Becky and Norma are officially done with college! Graduation plans are in full swing... The twins take time to reflect on their support system over the last few years.
To CPA or NOT to CPA? Public vs Private?
What if you could run an experiment?
Take twins, with identical DNA, life experiences, education, GPAs, majors, internships, and careers as accountants. Then have twin A go private and have twin B become a CPA and go public.
Follow Becky Steiger and Norma Steiger on their separate journeys in the private and public accounting worlds! Together they will compare and contrast their experiences and goals in the accounting profession.
[00:13] Norma: Hello, hello. Welcome back to another episode of the Accounting Twins podcast. My name is Norma.
[00:19] Becky: My name is Becky. And the time has finally come. We are officially done with our undergraduate do it.
[00:27] Norma: If we could play, like, background music, I totally would right now. Just like, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.
[00:32] Becky: I think I'm a tiger.
[00:34] Norma: Oh, my gosh. We are officially done as of 03:00 p.m. Yesterday, for me, it was actually 02:56 P.m., because I finished my final four minutes early. If you've been listening along, you would know that Becky and I were struggling, thinking, oh, my gosh, we're going to get a B this semester. But we didn't. We got all A s. And let me tell you, I am as surprised as you are, if not even more.
[00:59] Becky: You should be surprised. You literally got rounded two and A.
[01:03] Norma: Yeah, I think it was Sunday. Some of the grades from my professor were being put in, and I missed the cut offs for an A by one point. And then he put in our project grades, and I missed it by another two points, but it was an 89.8. So he rounded me to an A without me having even to ask. And let me tell you, I was shook. It I was shocked. It was insane. And then Becky, being her amazing self, did it without having to be rounded.
[01:32] Becky: Okay, but the thing is, I literally made it by one point. So an A is an A baby?
[01:39] Norma: We took our final yesterday. We studied at least 30 hours for it, and we both exited the final thinking, what in the fricker nugget was that?
[01:50] Becky: Oh, my gosh. It was so terrible. I left, and I waited in the hallway for Norma to finish, and we just looked at each other faces, just shocked, and we were like, what was that? And we told you about our friends Abby and Ashton, who were really close friends with and we always do our accounting stuff together. We all texted in our group chat after, like, in all caps, screaming over text, going like, what the heck? That was so difficult. I just failed. I didn't fail. I kept my A. But listen to what Norma did.
[02:20] Norma: Okay? I went into the final. I had a really bad headache for, like, 2 hours, and it wouldn't go away. I got into the final ten minutes, and I need to use the restroom. My headache got worse, and then I was really thirsty. I was like, oh, ****, here we go. And then I just did not feel good about the final. There was one question. It was 21 points. It was 14% of the final grade. I was like, I don't know what I'm doing here. I was like, you know what? I definitely did well enough to keep my A, but it was so horrible. I got 103%. I got the highest grade out of all of my professors students.
[02:58] Becky: I definitely didn't get 103%. But I kept my A, so that's all that matters.
[03:03] Norma: Yeah, I still don't know how that happened. I was getting my hair done last night and I just look at my phone and I have my text message notifications for my grade book and I look at my hairdresser because we were just talking about the exam and I'm.
[03:14] Becky: Like, I got an A. Yeah, that was the hardest exam I've ever taken in my entire life. Like, with a curve. I got an with a curve. I never get bad exam scores except in that one accounting class where I usually would get C's and then I somehow got 100% on that exam. That's a different story, different topic, whatever. But it's official. Norman and I are done with school. Well, Norman is going back to grad school. Obviously. I'm done with school forever. I have that song going like, school is out for summer, but for me it's school out forever. That's how I feel right now.
[03:59] Norma: I'm not going to lie, I'm a little jealous. Like, I walked out of that final. I was like, I have another year of this and my CPA exams. My sanity is lost.
[04:09] Becky: I have good sanity. I'm living the dream. I know what you're talking about. Except it doesn't really feel real yet. It feels like spring break, I guess you would say, where you take that exam before spring break and then you go have a week of fun and then you come back and then you cry because of school. But I'm done forever. I literally start nannying the family I've been nannying for four years next week. And then I start my job in July and I'm an adult and I have rent and car insurance and rental insurance and every insurance that you could ever think of. And guys, I'm an adult. I still laugh at, like, peepee poopoo jokes and I am a 22 year old adult going into the workforce.
[04:51] Norma: Yeah, that'll be interesting. So we both got 4.0 this year. We are graduating summa *** laude overall with a 4.0 GPA. And I think one thing that was just important to us that we realized and I think I hope a lot of students can realize this going forward if they're as ambitious as Becky and I. You are still allowed to have a social life and you can still get good grades. I mean, Becky and I have gotten four point of our entire college career, yet junior year we had no social life because we were focusing too much on grades. But this year we had a great social life, spending our last semester together with our friends and still ended up doing well. Yes, there are a few bumps in the road, but we still perform to the best of our abilities. So I think just going forward, students need to know not every exam matters. Yes, you need to perform well so you can get good internships and learn your content. But not every grade matters.
[05:47] Becky: Looking back, I wish I had been less stressed about school, I guess you would say. Because looking back, I'm like, wow, I really should have gone to dinner with my friend instead of staying home and studying. When in reality, studying didn't teach me anything more, teach me anything less. It was just me confirming my knowledge. So if I could, I would go back and change a few things. But it's nice to know that going forward, I'm pleased with how I did in college, I'm pleased with my social life and I'm pleased with a lot of different aspects, like living the dream right now, knock on wood. Let's hope that stays the same. But I'm happy right now.
[06:22] Norma: Yeah. Next year in grad school, I'm going in with the mindset it is okay to not get. As long as I'm still learning the content and passing my classes, that is okay. And as long as I'm going to pass my CPA exams, that's fine. Because in the real world, your job is not just based off of your knowledge, it's based off of your interpersonal skills, soft skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, like a bunch of other things. But in school, you're only focused on your grades. So I need to learn that going forward. I'm sorry, grades don't matter as much. I have a great internship this summer and I know that I'm going to do well in my life after grad school, so my grades aren't going to find me. Also, five years from now, I'm not going to be putting my GPA on my resume. I think that'd be a little concerning.
[07:14] Becky: Agreed. But hey, we're done with college, I'm done with college. And now time to celebrate. We have an accounting graduation ceremony tomorrow, which is Friday. Saturday we have our business college graduation and then we have a grad party that our parents are throwing for us. We have family flying in town, we have friends coming up from Phoenix.
[07:38] Norma: We are so excited to celebrate all.
[07:39] Becky: Of our accomplishments with everybody. And honestly, our parents are so excited to do this for us because our parents are so excited of our academic achievements, our personal achievements, everything in between. And our parents kind of want to show us off. They want to put us on a silver platter and be like, these are my fabulous daughters. Everybody say Woohoo.
[07:59] Norma: Yes. I'm not going to lie, I'm really excited for all the attention that we're going to get this weekend because this weekend is about us and I love attention. So I'm just waiting for this grad party when everyone has to come up and say hi to me and tell me how proud they are. Like, that's just going to boost my ego way too much.
[08:15] Becky: I needed an ego booster after doing 23% worse than you on that exam, even though I kept my A, it's just that little interpersonal duel between the two of us, but hey, I'm fabulous and I can't wait to walk down the aisle. It sounds like I'm getting married. I can't wait to walk across the stage and just graduate and be done. It still doesn't feel real. I don't know if it will ever feel real. I'll probably be like, I just have a little internship for the rest of my life, even though I have a job and eventually I'm going to get married and have kids. It's so weird because you look back five years and like, wow, I was so different. But you don't see the change because it happens so slowly and you grow as a person over time, but looking back, it's completely different.
[09:02] Norma: Yeah, I agree. But honestly, I think I'm most excited for our accounting ceremony that we have just with the accounting major tomorrow instead of our actual graduation on Saturday. I think it's great that we're just going to be personally recognized by our professors and our family can actually meet the professors who we've talked about so much and they'll get to meet our other accounting friends because our parents have never met Abby and Ashton, and I think it's important that they know that they were our support group and our support team. So I'm knocking a line. I'm a little bit more excited for that than our actual graduation, especially because our actual graduation is going to be like 3 hours long. So I'm more excited for this than the actual one. But I'm also very excited to walk across the stage, hear my name, get called and get my diploma.
[09:45] Becky: I am so excited to finally have the recognition of the past few years. Just granted, it is a piece of paper that cost a lot of money, but it's nice to be recognized for it. And like you said, I'm so excited for our parents to meet Abby and Ashton because they're our support system. They were our best friends throughout this. And normally I've talked about how we usually will go out and get like, Mexican food with them after our exams. However, this week we went to a really nice Italian restaurant. We got some pizza, we got some pasta. We just had more of a sentimental dinner because we've accomplished so much in the past two years together that we really wanted to celebrate it. And actually one of the things that we did was we texted. Excuse me? Not texted. One of the things that we did was we emailed two of our professors photos of us at dinner versus photos of us studying 5 hours before on the brink of tears. So last semester, we were taking a tax class with their favorite professor, and she was the greatest professor ever. We may have talked about her before, and so we kind of made like a fan club for her. So we're like, we're going to send her a photo. We have to do an end of the year catch up, tell her all of our post graduation plans and all that stuff. And then we actually sent an email to our professor who we had the exam that normally got 103% on, so it was really sweet. Normally you want to talk about it.
[11:06] Norma: So we just basically told him how we appreciated him as a professor. Honestly, he's one of the most available professors. He has a ridiculous amount of office hours for students to come in getting ready for finals. He also had review sessions to get his students ready for. And I think just overall, he was there for his students. Like he even had office hours on a Sunday, or not a Sunday on a Saturday, the day before Mother's Day. And he's just very there for his students. So we sent him an email just saying how much we appreciated him and how much his class kind of brought our friend group together because we studied so much and we just really wanted to thank him. And we sent after this email, we're like we're not sure if he's like a sentimental person. When we emailed our other professor, we put a bunch of tax jokes in there, but do we want to do this as cost accounting? We don't know how he's going to react, so we just left it a little more sentimental, and he responds. And we were all just blown out of our socks were just blown off. We just did not expect this amazing of a sponsor him. And it was just saying it's a joy to have us each in class, especially for this first semester, fully back in person. And he said, I'm sure I speak for all of the school of accountancy when I say you all are the standard we want for our students to aspire to be. And that just really hit well with us. I don't know, having a professor say that he wishes, inadvertently saying that he wishes a lot of accounting students like you just makes you feel really good about all the effort that you've put into the major, and it kind of makes you realize, okay, I made the right choice here.
[12:42] Becky: This was the hardest class I've ever taken, and it was by far the most rewarding class. I did great on the exams except for the last one, but it was so nice to see that he has recognized all the hard work we've put into it. And also, this may sound a little weird, but I think he was able to recognize how close that we are with our two friends because typically in college, sometimes you don't have a ton of your friends in your classes or sit right next to each other and crack jokes throughout the class, before and after and during. And I think he really saw that. So he saw how seriously we take learning, but also how seriously we take making lifelong friendships and he would always come up and talk to us before class and pop jokes and everything. And I think he really appreciated us as students and us as individuals. And he's just a fabulous professor. I wish I had some other classes taught by him because I feel as if I would have learned more efficiently and I feel like I maybe would have taken a little more with me.
[13:38] Norma: Out of the class. Yeah, I'm so upset because he's not one of the graduate professors for next year, or at least that I know of. I'm not going to have him. I really wish I would because he's such an amazing professor and he just teaches content so well. Like, yes, this was probably the hardest class we have taken, but because he was so amazing at teaching it, I understood it like that. So I'm really upset I'm not going to have him. But the other professor we emailed. She responded back to us saying. Oh. I wish that more of you were going to be here for grad school next year so you can have a fan club for my husband because he's also an accounting professor and I'm going to have his second semester next year. Which I'm excited for because now I have the husband and I think it will just be funny and great.
[14:22] Becky: She kind of got to go in with a foot in the door to the class because she's obviously talked about us like, you can't have as fabulous students as we are and not talk about us. So you're kind of going to go in with a step in front of other people who aren't being talked about by our professor.
[14:42] Norma: Yes. So I think to end this episode, I just want Becky and I kind of have a really quick reflection over our past four years in college. It's definitely been interesting because obviously COVID so a year and a half of our life we just spent on laptops. But overall, it's just been a great experience. Like I said, I think it was in episode one. I find accounting sexy, like motomoto sexy, and my past four years has really just ingrained that into me. I think accounting is honestly just a profession for me. It's very satisfying and I love the content. And I know that public accounting is very hard to portray in school itself because it's so much experience work. But the internship that I've had and the ones I have going forward, I'm just super excited because it's going to set me up to do well. And it just reassures me that accounting is the thing for me. And like Becky and I mentioned earlier, this episode one thing that if I could give a piece of advice to people who are listening this yes, you need to do the best of your abilities, but don't do it to the point where it stresses you out and you're losing your social life over it like, yes, maybe you should stay in to study a little more. But also, if you don't think it's going to make a difference, go enjoy time with your friends. Because not only is college about studying, it's about life experiences.
[16:02] Becky: I think my biggest reflection piece I would look back on is it's okay to change your mind? I went into college pre business, not sure what I wanted my major to be. As I've mentioned before, I thought I wanted to be a special education teacher or be a social worker. And then once I started doing pre business classes, I thought I wanted to major in economics and go to law school. And then I took my accounting class and I really loved accounting, and I said, great, we're going to do it. And then I thought I wanted to do public and get my CPA. And then I had a quarter life crisis and I completely changed my route. So it's okay to change your mind. We are 20 year old college students between the age of 18 and 22. You're kind of deciding the rest of your life, so it's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay not to know what you want to do. It's crazy that we are expected to choose our life path by the time we graduate college when we're 22, but our brains don't fully develop until we're 25, so that's a lot of pressure on our shoulders. So if you're listening to this and you're thinking you want to change your mind, dip your toes in the water, figure it out, it's okay. Nobody is perfect as much as we want to be make mistakes. It's totally fine. Just do what makes you happy. We are here for 80, 90 years of our lives if we're lucky. Be happy. Don't be afraid to take a risk. Don't be afraid to change your mind. And just be happy. Because I'm a little happy person all the time. Knock on wood. But that's all. Normally I want to talk about this week. Next time we talk to you guys, we will be fully college graduates. We will have a diploma. We will have taken the Tassel and turned it to the other side. We are fabulous.
[17:42] Norma: Yes. Stay tuned for our next episode. We're going to have a little portable microphone going in at our accounting celebration, asking some of our fellow peers if they're going private or public and possibly why. And then we're going to be asking some of our peers who maybe aren't accounting majors and asking their major and what they're doing afterwards because I think it would be great to also see the other different type of business majors. So stay tuned for that. I'm so excited for that.
[18:05] Becky: You'll get to hear about our best friends, Abby and Ashton. They're so excited. We asked them in the car the other day. We're like, hey, do you guys want to be on our podcast real quick and they're both like, yes, it was the best reaction ever.
[18:15] Norma: Well, thanks for listening. We can't wait for you to tune into our next episode.
[18:20] Becky: Wait, we're not finished yet. We actually just got our first review, which is so exciting. It's from someone who is anonymous, but they said, great insight, totally real and honest insight into the mind of accounting students. The future for both these ladies is bright no matter their path. Thank you so much for such positive feedback. We're so excited that you guys are listening to this and love this. Please give us more feedback. Go on Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, any of the platforms you're listening on, go back to our website and click on all those platforms and give us a five star. If you think we're fabulous. Give us some feedback. But thank you so much.
[18:54] Norma: Or if you have any ideas for what you think we should talk about in the show, go follow any of our Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, handles, they are all listed on our website and we.
[19:04] Becky: Would love to hear what you guys.
[19:05] Norma: Want us to hear about or would.
[19:06] Becky: Love to see some feedback from you.
[19:08] Norma: So thank you guys so much for listening. This is goodbye for official now.
[19:19] Becky: This has been a production of the Accounting Podcast Network.