Accounting major Jeanine Buonopane has carefully calculated her future as a CPA.
First, she plans to work in the public sector for several years, perhaps with the IRS. Then, she hopes to set up her own in-home practice, where she will focus on helping those in the disabled community become more financially successful.
“Sometimes parents of children with disabilities don’t always know how to give their children the tools, or they’re not ready to give their children the tools, to learn certain things” such as personal finance skills, says Buonopane, who was born with cerebral palsy that affects her lower extremities. “So there’s always this gap of information that nobody’s really telling you about. I want to try to bridge that gap.”
Buonopane knew she wanted to be an accountant from an early age. Several relatives are CPAs, and she remembers tagging along with her family to have their taxes done.
After earning an associate’s degree from Middlesex Community College, the Arlington resident transferred into the Manning School of Business in the fall of 2016.
“I like it here. I like the city atmosphere,” says Buonopane, who is living in Donahue Hall for her junior year. “I like seeing how, even though I’m at a bigger university, my professors still want me to succeed as much as they do at the community college level.”
Buonopane has taken advantage of every available resource to help get acclimated on campus, from the Transfer Registration Day during the summer to the Manning School’s Fall Transfer Student Fair, where representatives from several groups (such as Career Development and the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services) provide information and advice in a smaller setting.
“It’s nice being able to talk to people and ask questions one-on-one instead of being in a huge crowd of students,” says Buonopane, who also participated in Disability Services’ Transitions Program, which enabled her to move into her dorm a few days early and meet with academic advisers.
“The disability services here are really good, and I like that there are a lot of options for parking,” says Buonopane, who drives with the assistance of hand controls. “Everyone really tries to make sure you feel safe by understanding things like the fire evacuation plans.”
Buonopane has also made a point to become active in student life, attending meetings for Disable the Label, the Accounting Society and … the American Society of Civil Engineers?
“My boyfriend’s brother is in civil engineering,” Buonopane explains with a smile. “It’s cool to see the projects they do.”