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Cheryl Zavala discovered MIU through the love of her aunt and uncle, two Fairfield locals and university associates. While visiting her aunt, Marilyn Ungaro of the MIU Donations Department, Cheryl had the opportunity to listen to Doctor Fred Travis speak about the value of Transcendental Meditation to the human mind.

After returning to her job in California, Cheryl consulted brochures she’d been given on MIU’s MBA in Accounting program. Cheryl took time to consider her options and, after raising the money herself, applied for the graduate program at MIU.

Cheryl now works in California as a forensic accountant for the corporate division of White, Zuckerman, Warsavsky, Luna & Hunt under Barbara Luna, one of the first women to enter the field of forensic accounting. The attire is casual, the colleagues are friendly, but the work, says Cheryl, is hard and requires long hours. “There is no busy season. Someone is always looking to sue somebody else. We are busy about 80% of the time. The other 20% is used to clean up the mess from being so busy.”

Cheryl credits much of her success to professor William Graff of the MBA Accounting department. “He is always so enthusiastic,” she says, “you can really tell that he cares about the wholeness of his students. He… could teach for hours and his enthusiasm would never wane.” During her time at MIU, Cheryl honed many skills which she uses daily, including creating and organizing Excel documents, analyzing data patterns, and, most importantly, the value of relaxation. “[Meditation] helps me have a more solid focus on my work when others around me are stressed out about deadlines and late hours. I just take everything as it comes.”

In the future, Cheryl intends to pursue her CPA and open her own firm in a small town, preferably local. “I really want to own a house in Iowa one day,” she says. “I have very fond feelings for it now, but I try not to make too many plans because life always changes.”

For more information about MIU’s MBA in Accounting, visit our website.

Tamlin Day is a writer and a contributor to the MUM Blogs.