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Accountant balances CPA pursuit with busy work schedule

Tricia Dibble headshot in Willman Business Center

Tricia Dibble has been an accountant in the hospitality industry her entire career. There’s just something about working with people in the service industry that she loves. It’s fun, exciting, and there’s “always something new,” the 2009 York College of Pennsylvania graduate says.

For the past four years, she’s been the Accounting Manager at Spooky Nook Sports, an indoor sports complex that has everything from catering to sports tournaments, a hotel, and even an arcade. “It keeps it interesting and complicated,” she says.

Spooky Nook has a saying: Make kindness contagious. That approach is one of the things Tricia loves about working there. Last year, she learned she’d have an opportunity to grow her role with the company as it opened a second property. But, there was a catch. To move up the chain, she’d need to get her master’s degree and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Back in the classroom

York College was an obvious and easy choice for Tricia to pursue her master’s degree. It was affordable, familiar, and the only program in the area centered just on accounting.

The idea of returning to school made her nervous. “The real second-guessing I had was that fear of, ‘Have I been out of school too long to have that classroom mentality again?’” she says. “Would I be stretched too thin?”

The answer to both was no. Sure, it’s been challenging. She learned quickly that two classes at a time was just too much for her. It stressed her out, so she dropped down to one a semester. “It’s been a good balance that I can still fit into my busy work schedule,” she says.

Immediate returns

Tricia went back to school so she could further her career down the road, but she’s already applying what she’s learned to her current job. She was taking an auditing class at the same time she was going through her first financial statement audit at work. It helped her understand what the auditors were looking for, and what they’d ask about next.

“Taking these classes has luckily coincided with stuff I was currently working on with my job,” she says. “It quickly translated and not something you would see two to three years down the road like an undergrad would, but immediately.”

Going back to school hasn’t been without sacrifice—there have been late nights and long commutes. But in the end, it’s a few years of hard work that will pay dividends down the road. For someone who deals with numbers all day, she knows the math adds up.