Graduate finds accounting major adds up to perfect career

ABINGTON, Pa. — It took two years, two majors, and two universities before Shana Bowers decided to transfer to Penn State Abington.

Arriving in the fall 2016, though, she was still uncertain about her career path after trying out nutrition and dental hygiene at the other colleges.  

“I didn’t know what I wanted to study at this point and figured I would just choose business administration,” she said. 

Bowers, who graduated in 2019, took ACCTG 211 Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making with Sally Whang, assistant professor of accounting, during her first semester at Abington. 

“This was the first time in my college career that I was really interested in a subject and wanted to learn more,” she said. “Accounting made sense to me, and the more classes that I took in the subject the more I knew I had finally found the major for me."

Bowers credits her commitment to the accounting major to Whang and James Izzo, lecturer in business.

“Penn State Abington helped me fall in love with my accounting major because of the amazing faculty and staff that were always there for me if I needed support,” she said.

Abington transfer student accounting

Shana Bowers

Credit: Penn State Abington

Aside from her enthusiasm for her major, Bowers found a passion outside of the classroom: the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON.

The 46-hour, no-sitting and no-sleeping dance marathon has raised more than $180 million since 1977 to fight pediatric cancer. It is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. 

“I was heavily involved with THON all three years I attended Penn State Abington. I held positions as the community engagement director, the finance director, and served as vice president my last year at Abington,” she said. “I also danced in THON 2019. My favorite memory from college was dancing in THON 2019 and standing for the entire 46 hours.”

Three years seemed to fly by and, like many Abington students, Bowers attended the Abington Center for Career and Professional Development’s biannual Career Expo when it came time to find a professional position. 

“I knew that I needed to start looking for a job as my graduation date was quickly approaching, and I went to the Career Expo with an open mind with wanting to talk to as many employers as possible,” she said.

Bowers met the director of the material accounting department from the Naval Supply Systems Command in Philadelphia at the expo.

“He approached me at the Career Expo and after talking for about 15 or 20 minutes he said he would love for me to come in for an interview. I had my interview at the beginning of April and found out April 29, five days before graduation, that I had been accepted for the position,” she said. “I was so happy and proud of myself.”

Bowers, who currently serves on the Abington Alumni Society board, started working at the Naval Supply Systems Command weeks later.

“I am currently absolutely in love with my job and am very happy there. If it weren’t for the Career Expo, there is no way that I would have the job that I have right now.” she said. “Students should take advantage of this resource that is available because it can help you get a job.”

About Penn State Abington

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible, and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st century public higher education within a world-class research university. With about 3,700 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 21 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more.