Meet Jonda Sanders. Jonda earned two degrees in 2011 at Appalachian State. One degree is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting because she loved numbers and wanted a career in accounting. Her other degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Communications because Jonda understood that all good businesses work with people. She saw a unique link between the two worlds of accounting and sociology that has led her to a stellar career. Read below what she says about sociology and its contributions to her work and life.
Hi! My name is Jonda Sanders and I am a Staff Accountant at Breslow Starling CPAs located in Greensboro, NC. I have over 3 years of experience in providing tax, auditing and on-site client business consulting services for a variety of individuals and privately held small businesses. I began my career at my firm in January of 2012 as an intern and accepted an offer for full-time employment on the last day of the internship in April of the same year. I graduated from Appalachian State University in December of 2011 where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Communications. I have been accepted to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (CPA) which I hope to complete in the spring of 2016.
My degree in Sociology significantly prepared me for creating and maintaining positive relationships with our clients. It gave me insight to the key social factors that affect the individuals and the small businesses that I work with every day. This has provided me with a good foundation for understanding where they are coming from, what their needs are and how to communicate effectively with them. The on-site business consulting work that I perform usually involves problem-solving or the implementation of a new system. Before I can begin working on these projects I have to research the company, the positions that are affected and the current issue or system. Then I have to work with the clients to come up with a solution or a plan of action for how the new system will be implemented. During these projects I am touching on many areas such as business structure, organization, planning, communications, human resources, training, research and the remainder of that list is endless. From a long-term perspective, I know that my degree in Sociology will propel me toward management-level positions as I gain more experience and progress through my career.
I recommend that students pursuing a degree in Sociology seek out internship and job opportunities in general areas of the business world in which they have some interest. I believe that gaining entry-level experience prior to graduation will set senior students and recent graduates apart from other liberal arts students when they are entering the job market. Most importantly, I strongly advise that you assess why you chose to pursue a degree in Sociology, how you plan to apply what you have learned in your coursework to any positions you hope to obtain and why the degree sets you apart from other candidates. When interviewing for job opportunities, these will likely be the questions that the recruiters are planning to ask—so be ready. When I was going through recruitment at ASU for an accounting internship I was chosen for an interview with the fifth largest accounting network in the world (BDO International). I could not believe that I was chosen to interview with such a prestigious company over more likely candidates. During the interview I realized that the recruiter had picked me over hundreds of other students simply because I was pursuing a degree in Sociology in addition to my Accounting degree. A majority of the interview was spent discussing my pursuit of a degree in Sociology and very little was spent discussing accounting. That is when I realized that I could use my degree in Sociology to set myself apart from other candidates in the same job market.
If Jonda's story makes you interested in pursuing a degree in sociology, then please feel free to contact Dr. Cameron Lippard, Director of Undergraduate Studies, for more information!