Sephora (Law) Lewis gave the student speech at College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) 2012 graduation ceremony where she received her Associate of Arts in Business. Earlier that week, she was already taking classes at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), double majoring in both accounting and management. Thanks to her experience at CWI, she was ready for the challenge at NNU.
“I was right on track with anybody else,” says Lewis. “We had teachers [at CWI] that held you accountable and it wasn’t a big change to do the upper division classes.”
Lewis excelled at CWI—receiving CWI’s Pearson Business Student of the Year award—and she saw direct connections between her classes at CWI and NNU. One of her favorite teachers was Accounting Faculty Joe Welker. “I really liked Joe’s legal environment class. It really prepared me for business law at NNU.”
After graduating from NNU in May 2014, Lewis looked for an accounting position when she was contacted by a former classmate from NNU. “A classmate for NNU found a job at Myers and Stauffer LC and told me and another classmate about the place and the jobs. I had been looking for a job for a while, but it was networking that helped me find this job.”
Myers and Stauffer LC is a certified public accounting firm that provides professional accounting, consulting, data management, and analysis services to government-sponsored healthcare programs. “We do desk reviews and audit the cost reports for healthcare companies. We do field audits where we go out to the provider and look at their information. I will start doing those in March. Right now I am doing desk reviews.”
While some people struggle to see the connection between school work and paid work, Lewis appreciates the real world application of what she learned in college. “A lot of my co-workers have said that this is so different from what we did in school. I don’t feel like that. We had the basics. Joe [Welker] said that if you have the basics the company will train you the way that they want you and I believe that now. I understand the basics, but the ins and outs are different in the company.”
Lewis may change what she is doing in the future, but for now she’s happy with her career choice. “I like doing accounting. I really do. People are professional and kind. They don’t expect you to know everything and they are willing to help. There’s plenty of opportunity to grow and learn new things. The hardest part is that there is so much different stuff to do. There’s not a ton of repetition.”