Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Senior Year and #fordham4me

Graduate Salute to pick up cap and gowns!
As I stood in line to pick up my cap and gown for graduation, (just 18 days away!) I could not help but reflect on my time here at Fordham. Four years ago, I was anxious, nervous, and stressed while making the decision about which college to attend. I had applied to over 10 schools and though I knew business and most likely accounting were what I wanted to study, I was unsure of much else. While visiting colleges in the last few weeks before the May 1st decision date, I felt something different about Fordham. I had been accepted to Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business under the Early Action process (my mom actually came to my high school to show me my letter as soon as the mail came because she was so excited and knew how much it meant to me to receive my first college acceptance) and knew that Fordham provided huge opportunities in both location and academics. While attending the Spring Preview event in mid-April what really stood out to me about Fordham was the opportunity to be someone. Though I had attended my local public high school and graduated with a class of over 500 students, I had the opportunity to be someone; I was a three sport varsity athlete, honors student, Peer Leader and part of the executive board of numerous clubs. I was me, I was Shannon McKenna, and I was never just a number between 1 and 500. Finding a university where I felt like I could continue growing and being a contributing member of the community were very important to me.

Senior Leadership Awards
Fast forward four years and countless opportunities later and all I can say is that I wish for every high school senior to find their own Fordham. When asked if I would choose Fordham again if I had the opportunity to change my choice, my response is absolutely. As a freshman, I had the opportunity to become part of a wonderful community in Queen’s Court (my freshman residence hall) and join the varsity cross country and track teams. As a sophomore, I had the opportunity to become a Resident Assistant in Tierney Hall and participate in a Global Outreach cultural emersion project to Ecuador. As a junior, I had the opportunity to become a member of the executive board of Rose Hill Society (the volunteer student organization that works closely with Admissions to provide tours and social media outreach to prospective students), coordinator the track team’s Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive, begin interning with the shoe designer Jack Rogers in their accounting department,  participate in National Leadership Conferences with KPMG, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte, and accepted an offer to intern with Ernst and Young in their tax department following graduation. As a senior, I was accepted in Fordham’s Dual Degree program to receive a Masters of Tax at the Graduate School of Business at Lincoln Center, had the opportunity to serve as the Resident Assistant for the Wellness Integrated Learning Community for upperclassmen students, participate in Deloitte’s National Tax Competition in Texas, and just last week I was selected to receive a Senior Leadership Award (an annual award given to 6-8 members of the senior class). My four years have been much more than just receiving a degree, they have been about countless opportunities to be challenged and to grow into in the person I have always wanted to be. Fordham allowed me the opportunity to be me, to be Shannon McKenna and never to be a number between 1 and 1,800.

While my time at Fordham is coming to an end, I could not be more excited for what lies ahead. This summer, I will be working with Ernst and Young for 8 weeks in their Times Square office before returning to Fordham’s Graduate School of Business in September to complete my Masters degree in Tax. While studying for my Masters degree, I plan to begin taking (and hopefully finishing!) the CPA exam. Following my 8 weeks at Ernst and Young this summer, I will have the opportunity to be hired as a full time associate upon completing my Masters degree in May of 2015. As my name is called to receive my diploma in just a few shorts week, I will be thankful for Fordham, for opportunities, and most importantly for having the chance to be me.

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