Lauren Edge is an assistant controller at a small private bank who recently graduated from Grand Canyon University (GCU). She is focusing on getting her CMA this year, and is interested in following it with a master’s degree and the CPA certification.
While she lived in South Africa, Lauren started her career in the film and fashion industries. However, when she immigrated to the United States in 2010 with her family, she decided to pivot and find a new way to apply her expertise.
At that time, there weren’t many fashion jobs available in Phoenix and most film industry jobs weren’t local. I decided to study something that wasn’t as affected by the economy and that would offer more flexibility. I also looked at my top skills, which were attention to detail and organization, and decided on accounting. I realized I was on the right track when I did my first accounting class and thoroughly enjoyed it.
GCU offers students great flexibility in pursuing their degree, making it a solid choice for Lauren’s education goals. She has two young children, so being able to take classes online really helped her schedule. The campus located in Phoenix is also close to her home so she could take advantage of lectures and group events as she had time.
As an active member of the Accounting Society at GCU, Lauren was able to network with other students. She was able to speak with her fellow students about obtaining their CPA and CMA certifications through the Gleim Campus Rep program. Hearing how she was able to balance her studies, work, and home life helped inspire them to pursue their own goals!
Lauren’s first child, Ethan, was only a few weeks old when they moved to the U.S. Balancing a full-time job and being a mother to two young children is already difficult. Adding schoolwork and certifications on top of those responsibilities, and time becomes extremely limited. To ensure she can accomplish her goals and have time for her family (and some left over for herself!), she has become a master time manager.
Taking advantage of GCU’s flexible schedule and features like Gleim’s audio lectures means Lauren is able to utilize her time wisely. She created an effective study plan and made sure to make time for the important things in life. Especially during a prolonged period of stress, it’s important to unwind and allow yourself to recharge.
My kids participate in Scouts, so I assist them with whatever they need in their activities, especially around cookie and popcorn selling season. We also enjoy hiking and swimming together. Other than that, I run, because I’m really terrible at it, which means that it is a great exercise to do in a short space of time. I [also] practice Ashtanga yoga, which I absolutely love, because I relish in pushing the boundaries of what I am capable of.
Lauren tells us she hopes to one day hike the Multnomah Falls in Oregon. For now, she is focused on passing the CMA exam, as it’s more aligned with her career path, so her studies are not quite done yet. Hopefully she can hike there soon!
Lauren receives a lot of support from her family, and it shows through all of her hard work and accomplishments. As any CMA candidate will tell you, often the hardest part about studying for the CMA exam is simply getting started, and her family helped with that too!
One quote that resonates through me is from my dad. He always said that if you do nothing, then nothing is going to happen. The time is going to pass anyway, so why not seek out opportunities that will bring a higher level of success and happiness?
We asked if Lauren had any advice for other accounting students, and she wanted to share the following:
[As I am studying] if there are any challenging concepts that I can’t clearly follow, I usually look them up online to see if I can find videos that explain the concepts more clearly. After that, I’ll start any homework assignments and do further research as needed. I enjoy repetition in order to fully grasp the concepts, which works well with programs such as Gleim, because they give you the opportunity to listen to the audio lectures a second time or redo any homework problems as needed.
We are proud to help Lauren throughout her degree at GCU and excited to support her now as she pursues her CMA certification and beyond. Keep being amazing Lauren!