Scholarship winner first of her family to attend college

Written on Sep 05, 2019

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Sometimes the accounting bug hits earlier than a class in high school. That was the case for one Ohio State University student who started showing accounting interest at a young age.

“My older brother used to borrow money from me when I was a kid,” said Erin McKinney. “We got money doing chores, and when I loaned him money it would take him forever to pay me back. So, I started charging an interest as a kid.”

McKinney also said after getting her first job and opening a savings account she started keeping a ledger, essentially doing bank reconciliations. Now she attends The Ohio State University and will graduate in December. And though she started a love for accounting early on, she didn’t pursue it until later in her college career.

At first, she thought she would join the military, but after talking to a recruiter realized that path wasn’t for her. She started community college at North Central State University, a short drive from her Ontario, Ohio home. When the time came to pick a major McKinney said she “panicked and just picked accounting.” What felt like a last-minute decision ended up being the right choice, as she immensely enjoyed the classes and professors. She moved to the OSU-Mansfield campus across the street from North Central State and then eventually transferred to the Columbus OSU main campus.

McKinney said when applying for the Fisher College of Business she knew it would be a tough program to get into.

“That year they accepted close to 14% of the people who applied, and I was one of them,” she said. “And I've just always been so proud of that.”

Next year she will start the master’s program and is looking into earning her CPA certification after she has enough credits. She attended OSCPA’s Women, Wealth & Wellness Conference in June on behalf of The Ohio CPA Foundation and while there, received a $500 scholarship from Kaiser Consulting. She said she learned something from every speaker at the conference and took meditation tips from one of the sessions that have helped her manage anxiety and stress.

“I definitely feel honored to have fallen in love with accounting even though it wasn’t always a dream of mine,” she said.

McKinney said no one in her immediate family graduated from college, so the process was intimidating. Now, her younger brother attends the University of Akron and she said it’s been nice to help him and looks forward to passing down her knowledge to other family members who might choose to attend in the future.

“At first, it was scary,” she said. “But now I'm just so incredibly proud that I've done it. And I've done it by myself.”

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