It’s been said that “The third time is a charm!” What happens, though, when your dream doesn’t come after the third fail? Althea Dona Degree reminds us that sometimes you get your best…after ‘lots of tests. Check-out her story:
Tell us when you first started pursuing your dream of being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
In the summer of 1989, I sat for the CPA Exam in Richmond, VA after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from American University. Unfortunately, I did not pass any of the parts, but believed that one day I would.
What happened after you didn’t pass the test in 1989? Did you jump right back in and try again?
The next 20 years were filled with rewarding work experiences in the Washington, DC in the tax department of Arthur Andersen & Co. and AT&T’s managerial accounting department in Greensboro, NC. During that time I also became the founder and president of the Home Education Center—Covenant Learning Co-op. This is a private school for homeschoolers in Loudoun County, VA.
How long did it take you to finally meet your goal?
It took 11 CPA exams, hours of self-study, classroom meetings, flash cards, and mentoring. I am very grateful to say that I attended the 2015 AICPA National Conference on Banks & Savings Institutions as a Certified Public Accountant.
Tell us how you reached the goal?
I had mentors, accountability partners, my family, and friends that cheered me to the finish line. I had servers who encouraged me as I spent endless hours at restaurants. When they saw me coming in, they knew to prepare my comfortable booth near an outlet, because I was going to spend the day with them. I believed I must stay focused and systematic until I finished.
What would you say to someone who says “ICAN” pursue my dream, but gets discouraged?
Never give up! When you find what works for you, continue to do it and never give up.