The intense focus required in the career of an accounting auditor may seem like a mismatch for a woman with wanderlust.
But Cassie Johnson (’15 Accounting, ’16 MAcc) already knows her passions for international travel and technical financial analysis are complementary after completing a WSU study abroad program and an internship with Moss Adams LLP, a national accounting firm.
As an undergraduate, Johnson delved into activities that appealed to her love of accounting. She served as the director of finance for her sorority Alpha Phi and also served as alumni relations chair. She joined Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting society, and became the vice president of public relations, learning the nuances of proper business communication. She also interned for a year in WSU’s Office of Internal Audit.
Study Abroad Creates Wanderlust
Studying abroad in Spain challenged Johnson to step out of her comfort zone. She spent six weeks
immersed in European culture, learning to form relationships with international peers. The experience proved to be a turning point in her focus.
“In addition to living and studying in Valencia, we visited Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris. The experience not only educated me about global business but also gave me wanderlust,” she says. “I realized I wanted a career traveling the globe and working with international clients.”
The following spring, Moss Adams LLP recruited WSU accounting students to attend its local and national leadership conferences. Johnson’s international experience helped her stand out.
She was invited to a national leadership conference in San Diego and was among only 60 college juniors selected for the firm’s three-day program, a precursor to a summer internship the following year.
“We recruit WSU business students because they’re bright, collaborative, and have a genuine enthusiasm for the public accounting profession,” says Kelli Cline, Moss Adam’s Puget Sound regional campus recruiting senior manager. “We want them on our team.”
Internship Develops Job-Ready Skills
In her senior year, Johnson took advantage of the WSU master of accounting program’s early admit option, earning valuable graduate credit hours while still an undergraduate student. She also began a paid summer internship with Moss Adams LLP, working full-time in Seattle as an assurance
Technical accounting and building client relationships were the most valuable skills she learned.
“Knowing your audience is key to learning how to communicate on a professional level,” she says.
The Spokane native believes her hard work, networking experience, and doing as many extra projects as possible led to a job offer at the end of her internship.
She passed the REG section of the CPA exam before graduating in May with a master of accounting, has since passed both the BEC and FAR sections, and recently began her position as a Moss Adams assurance staff professional.
Beyond the Seattle skyline, Johnson’s vision of working internationally is within reach. The firm serves over 2,300 companies in more than 102 countries and territories—a perfect opportunity for a woman with wanderlust.