It is hard to believe that ten years have passed since I graduated from RIT Croatia (formerly known as ACMT) with my associate's degree. Since then I have obtained a bachelor's degree in Economics and International Studies, received my Certified Public Accountant designation, and co-founded my own company, Cloudsourced Accounting
. We are a U.S.-based accounting firm specializing in bookkeeping and managerial accounting for small businesses. We take care of the back office work so our clients can focus on growing their businesses.
When I was exploring my options for college, RIT Croatia appealed to me because of the possibility of a dual degree, both U.S. and Croatian, as I am a Croatian-American born and raised in Chicago. I wanted to have the flexibility to transfer to a U.S. school or work in Croatia. I originally planned to stay for one year as a "study abroad" experience, but enjoyed my time so much that I decided to stay and complete my associate's degree.
My time at RIT Croatia had a direct influence on my career today thanks to my first accounting course during freshman year – Financial Accounting. I remembered how much I enjoyed the course even after transferring to Northwestern University to complete my bachelor's degree. Post-graduation, I worked for Prudential Financial in commercial real estate finance, but decided I really wanted to further pursue accounting. I went back to school to study accounting and sit for the exams to obtain my CPA.
I opened Cloudsourced Accounting with a former classmate from Northwestern, and we have quickly grown the business from a team of four to a team of 12, serving small business clients across the United States in all industries. We have offices in both Los Angeles and Chicago, and we are opening another office on the East Coast this summer. In our first year of business, we were nominated for 2013 Bookkeeper of the Year by Xero, the global leader in online accounting software.
I owe a lot of my success in life to my time at RIT Croatia in Dubrovnik – both professional and personal. In addition to obtaining my associate's degree, I immersed myself in Croatian culture, mastered (or at least I like to think so) my spoken Croatian, and met my husband Drazen. We live with our four children in a home just outside of Chicago, where I currently work out of my home office. To any Croatian-Americans considering RIT Croatia, I highly recommend it – even if just for a study-abroad semester. You never know what benefits might come from it.