Accounting grad Jennifer Jean balances work, school and family life to graduate in 2.5 years

Jennifer JeanAs a nontraditional student, Jennifer Jean has faced many obstacles, but none that would stop her from graduating with her bachelor’s degree in accounting last month at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.

Jean was raised in Ann Arbor, but currently resides in Dearborn Heights. She’s the single mother of a daughter—who will be graduating high school this year—and has a full-time job, which added to the pressure of being a student.

“There were scheduling conflicts at times—some teachers expected outside-of-the-classroom projects that made it difficult for a student with a full-time job and family to attend to,” she said.

Jean completed her degree in two-and-a-half years. While she says she ran into some bumps, she couldn’t be more grateful for her time spent at UM-Dearborn and believes it has prepared her for the next step ahead.

“My time at UM-Dearborn was very educational,” she said. “My professors went out of their way to help with real-life questions about career planning and helped me understand how I can apply what I learned in my classes to the real world.”

Jean plans to take the CMA (Certified Management Accountant), CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and project management certification tests.

“I’m always applying and looking for good career opportunities to further my knowledge,” she said. “A previous class I had—Business Administration 300—has helped me a lot. I enjoyed the practice it provided during mock interviews and I even continued to complete interviews after the class concluded to strengthen my skills.”

Currently, Jean has five courses toward her Master of Science degree in administration and is taking courses at UM-Dearborn to complete her degree.

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