IVC News > December 04, 2020

IVC Gave Her the Chance to Explore Her Career Options – Now She’s a Step Away from Being a CPA

Shiva Maggard photo.jpegAfter she graduated high school, Shiva Maggard explored her career options before setting her sights on medical school. She enrolled at IVC and picked biology as her major. Maggard planned to transfer to a four-year college, and like the majority of American college students, she changed her mind along the way.

She decided med school wasn’t for her. She dropped out of college and found work in the restaurant industry, as a bartender. She made decent money in that job, she said, but after a few years realized it wasn’t what she wanted long term.

Maggard found herself once again exploring her career options. That led her back to IVC. She re-enrolled, this time declaring a major in business. She discovered the potential of an accounting career when she took a class taught by instructor Donald Bradshaw.

“It wasn’t until I took [Instructor] Bradshaw’s class that I figured out I was going to major in accounting,” Maggard recalled.

She saw Bradshaw as a mentor. She remembers how he talked about his experiences in accounting and spoke highly of the field as one with good opportunity and lots of stability. Maggard, the first in her family to attend college, wanted the kind of job security Bradshaw described, and she liked the potential for long-term advancement within the field. 

“There’s a clear path of upward mobility, and that’s what attracted me,” she said.

Maggard attended school full-time during the day while tending bar at night to pay for her college education. IVC was an affordable college option that came with the benefit quality teachers and smaller class sizes.

“The quality of teachers there is so good, especially on the business side,” she said. “I loved my teachers at IVC.”

Maggard graduated from IVC in 2015 with an Associate of Arts in Business Administration, with an emphasis in accounting. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus in accounting and finance, at California State University, Fullerton, in 2017.

And, in November, she celebrated a major professional milestone: She passed all four parts of the CPA exam and plans to attain her license to become a certified public accountant in 2021.

What a ride. 24 months of blood, sweat, tears, and copious amounts of Starbucks,” Maggard shared on her LinkedIn profile. “This exam was challenging to say the least, and I’m so glad I stuck with it because there were many times I wanted to throw in the towel.

Each part of the four-part CPA exam is four hours long, and each section takes about 150 hours of studying, on average, said Maggard, who is an audit senior at an Orange County-based public accounting firm. In her job, she audits the financial statements of privately held and publicly traded companies to make sure their financial statements are accurate for financial-statement users.

Maggard said likes the career she ultimately chose because of the challenges it presents. She enjoys “fostering client relationships, as well as coaching staff and working in a collaborative team environment.”

“I like being challenged,” she said. “There’s a lot of upward mobility, so if you’re good at what you do, there’s just so many opportunities, and it opens so many doors.”

As Maggard looks back on her time at IVC, she says the college provided her with great mentorship and a solid foundation in accounting, so she was well-prepared for the courses she took at CSU Fullerton, as well as the social opportunities. She served as chair of the Accounting Society at CSU Fullerton, working to recruit students to the organization, which provided resume-building services, networking opportunities, peer mentorships and other benefits.

“People think ‘Oh community college, it can’t be that good,’ but I have to disagree,” Maggard said. “I was super impressed with the teachers I had and the education I received, and so I urge people not to overlook community college. I think it’s a great way to start your college career, especially if you’re unsure, because if you change your mind it’s a lot cheaper at a community college than at a four-year. It’s a great way to explore your interests, too.”

​Learn about the programs offered by IVC’s School of Business Sciences, including Accounting, Business Management, Computer Information Management, Entrepreneurship, Paralegal Studies and Real Estate.​

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