• Sahara

    Major and Minor:Accounting and Economics Dual Baccalaureate, Possible MIS minor

    Dual Enrollment Program:​ I attended Armstrong School District, Ford City Junior Senior High School and earned 12 credits college credits through IUP while still in high school.

    Hometown: Cadogan, PA

    Ultimate Aspiration

    I want to end up in a position that will allow me to use both my majors. I love the concepts of accounting and I find the way the economy runs itself to be incredibly interesting (weird, I know). I would like a position where I can give investment advice based on my economic surroundings. I plan to do this by beginning my own consultation business designed to bring people out of debt accumulated from college or health related expenses. I also want to start a non-need scholarship program that will be awarded to only students who completed dual enrollment courses. (No seriously, I could show you a notebook where I’ve already started drafting my plans for it.) Dual enrollment was such an important experience to me and allowed me to become invested in my education early on. I want to help the students like me that see from the beginning that college is the most important investment you’ll ever make. Lastly, I would like to become a political leader in whatever region I live. I want to fight for the middle class and ensure that education is affordable for everyone. These goals may seem oddly specific, but for some reason, school is the first thing in my life I’ve ever become truly passionate about. Besides, how can I be sure that I am taking the right steps towards my goals if I don’t know what my goals are?

    What are your plans for after graduation?

    After graduation, I want to start in public accounting. I hope that whatever internship I have my senior year will turn into a job offer that way I will have exposure and experience before going in on my own. I want to use this position to pay off my loans and become financially secure so I can begin the previously mentioned consultation business. I will most likely remain in the Pittsburgh area where the standard of living is relatively low. However, I would like to be near Washing DC someday. My goal is to have all debt gone within the first 2.5 years after graduation, or ¼ of the expected time as stated by the federal loan commission. Again, I have set my goals high because it keeps me motivated.

    We want to know about some of the interesting things you do—in class, for extra and co-curricular activities, in social and volunteer situations.

    One thing I really like doing is note-taking for my classes. IUP is a diverse campus so it’s unlikely that you will have a class without students that have learning disabilities. In order to help them, IUP employs note-takers for all the classes. Once a week, I go and get all my notes copied so that students who can’t take them can still do well. I also have a lot of fun with my fraternity. Phi Gamma Nu is a coed professional business fraternity that’s dedicated to helping business majors get ahead at an earlier point in their career. I have participated in career fairs through my frat as well as volunteer events like Big Hearts Little Hands at the YMCA. We also do the traditional big-little Greek life and host social events. Joining was a great way to make friends while still focusing on my education. The student Accounting Association was the first group I had a leadership position in and it allowed me to start building my resume early on. Eventually I would like to join Circle K to have more opportunities to volunteer. I’m especially interested in doing tutoring and peer counseling as part of these volunteer prospects.

    Tell us about any internship or practicum experience you’ve had.

    I’m only in my second year at IUP, so I haven’t had any internships yet. Most places require that you complete 60 credits to intern. I have gone to job shadow a few times and I go to every career fair and business event IUP hosts. I have met several recruiters that constantly tell me to apply when the time comes (I.e. I have enough credits) because I have the experience and work ethic to be a part of the programs. I plan to apply for internships beginning October of this year. Once again, dual enrollment and AP courses are to thank for allowing me to reach junior standing before I even begin my sophomore year.

    Have you studied abroad? Where was it? What did you get out of it?

    I am part of the Eberly Business Honors Program, so I am unable to do semesters abroad because I have specific courses I have to take. However, the program instead offers a study abroad trip during winter recess to India with the rest of your cohort that I will absolutely be doing. We also have excursions to Washington DC and New York. Since there is no required honors course my spring semester of senior year, I have already begun looking for internships abroad. I want to intern at a US-based company that has gone global. Like I said, I want this internship to turn into a job offer. I hope to get some cultural experience out of it as well as enhance my foreign language skills.

    Please tell us about any awards or scholarships you’ve received.

    I have received a little over $15,000 of scholarship money since I started school at IUP. Some of them were personal checks that I used to cover expenses like rent and books. Others went right towards my tuition and fees. I have two renewable scholarships that give me great motivation to keep my grades up. The IUP Board of Governors Sutton Scholarship provides $2000 for the academic year provided I maintain a satisfactory GPA. I was just recently awarded the Ralph and Mary Lou McAllister Scholarship from the Armstrong Educational Trust totaling $2,500 per year for up to four years. The rest of the money was earned through various small or private scholarships that I find locally. The benefit of a public school is that winning a few $500 scholarships add up quickly. I have set two very specific goals for myself.

    Number one is to go to school for at least one year completely on scholarship, and number two is to only use federal loans to finance my education. That way, I can come out of school with a max of $21,000 in debt after four years, which is equal to at most half the average starting salary for every career I have considered. This will make managing my debt possible. All of my scholarships are merit based and were awarded based on both academic and personal/volunteer accomplishments. I truly believe that without completing dual enrollment courses in high school I would not have had the motivation or qualifications to be awarded with the scholarships I have received.

    Furthermore, I was the only freshman able to apply for a PICPA scholarship, a $1500 check written out to me, because I had the extra 12 credits I earned in dual enrollment that put me at sophomore standing which was a requirement of the scholarship. I have also been on the Dean’s List both semesters at IUP. I am so incredibly grateful for all the financial help I have received. Knowing that I am here because other people believe in me makes college a rewarding, exciting experience.

    If you were asked to recommend IUP to a friend, what would you say?

    I would ask why they would consider school anywhere else! IUP was my top choice and the only school I applied for. I started my dual enrollment at Northpointe and visited the main campus a few times throughout high school. I fell in love with it right away. First, it’s so GREEN! I love all the trees and life that surrounds the buildings. The Oak grove is my favorite place to be in the summer. Even more is that most of the buildings are in great shape. As a business/econ student, I spend a great deal of time in Eberly and McElhaney. Both are beautiful, modern buildings that make you feel important just walking through them. Aside from the beauty of IUP, I am in love with all the events and organizations. It took me almost 6 months just to narrow it down to 10 clubs I’m still debating between. Clearly IUP knows how important the social aspect of college is. When these events come around, suddenly everyone on campus has something in common—we all love to have fun.

    Our library is four floors of information waiting to be consumed and there are dozens of computer labs with access to the latest technology. The support centers are fantastic and clearly have a passion for what they do. I take great pride in IUP and am grateful to be a student here. The university is affordable and nurturing in ways that gigantic schools cannot be. I have never, not even once, questioned my decision to become a Crimson Hawk. IUP has changed me as a person. I have become more open, confident, and fulfilled. IUP is a campus for anyone.