URI Accounting major awarded prestigious $10,000 scholarship; will work for PwC after graduating in May

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KINGSTON, R.I., Feb. 24, 2014 — A graduating senior majoring in accounting at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration has won a $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Arianna Greco, 22, from Warren, N.J., said she was shocked when she heard her professors had nominated her for the prestigious scholarship. She described it as “a miracle” that significantly helped her family pay for tuition after her father died in May.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board awards funds to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in Accounting degree programs at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Schools selected as nominating institutions in a given year will not be considered for selection again for the next five years or until all institutions in the group have been selected, whichever occurs first. For 2013-14, one student at each of the 77 colleges and universities received a $10,000 scholarship.

After interning at PwC this summer, Greco was offered a fulltime position starting in July. For the successful internship, she said she took everything she had learned in her classes and applied it at this legendary accounting firm. After graduating in May and before starting her new job, she will study for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and take several sections. She credits her father, who was diagnosed with cancer when she started her freshman year, with influencing her studies.

“I always liked math and I took two accounting courses in high school and enjoyed them,” said Greco, who is getting a minor in Leadership Studies. “I like learning about business and handling money, and my dad directed me toward accounting because you can do a lot with it.”

She thanked associate professor Kathryn Jervis and the College of Business Administration faculty for nominating her, saying it showed that her hard work here has paid off. To be a CPA requires 150 credit hours of education and that means students often have to obtain a graduate degree as the accounting undergraduate degree is 121 credit hours. But Greco completed the 150 hours in the undergraduate program, a feat only about 5 percent of graduates accomplish.

To graduate in four years and avoid graduate school, she took six courses each semester, two summer courses, and is taking seven courses this semester. Greco, who has a 3.77 GPA, has made Dean’s List every semester she has been at URI. She is actively involved in several honor societies on campus, was co-president of the Women in Business Club, and served as a URI 101 mentor. She’s excited to graduate but sad to leave URI.

“I don’t want to leave, it’s been great,” she said, praising courses taught by Jervis, associate professor Kate Jelinek, and professor Chet Hickox as being particularly impactful and beneficial. “All the professors have been great here and are actively involved with their students.”

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