New CPA always knew accounting would be the right path

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Studying for the CPA exam is a marathon, not a sprint. That was the approach one newly minted CPA took to studying for the exam.

Nicole Coon“It was tough, but I just treated it like a full-time job,” said Nicole Coon, rotational staff member at GBQ. “I went to the library probably 40 to 45 hours a week and just committed myself fully to studying so that I could have it done before I started working full time.”

Coon graduated from The Ohio State University in May of last year and spent the summer studying for and taking sections of the exam. She finished her final section shortly after starting work at GBQ, passing each section on the first try and received her license in October.

Coon said she always knew she wanted to be a CPA.

“Once I knew that I wanted to be in accounting, I knew that CPA license would just set me apart from other peers in my group,” she said.

Whenever Coon did start to feel burnt out from the endless studying, she took a break for a couple days to give her mind a rest.

“It's important to allow yourself the mental breaks; otherwise, you'll just get bogged down with it all,” she said.

Some sitting for the exam choose not to study as much, she said, preferring to instead focus on making that passing score. But she wanted to go in confident and avoid the risk of not passing and having to re-take a section.

She encouraged those who are considering taking the exam to make the commitment. The faster you can get it done the better it is for your career, she said, especially as you rise through the ranks at work. Coon will celebrate her well-earned accomplishment at the upcoming OSCPA Connect! Columbus Clippers Game, an event series that recognizes new CPAs.

Along with the added recognition of having those three letters tacked on to the end of her name, Coon said she’s also happy to put the studying behind her.

“Most people know how hard it is to get your CPA,” she said. “I feel like you get an extra level of respect when you say that you have it.”

Sign up for other OSCPA Connect! events throughout the summer.

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