Judith Garcia
Judith Garcia

“It’s so important to me that I was recognized by our prestigious School of Accountancy. I feel honored that my hard work as a student is paying off. It’s a great motivator to keep going and working hard for the rest of my college career.”

These are the thoughts of Judith Garcia ’22 (accounting), recipient of the Charles B. Shellenberger Endowed Scholarship. The award, founded by the late CSUF accounting alumnus, Beta Alpha Psi charter member and Fullerton College Accounting Lecturer Charles Shellenberger, has helped Garcia pay for her books and courses in her senior year. It has also given her inspiration as she looks ahead to her CPA exams and a career opportunity with Big Four accounting firm EY.

Online or In-Person, Preparation for an Accounting Career Continues

When Garcia arrived at Cal State Fullerton in 2018, she got involved in the Accounting Society, Sales Leadership Center and Women’s Leadership Program.

In spring 2020, life suddenly changed for Garcia and other students as courses and college life turned virtual.

But despite the uncertainty and changes of the pandemic, Garcia has benefited from a supportive network and top-notch accounting instruction.

“The best part of being a student at CSUF has been the people I’ve met. I’ve connected with a lot of fellow accounting majors, and we talk about recruiting, the various firms, and things outside of school and work. Even though we weren’t on campus, we could still connect with each other. School can be hard sometimes, so having friends supporting me along the way helped make it a lot better,” recalls Garcia.

In spring 2021, Garcia took two main intermediate accounting courses with Assistant Professor of Accounting Anthony Chen. Despite the online modality, Garcia appreciated the innovative instructional approaches that Chen employed.

“We went over real problems in class, applying what we learned in his recorded lectures. You can go over the recorded lectures a lot, but when you’re doing problems together with them and asking questions in real time, that helps solidify your learning. I feel that was a really good way of presenting it,” says Garcia.

“I am very proud of being part of the School of Accountancy. I know I sound like a nerd, but I really like accounting. It’s an interesting topic and is changing so much every day. And it’s exciting to see how the school is evolving as well.”

After graduation, she plans to pass a few sections of her CPA exam before starting her first full-time job at EY in 2023, where she interned in the summers of 2020 and 2021.

But Garcia is already planning her long-term future, too.

“Eventually after my time at EY, and I do want to stay for a good while, I see myself moving into nonprofit accounting, working for philanthropic organizations, or doing accounting for media and entertainment.”

Advice for the Class of 2022

As part of a graduating class that has experienced a once-in-a-century pandemic, new technologies, and a rapidly changing work and school environment, Garcia has this advice for her peers:

“Never stop learning. Learning is such a beautiful thing. I know sometimes school is stressful, but what makes it stressful is all the projects, assignments and deadlines. But once you take all of that away, what’s left is education. We’re so lucky to be at this great school learning such great topics from great faculty. Once we’re done with our college careers, the learning should never stop. If you’re passionate about a topic, it won’t be hard to learn about it.

But be sure to find a balance between your school self and your personal self. I made a mistake in my first few years of college by focusing so much on school and neglecting my personal life, family and friends, which I feel is not a good thing to do. You should find a balance. Obviously, don’t forget about school, but have a life outside of school, too.”

Congratulations, Judith Garcia, on your scholarship! And best wishes on your future!