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“You have your good days and your bad days. But getting the work done is always accomplishable. There are days where you’re like, ‘I have no idea how I’m going to get all of this done. But it goes back to finding that balance, keeping a structure for myself so I can keep myself on task.”
— Shaina White
The Harbert College is committed to developing graduates who are highly-skilled, professionally-prepared,
confident, ethical, and globally-minded.
Discipline and balance.
That’s how Shaina White was twice an Academic All-SEC athlete, endured grueling workouts, captained her team at volleyball practice and in matches, and had time to graduate from the Harbert College of Business School of Accountancy as a decorated scholar.
Balance and discipline.
That’s how White, who recently completed her first year in Harbert College’s Master of Accountancy program, had time to keep up with studies, exams – and prepare for all four sections of the CPA exam. She’s already passed two sections in the spring, will complete the MAcc program this August and will tackle two more sections of the CPA in the near future.
No pressure. How does she do it?
“You have your good days and your bad days,” she said. “But getting the work done is always accomplishable. There are days where you’re like, ‘I have no idea how I’m going to get all of this done. But it goes back to finding that balance, keeping a structure for myself so I can keep myself on task.”
The life of a student athlete is structured, White noted. Practice is scheduled. Workouts are scheduled. Study time is scheduled. Rinse, repeat. The mandatory rigor created a sense of discipline – one she carried over into graduate school.
“When the CPA exam was coming up, I started going back and logging in my study time to be more accountable,” said White, a three-year regular for the Tigers who recorded 512 career kills, 178 blocks and 625 total points. “I told my counselor that I will see her at least three times per week just to talk before I get a study room. That helps keep me accountable. If she hasn’t seen me this week, then she doesn’t know if I’ve been studying or not.”
With the CPA on the horizon and regular Master of Accountancy assignments due, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, right? “Sure. Yesterday I was exhausted and I tried to look at the Becker Review (CPA exam study guide) lectures and I was like, ‘I don’t think I can really do this today,’” she admitted. “Like I said, it comes in waves. Trying to spend some time with my friends or call my family back home – just have regular conversations outside of my course material is relaxing and really helps. I can talk about something other than the Becker Review or accounting, in general. As students, we’re looking at screens all day (computers and cell phones). Getting away from the screens is how I try and relax.”
White transferred to Auburn in 2017 from Northeastern University in Boston. However, she calls Orange County, California, home. The small town life of Auburn, Alabama, is a far slower pace than she’s used to, but White handled the culture shock with ease.
“I was open to new experiences and ready to leave home,” she said. “The biggest adjustment is probably trying to find organic food. I’m from Southern California, so … I got down here and I was like, ‘I’m supposed to go to Kroger? The amount of chicken finger places here … that was an adjustment in culture.”