Ohio University

Accounting Technology major encourages students to find opportunities for real-world application

Accounting Technology major encourages students to find opportunities for real-world application

“Getting a degree is important so having the real-world experience to complement that is paramount,” remarked Adriana Harlan as she shared details about her work outside the classroom.

Harlan, a 2018 graduate of Circleville High School, is currently majoring in Accounting Technology at Ohio University Chillicothe. She hopes to finish her degree summer of 2021 with plans to continue taking courses for the Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Management (BSAM) program on campus.

Harlan began working with Rathkamp Financial in March of 2019 after her professor, Dr. Greg Obi, referred her to Bruce Rathkamp for the position. During her pursuit of the BSAM, she is hoping to use her current position for completion of her internship hours, which is a requirement of the program.

Harlan remarked, “Bruce and my fellow co-workers are very nice to work with. If ever there is downtime, I am encouraged to work on my assignments.”

At Rathkamp, Harlan’s duties center around administrative work consisting of filing paperwork, making client files, answering the phone, and faxing. However, since she is currently learning the basics of accounting, Rathkamp is allowing her to perform basic bookkeeping responsibilities such as assisting with payroll and inserting data into their accounting program. 

Rathkamp Financial provides services in the following areas: investments, financial planning, insurance, and tax preparation. Harlan is considering taking courses in the future to become licensed in these areas as well.

She commented, “Everyone is very accepting of me taking classes. The position is very flexible and the staff is very supportive of my class schedule.”

Not only has the experience supported the methods she’s learned in her classes, but Harlan has also emphasized that she has learned things that she wouldn’t necessarily learn from a textbook. She stated, “Bruce has showed me the essentials to being successful in the financial business as well as the personal approach to customer service, which is something that isn’t necessarily learned in the classroom. This experience has and continues to help me make the connections I need to easily transition into the workforce.”

The real-world experience Harlan has gained has also positively impacted her education. “Having a job applicable to my degree program really helps me make the connections about how business is run, how to deal with people, and how to be confident in my abilities,” noted Harlan. “It confirms that the material I’m learning is applicable to the real-world and nothing replaces real-world application.”

Harlan would like to encourage fellow Hilltoppers to consider obtaining internships or employment that is complementary of their desired career field. She stated, “The work may be something that you have to go out of your way to do, but if it’s important enough to you, you will find the time. It is well worth the endeavor.”