It may sound like a Cinderella story, but for Briana Rae, starting her college career cleaning toilets led to a student management position and, now, a position with a large accounting firm.
After arriving at Blackburn as a freshman in 2011, Briana began her first Work Program job in Campus Services. After only a short time there, she transferred to Admissions where she completed office tasks and gave campus tours. She then was hired in the Business Office, where she was able to utilize the skills she had learned through her accounting course work. From 2013-2015, Briana worked as manager of the Administration Department.
In her junior year she applied for manager of the Administration department. “I was actually shocked that I got it because there were eight people applying for it and a lot of them were good candidates,” Briana remembered. She believes she had an advantage over other applicants because of her wide-range of work experience at Blackburn, and had first-hand experience understanding how various offices functioned.
Although work has been a large part of Briana’s Blackburn experience, four years on the Women’s Basketball team proved equally—if not more—formative. “Being part of the basketball team,” Briana said of her best Blackburn experience. “We’ve always had low numbers, and that’s taught me not to give up.”
Briana knows that Blackburn has prepared her for life after college. She plans on taking the GMAT test for Accounting and going on to graduate school. She hopes to earn her CPA license in a few years’ time and begin work at an accounting firm. She feels prepared for this next step thanks to her work on campus and the guidance of one her supervisors and mentors, a licensed CPA. The experience has clearly paid off—before graduation, Briana already had two job offers from accounting firms in the area.
Her time as a manager her helped her become more prepared for her career, especially improving her communication skills. “My experience here as a manager has helped me communicate and manage over 60 students, and meet with supervisors, and act as a bridge between and supervisors,” she said.
Briana walks away from Blackburn with an impressive resume, and important life skills, unequalled at any other institution. “The most important thing I’ve learned here is this sense of community, relying on people, and having trust,” she said of her Blackburn experience. Through self-motivation, a close-knit and encouraging community, and an unrivaled educational experience, Briana Rae is a true Blackburn success story.