“Dedicated. Caring. Positive.”
Fun fact about yourself: I’ve donated my hair 3 times.
Hometown: Rockville, MD
High School: Rockville High School
Major: Accounting and Finance
Favorite Business Course: ACCT 406WI (Accounting Case Studies)
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- Colleges Against Cancer – Vice President of Accounting
- Beta Gamma Sigma – Student Vice President of Finance
- Luter School of Business Student Advisory Board (SAB)
- Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity
- Alpha Chi National Honor Society
- Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society
- Honors Program
- Business Law Class Blue Book Award
- Dean’s List
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
Where have you interned during your college career?
- Discovery Communications, Inc. (Discovery, Inc.) – Silver Spring, MD, Accounting Intern
- Baker Tilly – Tysons, VA, Tax & Assurance Intern
- Christopher Newport University Foundations – Newport News, VA, Accounting Intern
Where will you be working after graduation?
- Baker Tilly – Tysons, VA, Staff Accountant
What company do you admire most? I admire Mark Cuban Companies because Mark Cuban worked hard to get to where he is today. He started from nothing and now owns a multiple billion dollar corporation that invests in other entrepreneurs, helping them break into the business world.
Who is your favorite professor? Professor Lingenfelter is my favorite professor. She is my advisor, I have had her for three courses, and she is the advisor for the VITA program. She’s been so encouraging throughout my time at CNU and is a great mentor.
What did you enjoy most about your business school? I enjoy the collaborative environment of many of the courses and the opportunity to get involved outside the classroom. I’ve learned how to work in teams and I’ve been exposed to the surrounding business community.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve gained from studying business is that regardless of the concentration, interpersonal skills are an integral part of being successful.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Also, learn to prioritize the different parts of your life early.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Even in math-driven concentrations, there is still uncertainty and something new to learn. This surprised me the most because numbers tend to be definite but I’ve come to learn that is not always the case.
“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Economics because I find it interesting and applicable to many parts of life.”
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I made the decision to pursue business in college myself. Coming into college, I was not sure what I wanted to do post-graduation, but I wanted to study something that would be versatile with promising job prospects. After looking into various majors, I thought business would fulfill these requirements. After my first accounting class, Principles of Financial Accounting, I decided I really liked the logic of accounting and decided to concentrate in that area.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my involvement with Colleges Against Cancer. This organization holds the annual CNU Relay for Life event in support of the American Cancer Society. Last year, our Relay got recognized, for the first time, in the top 5 of college relays for per capita income. This achievement is a result of a team effort. It has been a great experience being a part of the growth of this organization.
Which classmate do you most admire? I admire all of my classmates but in particular, I admire John West. I’ve never met someone who has been so professionally driven since day one of freshman year. Also, we’ve had the opportunity to work together countless times and he is a true team player.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would most want to thank my parents for my success. Throughout my life they have lead by example, teaching me what it means to be motivated, dedicated, and hard-working. They have always worked to provide me with the opportunities that got me where I am today. Not only are they great role models but they are my biggest supporters and for that, I am forever grateful.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- Travel outside the country
- Get a dog
What are your hobbies?
- Reading on the beach
- Escape rooms
- Hanging out with friends
What made Elissa such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?
“I have known Elissa for about three years as a student at Christopher Newport University (CNU) and had the opportunity to recognize her abilities as a student with high intellectual capacity. She has always demonstrated qualities and potentials to be a well-molded and successful individual in her personal and professional lives. She is intelligent, hardworking, dependable, and possesses a very pleasant personality.
Elissa is an outstanding student (GPA 4.0) who uses her skills in analysis, critical thinking, and communications to perform assigned tasks with exceptional efficiency and quality. She has always excelled in the classroom and demonstrated good grasps of subject matters and in-depth analysis of real-life business issues. She has a keen interest in research and demonstrates superb quantitative and written communication skills. Her positive attitude and integrity set her apart from many of her fellow students. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, Elissa will succeed in any organizational setting where hard work, intelligence, communications skills are the necessary tools for success.”
Niazur Rahim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Finance
Chairman, Department of Accounting & Finance
Luter School of Business
Christopher Newport University