Having grown up hearing stories from her grandfather who was an OBGYN, Chynna Crawford, ’19 accounting, always imagined herself in a career where she could help patients. She got her nursing license and began working in the medical field, but found there was an area of the patient experience she could not affect as a nurse: finances and the affordability of care.
“When people are going through a healthcare crisis or even something minor that is unexpected, that financially can be the hardest time of their life, and that can put a lot of added stress and cause even more health problems because of the extra stress,” Crawford said.
Crawford knew she was ready for a career change and thought she could combine her passion for patient care with her leadership skills and some business knowledge, so she enrolled in classes at Vol State Community College.
“I took an accounting class and loved it and was decently good at it. I took another accounting class and realized I really liked it and this is what I want to do.”
Crawford transferred to Tennessee Tech and quickly found her place in the College of Business as an accounting major, setting her sights on getting her CPA license.
At a Meet the Firms event hosted for accounting students to meet with representatives from accounting firms, Crawford met firms who worked with the healthcare industry to allocate costs to improve patient care and realized she was right where she belonged.
“Meet the Firms was a confidence booster for me, just to reiterate why I am doing what I am doing,” she said. “I spent several years thinking I wasted my time going to school to be a nurse when I could have been doing something else. That was my moment when I realized I didn’t waste my time, that I can still use this. Even in the accounting field, they use a lot of the same medical terminology, and as a nurse I know what the patients need and can use that to help allocate costs.”
Crawford got an internship with one of the firms she met at the event and is excited to see where it takes her.
“Everybody at Tech has been so nice and the level of instructors here and their ability to teach a skill has been really helpful,” Crawford said. “The accounting program here is focused on helping students excel where they are.
“After I got this internship I didn’t know what I would need to do the next semester. I have talked with all of my professors to get their advice, because I know I don’t want to stop taking classes during the internship but I don’t want to be overwhelmed either. They have helped me come up with a course plan that I am excited about and looking forward to.”