Ira Palero hopes to come back to the CNMI as a certified public accountant and start her career as an auditor. She just finished her four-year journey at the University of Guam graduating Magna Cum Laude when she earned her Bachelors in Business Administration major in Accountancy.
Palero, who is on vacation after finishing her course last Dec. 20, said she will be returning to Guam to begin her review for the CPA board exams—a four-part test given by the Guam Board of Accountancy that deals with business, financial regulation, taxation and auditing.
“I’ll stay in Guam until I passed the exams, I promised that to myself. I would also check several universities that have an online degree program so I could get my Masters degree,” said Palero, who moved with her sister and friend in Guam in 2011.
“But first, I have to play in a basketball championship game [tomorrow]. I’m playing with Sun Palace together with Irish [Pagarao] and Angie [Ito]. We’re playing against Lob City,” added the 22-year-old, who remains loyal to her first sport but also plays soccer by being one of the first members of Shirley’s Football Club.
When her father, Ernesto, died in 2012, her sister Joan had to go back to Saipan to help their mother, Rose, manage the family auto repair shop in Garapan. Palero therefore was left alone studying in Guam.
She said that she used her father’s death and the advise of businessman/sports patron Jerry Tan as her inspiration in the last three years she spent at UOG. “I told my dad that I’m going to finish what I started and graduate. My parents have always been supportive to me. Also, Jerry became one of my role models because of what he does in the CNMI community.”
Palero, who has a 3.80 GPA, said she even used Tan as a reference for her college success class at UOG. “He was also a Magna Cum Laude at UOG with a double major in accounting and management. He is a real down-to-earth person and I’m thankful for everything that he’s done to help me.”
“Jerry’s classmates went to study in U.S. universities after graduating high school but he stayed in Guam. And one time, he told me ‘it’s not where you go but always think of what you can do.’”
She said that Tan recruited her from basketball to try soccer and be part of Shirley’s FC that was just being formed back then together with Pagarao. “For me it’s easier to transition playing basketball to soccer than the other way around. I’ve played basketball my high school year and even winning a title in my senior year.”
Palero said she is also considering becoming a stockbroker after becoming a member of the Student Investment Club at UOG. “UOG allocates $50,000 for us to invest in the stock market. So we learned what risk to take and what’s the best time to sell and the best time to buy stocks.”