Hi guys! I’m so excited to publish the very first post in my new Gen Y Girl Career Series. Each post in this series will highlight a particular career field in an effort to gain some insight into what that job entails. Hopefully the series will help expose people to new job fields they never knew existed, and who knows…maybe someone who’s dead-set on one particular job will be like, ehhh…no thanks, not for me…after reading a firsthand account of that career.
So welcome to my first guest, Ally Fiesta.
What did you want to be when you were growing up and why?
I always wanted to work in an office after watching a movie called Working Girl. I wanted to wear a suit, have a corner office, have a career, and have my own income.
What’s your current job?
Staff accountant. I started off as a receptionist, then did accounts payable, then payroll, then became an office manager for a small company, then a financial consultant then a general ledger bookkeeper THEN a staff accountant.
How did you land that position?
My parents owned an environmental company so I started off at their company helping the company’s Comptroller, and assisting all CPAs with audits.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Accounting has a monthly cycle, as a staff accountant. At the beginning of the month, I reconcile bank accounts. Then I review all expenses to make sure all monthly bills are paid per the pre-approved budget. Then I create financial statements. The rest of the time, I have different roles depending on what industry I’m in, like sales tax or vendor statement reconciliation- basically, any activity I can assist with to ensure that money isn’t being wasted.
What do you love most about it?
I love the schedule. I know when I can go on vacation and I know when to expect paperwork. I like knowing my deadlines and being able to pinpoint accounting errors.
What do you hate most about it?
I can only go so far in this career field without a college degree. I need to get more college hours to get my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, so that I can make money (even though I already know the process). This license is the key to owning your own accounting business.
What’s the coolest thing that ever happened to you at work?
I worked for an entertainment company and it was awesome because we would have monthly patio parties, and we would host contests. I won a MacBook Air once! The type of company I worked for really helped make my actual work pleasant. This entertainment company had a fun attitude, and because of that, it was hard for me to leave them. But I did want a promotion, and their policy required a 4-year degree for me to move up, so I left after 5 years.
What strengths do you think are necessary for someone to be successful at this job?
You definitely have to be detailed oriented, have strong math skills, and have a great memory (to memorize tons of accounting laws). You also have to know how to build rapport with others. I work with clients who are trusting me with their financial information, so building rapport with them is important. You also have to be skilled in Excel spreadsheets.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone who’s looking to pursue this as a career?
Do internships! Every summer I would spend at least a whole month working for a CPA, and this helped me learn the vocabulary and the Excel skills that I needed. I took Excel in both high school and college, but NONE of those classes covered what accountants really do with those spreadsheets. Being an intern really gave me the edge that I needed. Even though I didn’t have a 4-year degree, companies really wanted me because of the experience I had.
Ally’s now transitioning into a full-time blogger. To hear her story, keep reading…
My decision to transition into a full-time blogger was made after 10 years of blogging. I’ve owned HydroSupraLicked.com for 11 years. I started off interviewing musicians (mostly DJs), but now the site’s evolved into a lifestyle blog where I promote music, dance, and beauty- the really beautiful things in life.
I never thought I could make any money from this. Definitely not the amount of money I could make as an accountant. However, I’m currently a Director of Community for atriumobscurum.com. I also work helping other crews in Dallas with their social media accounts focusing on engagement and event ticket sales. I’ve also done street promotions for multiple crews since 2002. As a Director of Community, I’m the first person that contacts anyone interested in events, and I answer all questions via the site’s social media accounts. I also curate images, music links, and any contests that we may be hosting. I also reach out to artists to set up interviews/any other types of promotional opportunities for upcoming events.
In addition to all of that, I’m also a photographer. In the beginning, I had a hard time deciding how to charge for my services, and it also took me a while to understand how social media works. Over the past 5 years, I’ve read multiple books about social media marketing. I’ve taken courses online, listened to podcasts (huge shout out to SmartPassive Income and AskPat), and I’m currently taking a course called Become a Freelance Social Media Manager from udemy.com.
Promoting events has been my part-time hobby since 1999. I love music, but I was alway too scared to lose my income. Now that I understand the world of blogging a bit better, and have made some key connections in the industry, I now have the ability to make the move. I love that I won’t have to be tied to a single location and that I won’t have to clock in and out of an office every day
I hope to read about other people’s jobs in the upcoming weeks. I’ll be traveling in South America for two months this summer to document some of their best travel spots, so it’ll be nice to read about what others are doing!
Connect with Ally on any of her social media accounts:
Thanks for checking out Week #1 of my new Career Series. If any of you would like to participate, fill out the contact form HERE and let me know why you’d like to be a part of this adventure!
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