Numbers and figures have never been a confusing topic for Candice Owens. Her passion for accounting helped push her all the way to serving as a state auditor Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts (APA).
In deciding which career to pursue, Candice was influenced greatly by her mother, who was a correctional officer.
“I really like law, and I also like numbers,” says Candice. Accounting puts them both together. You get all the laws and regulations that you have to follow for your accounting side.”
To get a head start on her career and passion, Candice began dual enrollment at Rappahannock Community College. As a student at Middlesex High School, she says “I took accounting dual enrollment classes at RCC, and then went to Longwood University right out of high school, and during the summer I would take classes online, so I didn’t have to take them while I was up there.”
With this head start and hard-working attitude, Candice easily and quickly finished her degree.
During her time in the dual enrollment program, Candice didn’t just sit by and participate in classes; she also helped in “student teaching my senior year,” she says. “I was researching behind the scenes, more accounting standards than what was just being taught,” she says of going above and beyond in her teaching.
“I had to do all the research myself, so if anything new came up that the book didn’t explain, I ended up teaching on that.”
Through her experience with RCC in dual enrollment, she says she learned how everything flows through in accounting, and due to that, she knew a great deal before entering Longwood.
“When I went to Longwood along with a couple of other people who were in the same RCC classes as me, we didn’t have to think about debit and credits, so we ended up tutoring people in our class,” she says.
Candice has been with the APA for most of her young professional life and has been a part of many auditing procedures, including a state audit of RCC.
She that the folks at RCC were “wonderful” to work with, even under an audit.
“They’re small, compared to a lot of the other community colleges, says Candice, “but at the same time it was nice not to feel like they just wanted to push me out the door.”
Through her experience with the agency, she has also been part of organizations that do “gardening for the hungry” and Future Business Leaders of America regional office competitions.
As for her time with the agency specifically, Candice says “I love working there, it’s more family friendly, like today I’ve been working from home.”
Because of her flexible schedule and work environment, she has been able to keep up with her numerous other activities, including the showing her horse and future business leadership conferences.
Along with the APA, Candice specializes in “scholarship, how to build a resume, and cover letters workshops.” As she tells her brother and those she helps, “keep a master resume at all times, keep it updated at least once a year because when you get to doing the job application or a scholarship application, you will totally forget what happened five years ago.”
Candice advises future students to “always expect to learn something new every day.”
“Make sure you don’t just be a member of something, make sure you build on it,” she says. “Never expect that doing the same thing every day or doing the same thing year after year is the best. Always think that there could be a new way of being innovative.” — Mary Ashley Cline