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Johana Duarte, 2014

Major: Accounting
Hometown: Yonkers, NY

As a business manager at Columbia University Medical Center, Johana Duarte gained fast-paced, on-the-ground experience in everything from budgeting and accounts payable to ordering supplies for the hospital’s busy cancer center. She says she learned of the job through a STAC alum—a former classmate in an accounting class who went to work at the medical center upon graduation.

“I learned a lot there, but I also brought a lot to the table,” Johana says of her position at Columbia. “My years as an accounting major at STAC prepared me for my role. I learned time management and every aspect of accounting. I felt ready for this.”

Now she's ready for her next challenge - a position as a Financial Analyst with Black Rock Investment Managers, Ltd., based in London. She will also be working toward her MBA degree in International Business in London and Thailand.  In her words, having the opportunity to work full-time abroad is "a dream come true."

Her readiness was due, in large part, to the fact that Johana embraced every opportunity she could at STAC. She worked on campus as a college ambassador and as a student worker in Admissions. She also volunteered as a career ambassador, worked as a resident assistant and orientation leader, and did an internship at a New Jersey accounting and tax firm.

Johanna helping the community

But that’s not all. Johana also embarked upon a six-week internship in Barcelona the summer before her junior year. At Offerum, a Groupon-style company catering to consumers in Italy, France and Spain, gave Johana hands-on experience in a international corporate finance office. It also fueled her love for international travel.

During her senior year, Johana traveled to Nicaragua (pictured right carrying a cinder block) as part of a history class service-learning trip. While there, she and her classmates and professor helped build a home from the ground up. “We worked as a team,” Johana says. “We met families from the local community. We played with lots of kids and helped them learn English. The experience was very special.” Johana also made time to travel to South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where she and other STAC students helped fix trailer skirting to keep residents comfortable in the region’s extreme weather and build stairs to improve access to reservation homes.

The first time we interviewed Johana, her ultimate goal is to become an international accountant for a U.S.-based company abroad.  As she explores the world in places like Thailand (pictured at right) and London (pictured above), it looks like she found her way.