Accounting senior follows passion down less-traveled path

by Stephen Briggs

Accounting Major - Jeannine Rossi - 2019

While many seniors are agonizing over decisions on offers of post-graduation employment, accounting major and business Spanish minor Jeannine Rossi has known her next steps since last summer. “My plan is to pass the CPA exam this summer,” she says, “then go to into Peace Corps.” 

Following this non-traditional path was not a decision she took lightly, nor made quickly. “I first came into contact with the Peace Corps in my fall semester sophomore year at a study abroad alumni conference here at JMU. I remember thinking at the time, ‘that's so cool,’ but that it was way too much for me to do. Even as adventurous as I am. I didn't think I could do it.” 

Rossi pursued her passion for travel and service in alternative spring break trips to Nicaragua and Peru, and studied for a semester in Salamanca, Spain. Still, she was concerned about the full-immersion of a Peace Corps stint. “It was scary because I knew I would be very isolated. Any other time I've been abroad I'd always been with other Americans. I was always with people that spoke my language and knew my culture. The idea of being so isolated, living in a country that doesn't have all the comforts of my lifestyle here in the U.S. was just a little daunting.” 

Yet little by little, dreams will find fuel. Rossi is currently Beta Gamma Sigma student president, and is a former vice-president of membership as well, so she is heavily involved in the activities of the JMU chapter of the international honor society. “I went to the Beta Gamma Sigma conference and I got to meet people from all over the world. Lebanon, Cameroon, Switzerland, China, South Korea, just everywhere,” she said, “and I ultimately got to the point where I decided that this was aligning exactly with my interests and I wanted to pursue it.” 

Rossi signed on to teach English in Indonesia, in part because she is “fascinated by Asian culture and Indonesia in particular—the food, the language and the culture are really interesting to me and I want to be part of it.” But even in her new adventure, her time at JMU will prove valuable. “The College of Business has helped me in a lot of ways. First and foremost, in professionalism which I can carry into any job that I go into. Also, we do so many team projects, and you're always going to be able to need to work together, especially in Peace Corps.” 

She plans to return to her CPA career after her two year commitment, she says, “But I think it's important to pay attention when there's something that's been in your heart for a long time and not to ignore that. Take it seriously because you're going to be spending a whole lot of your life working, so it's good to pick something that you can align with your interests.”

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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