As a youth in New Jersey, Monica Mercado ’21 (accounting) planned to play volleyball or softball on the varsity level. Recruited to the women’s volleyball team at Rutgers University-Camden in 2017, life brought a change of plans with a season-ending injury during her freshman year.
Reflecting on her favorite childhood summer vacations to the West Coast, Mercado moved to California, where she discovered a passion for coaching while working for the United States Youth Volleyball League. During her first year at Cal State Fullerton after transferring, the Dean’s List honoree served as the treasurer for the women’s volleyball team.
Mercado’s goals have also expanded to a career in accounting. She plans to complete an audit internship with EY next summer.
“I want to be a CPA and pursue a career in public accounting in the audit practice,” she says. “Long-term, I want to be a partner in a major firm or hold a high-ranking accounting-related position in the public sector. I chose accounting because I think it is very logical and straightforward. I took it as an elective in high school and enjoyed it, and it stuck with me.”
The PCAOB Scholarship Gives Mercado a Boost
On July 13, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), part of the federal regulatory framework for U.S. accounting, named Mercado one of 234 students nationwide to receive a $10,000 scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Aiming to benefit students, many from underprivileged backgrounds, who are likely to become future accountants and auditors, funds from the scholarship are raised from monetary penalties imposed by the PCAOB on firms for violations.
2020 is the fourth consecutive year that CSUF was selected to nominate a student, and Mercado is the fourth Titan recipient.
Mercado is emblematic of the diversity that the PCAOB seeks in bestowing its awards and of Cal State Fullerton’s student body.
The daughter of a retired U.S. army veteran and a registered nurse who were both born and raised in the Philippines, Mercado is a first-generation American and first-generation college student.
“CSUF allows me to experience diverse cultures, and I love the rich tapestry into which I am woven here,” she says. “Being an active member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi helped me appreciate this exposure to diversity I lacked before.”
The youngest of 27 cousins says her family is the primary motivation for her to excel. “My parents have always supported me and provided everything I needed. My aunties and uncles are rooting for me, too. I’m also the youngest cousin on both sides, and I’ve always had people to look up to and go to for guidance. Now that I’m an auntie, I hope I can be an example to my nieces and nephews,” she says.
“I put 100% effort into everything in my life – school, work, family, friendships and sports.”
As we head into fall 2020, Monica Mercado is our Titan inspiration.