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George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Accounting Go-getter Balances School, Work, and Internships

Written by Katherine Johnson Dias on .

Courtney BurchettCourtney Burchett, an accounting junior, describes herself as a go-getter. The full-time student from Richmond, Virginia works four part-time jobs, both on and off campus, and volunteers and leads student organizations. She also still manages to pursue internships in the accounting field each summer.

“I’ve always been a go-getter. It’s just natural. If I’m not busy, then I’m anxious. I don’t like having too much free time,” she says.

Burchett is the 2018-19 recipient of the Altman/Alire Scholarship and Anzilotti Endowed Scholarship. She was previously awarded the James R. Beer Scholarship in 2017-18.

She was drawn to George Mason University because her older cousin attended, and she was able to visit campus often. She liked that the campus was diverse and its proximity to Washington, D.C.

“I’ve always wanted to do accounting. Accounting has always made sense to me. It’s logical. I saw Mason had a five-year program, and I thought that was one of the best things to become a CPA,” she says, referencing the Accelerated Masters in Accounting offered by the School of Business. The program allows undergraduate students to earn both a BS and MS Accounting degree in five years as they work towards the 150 credits needed for the CPA requirements.

Burchett has held prestigious internships since the summer after her freshman year. “I guaranteed that every summer I was going to intern and try something new in the accounting field. I want to get a taste of everything so when I graduate I have a good direction of where I want to go,” she says.

Her first internship was with the Virginia Department of Transportation in the accounts receivable department. Most recently in summer 2018, she served as a corporate accounting intern with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Burchett has accepted an internship position with PricewaterhouseCoopers for summer 2019.

“The best thing about being an accounting major is there’s so much you can do. It can take you so far since there’s so many different branches and areas of accounting,” she says.

Burchett serves as a student ambassador for the School of Business and outreach coordinator for Mason’s Chase Dreams Not Boys chapter, an empowerment group for minority women. She volunteers as a tax screener at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance in Annandale, walks dogs, and works retail.

She’s motivated to work hard because of her mom, her role model. “My mom’s a single mother. She raised me on her own with the help of my grandmother and my aunt. I was raised by three strong black women, and that’s really impacted my life. They’ve worked so hard to get me where I am, and I try to give that back. I want to be able to thank them,” Burchett says.

Because it’s hard to pay for school with one income, Burchett is thankful for School of Business scholarship donors. “It feels amazing to have my hard work acknowledged,” she says. “Thank you, not just for me, but all students. Students need a support system. I know when I leave I’m going to give back as well.”