Student Spotlight - Kathleen Grace, Master of Professional Accounting
Kathleen Grace, CFP, CIMA, is a Managing Director of United Capital Financial Advisers, Amazon best-selling author, mother, and online master’s student at The University of Miami. A finance professional with twenty-five plus years of experience, Grace recently decided to take her own advice for personal empowerment by enrolling in The University of Miami’s online Master of Professional Accounting program.
“I always believe that you can better yourself. Educationally, emotionally, personally, I feel like life is a series of experiences that can make you a more well-rounded person. I work on improving myself all the time and I think education is one aspect of it.”
Grace’s best-selling Amazon book Prince Not So Charming was written to provide women, in positions from high-powered corporate executive to single mom working to make ends meet, with the tools needed to gain financial independence. She was inspired by the numerous women she has advised and her book provides a cautionary tale meant to empower women financially.
“I have been in this industry for 25 years and countless women have come to me for financial advice. Some I couldn’t help because they gave up their career or were left with nothing from a divorce. I was so disheartened by it that I wanted to get in front of it. I thought if I could write a book that was interesting and fun to read and it provided a nugget of financial planning advice then, they could be better prepared and empowered to be independent and take charge of their finances.”
Grace also notes that education is key factor in women looking to achieve financial stability. “Education is key and I think that being well educated gives you more options in the workplace.” As a professional and mother she acknowledges that although she found success as a financial planner and author it doesn’t stop there. She decided that going back to school was not only the right choice to advance herself professionally, but also an opportunity to become a stronger role model for her 14-year old daughter.
“I wanted to show my daughter that school is doable, even at my age. It started out as taking some classes and seeing how it goes and turned into a commitment to being a role model. It also only helps to build my credibility in my industry. This is just another way for me to garner confidence and expertise for my clients.”
An alumna of The University of Miami, returning to her alma mater was an easy choice when it came to selecting a degree program. In addition to the streamlined and detailed courses offered by UOnline’s graduate accounting program, Grace was also drawn to the program’s emphasis on CPA preparation.
As a student, she has enjoyed the comprehensive selection of courses the program offers and notes that the program is not simply accounting centric, but touches every aspect of accounting and finance. However, the program has not come without challenges. As both a working professional and parent, balancing motherhood, professional obligations, and school has required Grace to maximize how she commits her time.
“When you enjoy what you are doing you have to have a good balance. When I can, I work ahead in my classes to be able to spend more time with my daughter. I am extremely detail-oriented and structured and that is why the online program is perfect. It very easily walks you through the week and you have a good understanding of what required. Obviously life happens and things throw life off balance, but you learn how to delegate and multi-task.”