took me three years to complete my degree, and I experienced setbacks of all kinds, so that was a very special moment.
- What do you think sets OBC apart from the other career education schools?
OBC is passionate about seeing you succeed. They will work with you as much as they can. What you put in “EFFORT” is what you get back. They understand we do have responsibilities outside of class. You just need to communicate with them. They are there for you.
- What goals do you have for your future?
The goals I have for my future include giving me and my five children a better life. I want to be able to create more opportunities in life for us and this is a good start. I would like to further my education and receive my bachelor’s degree in accounting to increase my career opportunities and take a family vacation to Disney World soon.
- What advice or tips do you have for prospective and current OBC Accounting Program students?
The advice I have for students enrolling in the OBC’s accounting program is to:
- Study, study, study.
- Take notes.
- Read your notes and take more notes.
- Do extra assignments in workbooks outside of homework.
There are no shortcuts. You have to apply everything you’ve learned. Eliminate all distractions from your life and put everything you’ve got into understanding accounting.
I struggled in the beginning. I actually failed two courses but I found a better way to study and I got really serious because I had to accomplish this.
You will get discouraged, you may pull your hair out, and that’s OK. Keep thinking about why you enrolled in the accounting program and don’t give up on yourself – EVER. I am proud to say I am an OBC graduate with my associate degree in accounting. You can do it!! Many blessings to you.
Learn more about OBC’s associate degree in accounting, and discover how you can enter today’s exciting workforce and grow your career in just two years.
Do you have questions? We’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today.