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Accounting major has big dreams

By : Rachel Coker

Tiffany Padgett

Tiffany Padgett came to Binghamton with a plan and never wavered from it. The accounting major from Brooklyn will soon start working in the Business Risk Services Department of Ernst & Young.

“I expect to be very busy and work long hours, but it’s good work and I have a passion for it,” she said.

Padgett, now 21, took accounting courses beginning in high school and fell in love with the profession early on. She attended an Ernst & Young reception for future School of Management students before she came to campus and connected with the firm’s recruiter while a freshman.

Padgett was president of the Bert Mitchell Minority Management Organization this year. The group provides an outlet for minority students to network and learn about the business world.

“I focus on having people be themselves and be happy,” Padgett said. “I tell them to network. I’m a strong believer in it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

She also served as public relations coordinator for the X-FACT’R step team and worked as a manager at Cold Copy, the student-run print shop.

“Having all those things helped me practice work-life balance,” said Padgett, who added that serving on the executive boards of two student groups was overwhelming but entirely worthwhile.

“I’m taking it all in so I can be a leader in the future,” she explained.

Despite Padgett’s single-minded pursuit of a job at Ernst & Young, she can imagine life beyond her work as an accountant.

Padgett, who harbors dreams of life as an actress, hopes to have her own event-planning business one day. She also likes the idea of being a motivational speaker.

Jillian Kroll, director of placement for the School of Management, worked closely with Padgett in her role as Bert Mitchell president.

“She’s incredibly bright, incredibly cheerful and always looks for the good in things,” said Kroll, who noted Padgett never complains about working hard.

Padgett said her mother, a secretary who raised her only daughter alone, offered her encouragement throughout college. “My mom was always my No. 1 supporter,” she said, noting that making her mother proud keeps her motivated.

“I want to keep on doing big things,” Padgett said. “I want to be the best, to be one of those few people who has a positive impact on others.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08