Class of 2022: Simranjeet Kaur turned her love of numbers into a burgeoning accounting career
Simranjeet Kaur, an accounting student at Virginia Commonwealth University, said her interest in numbers started early on. Her family has owned a bookstore in India for more than 50 years. When she was growing up, Kaur said she started to help her grandfather with some of the shop’s bookkeeping.
“That really got me into accounting because I was very fascinated by numbers and his bookkeeping techniques,” she said.
Now a graduating senior, Kaur has excelled at accounting at VCU. She has consistently been on the dean’s list, held two internships, is slated to graduate magna cum laude, and was named the School of Business‘ Student of the Year for 2021-2022.
Alisa Brink, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Accounting at VCU, said while Kaur consistently performs at the top of her classes, what’s more important is the positive attitude she brings to everything she does.
“[Kaur] is one of the kindest, most collegial and most optimistic students that I’ve encountered in a long time,” Brink said. “She’s faced some significant hurdles in getting where she is, but you would never know it from talking to her because she’s just constantly positive. I think that uplifts everybody around her.”
Kaur said she wanted to attend college in the U.S. because it was always her father’s dream for her. After she took her final exam for high school, she came to America on a tourist visa. She had to wait a year to start school while she waited for her student visa.
Kaur first interned with a packaging machines manufacturer in accounts payable. It was originally going to be a summer internship, but they liked her so much she spent seven months interning at the company. Her second internship was at a local accounting firm.
She’s lined up a job at Deloitte after graduation. Kaur said Deloitte represents an ideal destination for her. Kaur said she’s especially excited about Deloitte’s diverse work environment. She said she enjoyed her internships, but as a woman of color she sometimes felt out of place because there was no one who “looked like her.”
“When I stepped into Deloitte [for] my first day of training, I did not feel out of place for even a second,” Kaur said. “Everyone says it might get overwhelming because it’s a big firm, but it really wasn’t because it was diverse – just like VCU.”
Other than her new job, Kaur is excited to travel around the United States with her parents after graduation.
“My dad loves America, and he just wants to visit every state possible,” she said.
For Kaur, the greatest benefit of studying in the U.S. has been the wealth of opportunities. If she had gone to college in India, she believes working at Deloitte would only have been an option after she gained more work experience. She’s nervous about starting the new job, but also very excited.
“I cried when I got my offer letter the day they told me I was accepted,” she said.