Alyssa Gore, a senior accounting and business administration double major and economics minor at Eastern Mennonite University, has received a $1,500 scholarship from the Virginia Skyline Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. The award for local college students recognizes academic achievement, evidence of leadership and future promise. (Photo by Macson McGuigan)

Late switch to accounting major poses no barriers to scholarship winner Alyssa Gore

Alyssa Gore came to Eastern Mennonite University unsure about a career path but with a hope: “to become successful in something that I love doing” – and it appears she has begun doing just that.

The senior accounting and business administration double major and economics minor has received a $1,500 scholarship from the Virginia Skyline Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. The award for local college students recognizes academic achievement, evidence of leadership and future promise.  

Gore “never imagined” herself going into business. However, the first-generation college student enrolled in several business courses, and then an accounting course taught by Professor Leah Kratz that inspired her to learn more.

In the process, she realized, she found a passion for the accounting profession – in large part thanks to Kratz’s enthusiasm for the field.

“Alyssa is an exceptional student with extraordinary tenacity,” Kratz said recently, noting that Gore declared her accounting major at a time that could have necessitated a fifth year of school. However, Kratz said, together they created a schedule of independent studies that allowed Gore to catch up, even though it afforded her few breaks over a 12-month period.

“It really was a sink-or-swim approach,” Kratz said. “What I learned about Alyssa through that process was that not only can she swim, she can soar.”

That said, Gore is grounding her studies in the real-world experience of internships – three of them: This semester Gore is doing taxes as an intern for YNBP, a small accounting firm in Harrisonburg. In the summer, she will intern with auditors at Cherry Bekaert in Virginia Beach. Next fall will find her at the Washington Community Scholars’ Center in Washington D.C., again interning.

By the time she graduates next May, she will also have earned 150 credit hours, thereby earning eligibility to sit for the CPA exam, without the typical additional year of graduate school. And in less than a decade, she hopes to be working for a mid-sized public accounting firm as an auditor – and “on my way to becoming a partner.”

“My accounting and business professors have really helped prepare me for what to expect post-graduation,” she said. “Because of EMU’s accounting program, I am ready and excited to take on the future.”

The local scholarship is offered annually to one student each from EMU, Bridgewater College and James Madison University. Recent recipients include Austin Sachs, 2018, and Becca Hardy, 2017.

The Virginia Skyline Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants provides continuing education programs and networking opportunities for accounting and finance professionals in the region. The Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants is dedicated to professionalism of, advocacy for and strategic partnership among its members.

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