Mi Historia Interviews - Alexander Ali Becerra on Demystifying Accounting

Alexander Becerra is a content writer, producer and editor. He possesses a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting graduating with Summa Cum Laude. 

Upon graduation, Alexander had the opportunity to work with companies small and large to gain a better understanding of how business run smoothly. He has gained this understanding after having varied experiences as a professional in accounting, auditing, sales, and marketing. While serving in those capacities he had the opportunity to shadow various other departments and has an appreciation for the interdependency of all of the different roles that exist within a company. 

With all of this knowledge gained while serving in those different capacities and learning from others he has decided to put that knowledge to use by sharing it with others in a useful and meaningful way through content writing, production and editing. 

/ What is your name? Do you know the story behind your name?

Alexander Ali Becerra.

The short story is that my father liked Alexander because of Alexander The Great 👑.

My middle name came from my uncle’s first name, who was a doctor, and the last name is my father’s surname.

/ How do you self-identify in regard to your race and ethnicity?

I identify as 🇻🇪 Venezuelan, 🇮🇹 Italian, 🇫🇷 French, and 🇮🇪 Irish, but my intuition tells me there is more to that answer.

/ Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Malden, Massachusetts ❄️.

/ How do you think your K-12 schooling contributed towards your preparation for your career?

When I look back, I’m glad that I had the K-12 experience that I did. I went to public schools, and everything changed for me around 9th grade in high school. What sparked the change was that one teacher told me, “You should look into accounting for a career.” 🧾

If I didn’t have that seed planted early on, I don’t know what I would have chosen for a career. My mother told me to “pick a career path that’s in high demand”. At that point, it made sense to me to choose accounting.✅

/ Did you plan to go to college after K-12? How did you choose which college you went to? If you didn’t go to college, what caused you to make that decision?

I did plan to attend college, because I knew that I had to go to college to work as an accountant. The factors that helped me to choose which college I went to were cost, location, and the diversity of the students that would attend 🎓.

/ What did you think accounting was?

When I was in high school, I thought accounting had a lot more to do with personal finances, but that’s because my teachers taught with a personal finance focus. However, once I got to college, the focus was more on companies and how they managed all of their financial transactions💡.

/ How did that differ from your actual experience in accounting?

My experience in accounting was usually spent focusing on one piece of accounting while also focusing on the bigger picture. A piece of that is likely due to the fact that I worked in accounting for larger organizations, so it made sense to split up all of the work. I can imagine how hard it would be for one person to manage all of the financial transactions of a large company 🔍.

/ What would be your advice for anyone that wants to be an accountant?

I recommend going to as many networking events and career fairs as you can and putting yourself in front of employers as often as possible. Also, get involved with the business clubs on campus so you can bring that up during an interview, and make sure to network with your peers so you can compare and contrast their experiences interviewing and finding employment. In addition to that, if there is any way that you can study for the CPA exam, that will also be helpful once you have enough credits, you can sit for the exam and gain that credential 💯.

Lastly, aside from studying accounting, see if you can land any internships early on. The more relevant experience you have, the better: accounting can be a technical field🤓!

/ Did you have college campus jobs, internships, apprenticeships, etc. while in school to gain experience? Was it difficult balancing academics and extracurriculars?

I did! I had a part-time job while going to school, and then I added an internship to the mix. After a few months of juggling all three, I decided it was best to focus on school and the internship. It was definitely challenging, because I wanted to remain social, too, but I spent a lot of weekends working or focusing on school assignments 🤹🏼.

Once I focused on school and the internship, it was a lot easier to adjust my class schedule for upcoming semesters. I organized my schedule in a way that allowed me to work in the morning to early afternoon, then go to class. It felt a lot better knowing that a lot of my peers did the same thing, so anytime it became difficult, I found comfort in knowing I could reach out to someone for tips or advice 😌.

/ Were your families or friends critical in choosing where you want to work?

Family and friends definitely played a role in the process of deciding where to work 👪. I constantly had brainstorming sessions with friends, classmates, and my family about work. As far as coming to the decision, I still followed my gut, but if I had researched more on my own or experimented with new ideas and possibilities, the outcome may have been different.

/ What would you like to bring to the forefront regarding the conversation about Latinos in the workplace? What do you think is the most important element of this conversation that is not talked about as much?

The ability to walk into work as our whole selves. I don’t think this is limited to latinos though, but applies to everyone 🧡🧡.