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Students and Alumni

Poole Class of 2021 Spotlight: Victoria Gervasi

This spotlight series explores the relationships our graduating students have built during their time at Poole with their fellow classmates, faculty, advisors, career coaches, companies, partners or other people.

Victoria Gervasi (second from right) with classmates

Victoria Gervasi, Jenkins MAC Program

Sometimes, when Victoria Gervasi stops to think about her educational path to become an accountant, it’s hard for her to remember how it all began. There’s one thing she does know though, for sure. It’s that without the encouragement of her Poole College of Management professors and classmates, she would not be graduating this May with her master’s degree in accounting.

“I went straight into the Jenkins MAC program in the fall of 2020, after my internship with EY last summer. My undergrad intermediate accounting professor, Robin Thomas, was the first person to believe in my future as a public accountant, along with Jennie Dirienzo,” Gervasi remembers. “They were so influential in pushing me to try another accounting course, and then another, and before I knew it I had majored in accounting and was applying for the MAC program. I still don’t even know how that happened.” 

After graduation this spring, Gervasi will be working on her CPA exams and serving as a graduate assistant for MAC faculty – after which, she will head to Charlotte where she has a full-time job lined up with EY’s FSO tax team starting in January. To push through these next few months, she’ll be channeling the energy of Dirienzo, her mentor.

“I want to be Jennie when I grow up,” Gervasi jokes. “She taught me my first tax course my junior year of undergrad, and that was it. I was hooked and I knew tax accounting was what I wanted to do. From there Jennie became my mentor – even before she was my actual mentor through the MAC program.”

Dirienzo wrote Gervasi recommendation letters, encouraged her to apply for the college’s AIR program, which helped her land a full-time job, and went above and beyond to encourage her when life felt a little too heavy.

I look up to Jennie so much. I go to her with career questions all the time, but also when it feels like the pressure of school and adulting is becoming too much.

“I look up to Jennie so much. I go to her with career questions all the time, but also when it feels like the pressure of school and adulting is becoming too much,” Gervasi says. “She’s amazing at talking me down, helping me through the demands of this program, and making sure I pick my head back up and start again.” 

When reflecting on her time with the Jenkins MAC Program, Gervasi credits the program for helping her develop not only as an accountant but as a person.

“The MAC program taught me that I can’t do everything at 100% all the time. I can’t always expect the impossible out of myself, and I certainly can’t go through life alone,” she says. “I learned that it’s okay to ask for help and to fail sometimes, and that work and life will beat you down unless you tackle it with a good attitude and a support system around you. It taught me to believe in myself and have confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to. It taught me to be brave! Most importantly though, it gave me friends who will walk through this crazy life with me who are brave and intelligent and confident, and who bring out those qualities in me, too.”