This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
I entered the field of accounting and finance by accident.
I was working as a manager in a fast-food restaurant when the office manager quit and the owner said he would like me to interview for the position. Naturally, I was interested, but I had gone to vocational school for computer programming and never learned the basics of accounting (debits and credits). Later, I realized that when the owner said “office manager,” he really meant “bookkeeper” and “administrator,” however, he did teach me basic accounting skills. I also took introductory financial accounting classes at my local community college, and I became an excellent bookkeeper.
Today, I work for a nonprofit agency in New York as an accounting manager. While I credit that initial opportunity, my accounting course work and my degree for getting me where I am today, there is a skillset that is often overlooked by most college students, yet was critical to my accounting career: a good understanding of computer applications in general.