Micah Cabrera will maximize her summer by studying for the Certified Public Accountant examination and do some traveling. After all, she deserves some time off after four years of working her way to earn the highest Latin honors when she graduated last spring.
The 22-year-old graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting at Vanguard University of Southern California. She will start working this fall.
“I plan to study for the CPA board exam as well as travel and enjoy my last real summer break before going into the labor force,” Cabrera told Saipan Tribune in an email. “I really hope to pass all parts of the CPA exam before I start working full time.”
She will be taking her first step in pursuing her dream of someday becoming a chief financial officer of a company when she begins work in September.
“I accepted an offer from a CPA firm in Orange County, California and will be starting as an audit associate in September. I hope to work in public accounting for a couple years, then transition into becoming a CFO of a company someday,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera, the youngest of two daughters by Jun and Judith, said she has no idea that she would graduate with the highest Latin honors of her accounting class. “Usually students find out about it on graduation day.”
“I was shocked. A staff member handed me a golden cord on graduation day and told me I was going to walk as Summa Cum Laude. All I could think of was how proud my parents will be. I kept thanking God in my head. I was just happy that my hard work paid off.”
She has also been on the dean’s list since her first year in college. Her older sister, Jo Hannah, graduated Magna Cum Laude at California State University-Long Beach last year.
Cabrera described her collegiate experience at VUSC as a roller coaster ride after having a larger load of schoolwork compared to other college students. “Because I aspired to become a CPA. It is a requirement in California to have a certain amount of college credits to obtain a CPA license.”
The Grace Christian Academy alumna, who graduated high school in 2012, said she sacrificed school breaks by taking summer and winter classes. “Other than that, I had great experiences working at different accounting firms throughout college.”
Her internship in a big CPA firm in Orange County, where she worked as an audit intern, gave her the chance to meet new friends and interact with experienced people. “I was able to actually do audit work for the first time, interact with different clients involved in different industries, and just learn more about the public accounting profession.”
She also considers receiving the Accounting Achievement Award during VUSC’s award ceremony and being part of the international honor society, Sigma Beta Delta, as her other proudest achievement aside from graduating Summa Cum Laude.
The AA award is given to a graduating senior with the highest grade point average while she was elected by the VUSC’s business department to become a member of Sigma Beta Delta. She was also a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Club and Enactus, VUSC’s business club.
“Only a few graduating seniors from the business school at Vanguard get inducted into this society each year. Students have to be in the Top 20 percent of the business department, involved in the community, and personally vouched for by the department staff,” said Cabrera.
She said that she volunteers in the tax program of the Internal Revenue Service by providing tax assistance and preparation services to low-income individuals and families who could not afford a CPA.
She said spending her entire pre-college education at GCA helped her become a driven person that’s why she’s thankful for the support given to her by pastor Ray Kinsella and the GCA staff.
“I went to GCA pretty much my whole life, from kindergarten, all the way up to senior year. GCA has definitely helped me become the driven person I am today,” said Cabrera, who received honorable mentions in junior and senior high as well as character awards.
“I would not be where I am without the tremendous support I’ve received from pastor Ray Kinsella and the GCA staff over the years,” she added.