When Fran Marshall is having a tough day at work, she has the consolation of knowing she can always step out of her office, and take a few minutes to renew her energy by sitting in front of any of the masterworks held by the Phillips Collection, the Washington, D.C., museum where she works. That’s by design. A painter and holder of a studio arts degree from George Washington University, Marshall determined that whatever she did after graduation she would work in the presence of art.
After leaving college, Marshall discovered an aptitude for accounting, which she says taps the same logical processes that guide her painting. She eventually realized that on-the-job training and the first-year classes she took at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) would only take her so far. “I thought it was about time to really commit to the profession, get additional training, and take my CPA exam,” she says.
The Certificate in Accounting
caught her eye. The 30-credit undergraduate program includes courses that are both required and recommended as preparation for the CPA exam. Marshall liked the idea that the program was developed with working adults in mind. And she was gratified to see that UVa recognized the credits for her NVCC coursework.
Marshall began the program in 2007 and finished in 2011. She has high praise for the knowledge and professionalism of many of her instructors. “They did an excellent job of communicating their enthusiasm for material that might otherwise be dry,” she says. A standout class was in a field she knew little about—commercial law. She also appreciated the program’s combination of broad focus and detailed treatment, which proved instrumental in helping her prepare for and pass the CPA exam.
Now finance manager in the museum’s fundraising department, Marshall feels more confident and self-assured in her work, thanks to the knowledge she’s gained in studying for the certificate and the exam. “I would recommend UVa’s certificate program to anyone,” she says.