Rukshad Patel took one class in accounting and fell in love with it.
"I am an analytical person and I enjoy numbers, so as I progressed taking various other accounting classes, I knew I had made the right decision," she said. "I enjoyed the challenge of a good accounting problem and I really liked the stability that an accounting career offered."
Patel started tutoring accounting as a sophomore in college. Then she initially worked in the hotel and hospitality industry while teaching business and accounting courses. Upon acquiring her CPA, she worked as an auditor at Arthur Andersen and Co. and later as a site profitability analyst at McDonald's Corporation. Throughout this time she also taught during the evenings at various colleges in the Chicago area.
"The teaching bug had smitten me early," she said. "I love teaching and love accounting, and it was a dream to one day be able to devote myself to teaching accounting."
Patel, who is now a full-time faculty member at College of DuPage, considers herself fortunate to help students find a career that will give them lifelong stability, respect and fulfillment.
"I want my students to enjoy the concepts and the fulfilling challenges of accounting," she said. "In many ways, a classroom is a microcosm of the real world, and it is important for my students to acquire a range of real-world habits while studying Accounting so that the eventual transition from school to industry is smoothly exhilarating. My focus in teaching my students is the long term, for a time far beyond their graduation day from my class. I often wonder about my students long after their last day in my physical classroom.
"The immense opportunity to make a difference and the immense possibility of missing this great opportunity inspires me to keep my shoulder to the wheel. It keeps me on my toes each day."