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How one CPA navigates career growth and exciting opportunities

Written on Feb 22, 2024

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

Motivation to keep learning has been the driving force during A’Shira Nelson’s accounting career. 

“When I sought out new learning opportunities that helped me continue growing, that's when I really felt like my career was heading in the right direction,” said Nelson, CPA, tax manager & director at Wellspring Financial Advisors. “Every time I made a career move, I felt like I was getting closer to where I was supposed to be.”  

Nelson was named a Power of Change honoree at the OSCPA Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference in July 2023. The award salutes individuals who are advocates for women’s initiatives in the workplace and business community, serve as mentors or role models, make a significant impact on their communities and break barriers for other women.   

Nelson said she makes it a priority to offer support for young colleagues and interns that she works with, remembering the impact others made on her by offering a kind word or insightful advice.  

While she said she’s never had an “official” mentor, there have been coworkers at the various firms she’s worked at who have given her guidance and taken the time to expose her to different areas of accounting.  

“My advice to others is to find a team that you can go to with questions,” she said. “I have certain people I can go to if I have a salary question, and I might call another person for a different topic.”  

In the pursuit of growth, you sometimes have to take a risk despite not knowing how it will turn out. She said leaving her previous role before joining Wellspring was tough because she had great relationships and a fulfilling position. But the prospect of managing a tax department at Wellspring meant the chance to build her own team, train others and grow her skillset in new and exciting ways.  

“I just bet on myself,” she said. “That was two years ago, and looking back, I still can't believe I really did it, but I'm so happy I did.”  

She encourages others looking to grow their careers to try new things even if it feels uncomfortable, as that’s been when she’s seen the most growth in her career.  

“Never stop learning and taking the risks,” she said. “Every time I have done things that scared me, there were bigger opportunities waiting for me.” 

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