Accounting: Alec Yale
Clare Stanton/Old Gold & Black
A 2009 graduate of Kingwood High School, Wake Forest senior Alec Yale has not only gotten through the school of business as an accounting major, but has been highly successful in his area of expertise — even though, as a soon-to-be graduate of Wake Forest, Yale is too classy and too humble to admit his success. Rather, Yale attributes his success to, among other circumstances, the calendar of his cellphone.
“I jokingly tell my friends that if an appointment is scheduled in my phone’s calendar, I will show up no matter what,” Yale said.
Also pointing out that he recognized the need for “late nights” and “a few weekends full of work,” Yale seems to be fully aware of the means and REM cycle sacrifices that lead to academic success.
A hard worker for sure, Yale discussed one of his most challenging academic time periods, which fell in between the end of his sophomore year and the onset of his junior year here at university.
To add some comic relief to the daunting memory of that summer of relentless accounting, Yale added a witty remark: “For two months, every free moment seemed to be filled with debits and credits.” The sacrifice has been avenged, however.
As Yale departs from Wake Forest, he plans to begin his professional career in the tax department of one of the Big Four accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, in the fall of 2014. Before he begins working, though, Yale will attend Wake Forest for one more year in order to receive his Master’s Degree of Accountancy. “I really didn’t know the differences between finance and accounting, and the sound of finance had a good ring to it,” Yale said.
“At the end of my sophomore year I had taken a few classes within the school of business — and learned of the 100 percent job placement for accounting majors. [From there] I decided to make the switch.”
And the switch seemed perfectly fitting for Yale, who has served his four years at Wake Forest with unrelenting hard work, motivation and a terrific, refreshing outlook on life.
“I want to be like Will Ferrell in The Other Guys,” Yale said. “People perceive my major to be filled with mundane number crunchers, but I want to be the opposite. Whether I’m working for an accounting firm or helping the FBI stop bad guys, I want to enjoy what I’m doing, help others and live a happy life.”
Yale has clearly proved he can be a successful student who can apply the college experience to professional life, but of more importance Yale has proved that, no matter how much you work, what you major in or what you do for a job, the most vital aspect of life, at the end of the day, is just living as a good person. And Jack Wilkerson, one of Yale’s favorite professors and the professor who inspired him to pursue a major in accounting, would have to agree.
“To this day, when I think of [Alec], I think of an individual with a terrific attitude, always engaged, always in good spirits,” said Wilkerson. “Alec is a good student, of course, but on top of that he’s a genuinely good person.”
A true quintessence of Pro Humanitate, we wish Yale the best of luck in the future.