Not Just a Certificate, But a Promotion Too

Accounting certificate graduate Casey Velasco may be the next CFO

“Professionally, this certificate has earned me a promotion and respect from the owners of Veritable Vegetable,” enthuses Certificate Program in Accounting graduate Casey Velasco of her new finance manager role.

At Veritable Vegetable—an organic produce distributor—Casey works hand-in-hand with her manager, the CFO, to compile and deliver monthly financial statements to the company owners.

In fact, it was the CFO who urged Casey to take accounting courses to better understand all facets of her original accounting assistant position.



After completing my auditing course, my manager leaned on me to have work papers ready for our auditors while also letting me take the lead on our 401k audit.



The Road to Promotion

Working toward a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz did not afford Casey the opportunity to take business or accounting courses. So as Casey began the hunt for CFO-inspired courses, she realized that she needed classes that would provide her with a broad understanding of accounting best practices. And that’s exactly what she got with our certificate.

“Since my manager suggested me going to school, she was very interested in what I was learning,” Casey recalls. “I shared each syllabus with her and leaned on her a little too much when I needed help with the homework. [Laughs]”

For example, Casey remembers that during the Introduction to Financial Accounting course, her manager simultaneously trained her on managing the business’ income statement, balance sheet and cash-flow statement after the month-end close.

And as Casey continued to develop her accounting skills, the leaning on her manager turned upside-down: Casey’s manager began to lean on her!

“After completing my auditing course,” Casey says, “my manager leaned on me to have work papers ready for our auditors while also letting me take the lead on our 401k audit.”

“Just Like Me”

For many students, going back to school can seem like a daunting proposition. Having been out of a classroom for a while, many students—including Casey—have trepidations about re-orienting back to a student mindset.

But for many students—including Casey—studying alongside students like themselves can help make the transition a seamless one.

“I was nervous going back to school, but then I met so many students who were in the same position as I was,” Casey says. “Many of them worked full time and went straight to class after work—just like me. Many of them were starting new careers in accounting or needed to start from the beginning for their work—just like me. I didn’t feel out of place after the first class, and that made me look forward to taking more classes afterward.”

Having that community of learners is a highlight of taking our courses—as is learning from working professionals who bring their years of experience to the classroom.

Learning from these experienced instructors helped Casey gain a deeper understanding of her 9-to-5 work. “My teachers were phenomenal,” she enthuses. “Many of them used examples from work to emphasize the learning objective for the class. I especially loved learning from Marjorie Bailey, my auditing teacher. Her knowledge of the material and providing real-life examples made me feel like I could be an auditor, or at least be prepared for an audit.”



I think the best part of completing the certificate is the equality I feel when working with my manager.



Certificate In Hand, Ready for Any Accounting Challenge

And now we come full circle: After completing the certificate, Casey was given more responsibility and that coveted promotion. But beyond that, the personal and professional satisfaction in working toward this certificate is what makes Casey beam:

“I think the best part of completing the certificate is the equality I feel when working with my manager. I know and understand so much more than I did when I first started working with her. It feels great working together each month-end close to finish the monthly financials. It feels even better that she can take long vacations knowing that the business owners can depend on me for anything they need in the same way that they depend on my manager. It’s a huge confidence booster!”