Chapman students sitting with President George W. Bush
Accounting student Argelia Diaz Orozco '20, left, was selected to meet former President George W. Bush during his 2019 visit to campus.

How a Transfer Student Excelled in Accounting and Launched Career Success Oh, and along the way met former President George W. Bush.

As a transfer student, Argelia Diaz Orozco wasn’t sure how quickly she’d be able to step into the momentum and life of Chapman University and her program of choice – the Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

She needn’t have worried.

An orientation program for transfer students answered her questions. In addition, the career office staff reached out, and professors in the small-class settings were available for mentoring and advice. Soon she was busy working at an internship and thriving in demanding classes.

Oh, yes, and meeting former President George W. Bush. She was one of the few students selected to meet with Bush during his visit to celebrate 20 years since the naming of the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics.

“That was mind blowing. I never thought I was going to meet a former president,” says Orozco ‘20, now a tax staff accountant at Ernst and Young, one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Wanting to Help Businesses Thrive

But excelling at everything she puts her numbers-minded head to has been a pattern for Orozco reaching back to second grade. She didn’t know what an accountant was, but she sure did like playing with numbers. A sharp teacher nurtured that aptitude.

“She guided me toward that, touching that part of me that likes logic and the rules and applying those rules to processes,” she says.

Years later, she discovered accounting as a profession when she took career assessment tests and the results steered her there.

Orozco chuckles at the memory.

“I had a preconceived notion that accountants were old boring people who just wanted to be confined to a cubicle,” she says.

She took more tests. The results again suggested accounting. So she gave it a try. She was hooked. She loved the critical thinking and being part of a team that helps businesses thrive.

Transfer-Student Scholarships Ease the Transition

She credits her transfer to Chapman for solidifying her success. After earning an associate of arts degree and an associate of science degree at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, she chose Chapman’s Argyros School for its small classes and individualized attention. Scholarships for transfer students helped seal the deal.

“Chapman is very involved with the transfer students,” said Orozco, who juggled classwork with the responsibilities of a new baby. “They made it really smooth.”

Getting “Insight Into the Real World”

Challenging coursework instilled confidence. Accounting Information Systems taught by Professor Bruce Dehning, Ph.D., resonates still.

“Every day I think about Professor Dehning’s class,” she said. “He gave us a really big project that was very difficult, but it gave us insight into the real world.”

Orozco also honed her skills in mock interviews arranged by the business school’s career office, including one with Ernst and Young that led to an internship. Not long after, she was offered the job she holds today.

And that business about accountants being stuffy old people? Let’s just say that doesn’t factor into her balance sheet.

“We’re not firefighters or doctors,” she said. “But at the end of the day we’re still helping out, and it feels good to be part of that.”

Learn More

Learn more about Argyros’ BS in Accounting program.

Dawn Bonker

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