The job field for anyone with a business, finance or accounting degree is vast. Every company needs people with a good understanding of finance and business to become and remain successful. Whether your career path is focused on working for a private or public company, a business degree is an essential component.
Michael Stella is the Director of Finance for Austin General Contracting in Las Vegas. He has bachelor of science degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and accounting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is also a licensed certified public accountant.
He spends the majority of his day analyzing the numbers and developing strategies to keep Austin General Contracting profitable. Stella describes himself as a “historian,” effectively putting together a financial history of the company to find out what it did right, wrong and employ strategies for growth.
Did you always want to be in accounting and finance?
“I started college as an engineering major. I took one math engineering class and knew it wasn’t for me. From there, I took an investment class, liked it and so I transferred over to be a business major. Shortly after that, I attended an older friend’s graduation ceremony and realized that within that large graduating class, there was going to be a lot of competition for jobs. It was right after that I decided to focus on accounting and take the public accounting track.”
How is the field of accounting and finance changing in the future?
“Many of the everyday functions done by bookkeepers and clerks are becoming automated. More than ever, businesses need good accountants that can analyze financial records of the company and provide guidance in each department for making the company more profitable. The right accounting professional can mean the difference between a company redlining and growing.”
What advice would you give to students seeking a career in accounting?
“Make sure you have the right personality. You need to be able to pay attention to detail and be prepared to do a lot of work. I would definitely recommend going the public accounting track. You need to get your masters and spend two years doing monotonous work for an accounting firm, but you will learn a lot and be indispensable to any business, public or private. You’ll spend a lot of time reviewing records and get a great sense of how all types of businesses and employees operate. The best thing about accounting is that you will be able to move anywhere in the country and find a job.”
Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Christa has been a Las Vegas resident for more than 20 years. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.