Senior Accountant, Blue & Co.
INCPAS Scholar Indianapolis 2012–13
Attended IUPUI’s Kelley School of Business
We have shared several stories about our INCPAS Scholars throughout the years. Since many of them have now graduated college, are beginning to pass the CPA Exam, enter the profession and earn their license, we thought it would be fun to follow up with them and see how they are doing.
Leticia was in our second class of Scholars (the program began in 2011). She is currently working at Blue & Co. and studying for the CPA Exam. In the summer of 2015, she was studying at Kelley School of Business – IUPUI, double majoring in accounting and finance, and interning at the Indiana CPA Society. She shared her biggest takeaways from the Scholars program, her internship and her classes.
You are currently working at Blue & Co. as a senior accountant. In the summer of 2015, you shared your thoughts in a CPA IN Perspective article
about applying what you’ve learned from all your experiences so far (college courses, internship and Scholars program). Your biggest takeaway from the Scholars program was the importance of networking. You wrote, “Get to know people and how to present yourself, which is really helping me [at my internship at the Society] and also at school when trying to connect with professors.” How did this takeaway help you after you graduated and were looking for jobs?
Networking definitely helped me get involved in many accounting opportunities in high school and while in college. It was a struggle for me to find a job right after college, and I really had to put myself out there at career fairs. I remember using these skills in searching for a job. When I changed jobs after my first job out-of-college, I reached out to a college peer of mine, who was also employed at the same organization. LinkedIn was a savior in this connection!
When you are put in a situation you are unfamiliar with, it can put you in a place of worry. Learning to adapt in these types of situations is key to a continued successful career.
After you interned at the Society, you also interned at Deloitte and Celadon Trucking. What have you been able to apply that you learned from your internships to your current job?
I have learned to adapt to different situations and environments I am put in. Going into the pandemic and transitioning to the work from home environment was difficult at first. I really had to rely on my team and use tools such as Zoom and instant messaging. When you are put in a situation you are unfamiliar with, it can put you in a place of worry. Learning to adapt in these types of situations is key to a continued successful career.
You stayed involved with INCPAS Scholars even after you graduated from the program. Why is your continued involvement important to you? What advice do you share with current INCPAS Scholars?
I love the people! I enjoy everyone who works for the Society, the connections I’ve made with other young members from being part of the Society, and the continued support of the Society! INCPAS assisted in getting me to where I am. They gave me an opportunity to learn more about the profession and drew me into this great career. As shy as I was before, I definitely needed a group like INCPAS to get me out of my shell so I could put myself out there, both when I was in the Scholars program and currently at Young Pros events, which I love. There is always an opportunity for you to get to know others in the profession in a more relaxed environment.
My advice for all current and future INCPAS Scholars: Take full advantage of the program and make sure you take in all you can. Participate, ask questions, make connections and stay connected with other peers and professionals. You will be glad you did!
Now that you are working at Blue & Co. as a senior accountant, what are your career goals? Have you shifted any priorities?
My current career goal is bringing my focus back to studying for and passing the CPA Exam. I enjoy being an auditor. I find it challenging yet rewarding. It is my hope to continue on this path of accounting/auditing throughout my career. I honestly did not think I would enjoy auditing as much as I currently do. I started to second guess if accounting/auditing was really for me when I worked at my previous job. I was slowly losing the joy I had originally found in accounting and felt I needed more. Thankfully, that original excitement and love for this profession has returned since joining Blue & Co. and has contributed to me getting back on the CPA track soon!
What is your favorite part of your job?
My audit team and the clients we serve! I enjoy the team I work with, as well as the communications with the client. I always feared “clients” and was terrified when drafting an email or when my phone rang. When the pandemic hit and we started working from home, I had to get more comfortable with picking up the phone or setting up a Zoom meeting with the client. It really makes a difference when you enjoy the people you work with, your team, your clients and your peers.
How has your experience been taking the CPA Exam?
It has been a process and still is. However, no one ever said it was easy! I began to take the CPA Exam shortly after college when I was working at my first job. However, after multiple failed attempts and decreasing scores, I decided to take a break. It was a difficult decision; I really wanted to push through but as soon as my scores began to decrease, rather than get closer to the passing score, I decided it was time to pause.
I always planned to pass the Exam right after college. But I eventually realized that although that plan would have been ideal, there is no one path that fits for everyone. I am a person who has to be motivated to accomplish whatever it is I want to accomplish, and I wasn’t feeling motivated at that point in time. But now, I am currently in a place where I feel that motivation and excitement to get my license and get those three letters. INCPAS will definitely be the first to know when I pass the exams!
INCPAS Scholars is an award-winning, free program that encourages high school students to consider becoming a CPA. The only program of its kind, INCPAS Scholars introduces students to the profession by pairing them with practicing CPAs, touring CPA firms and businesses that employ CPAs, and participating in events to immerse them in the profession. You can support the program at incpas.org/Scholars.
Want to get involved as an INCPAS Scholars mentor?
Contact Ali Paul
, CAE, INCPAS Director – Outreach & Diversity, for more information.