Five Questions With: Olivia Tourony

A junior at Johnson & Wales University, Olivia Tourony is a resident of Douglas, Mass., and is studying in the accounting department. Earlier this year she received a $10,000 Public Company Accounting Oversight Board scholarship, an honor only available to students nominated by faculty and staff at participating schools.

PBN: How did you find out you were the winner of the scholarship and how did that make you feel?

TOURONY: I got a phone call from Elizabeth Cannata, chair of the accounting and finance department in the College of Business at Johnson & Wales University, who told me several of my professors nominated me for a scholarship. I was shocked and overjoyed and quickly called my parents to tell them the good news.

My professors supported and worked with me to get the information needed to apply, and about a month later I received an email notifying me that I was awarded the scholarship. I was happy and surprised and am very honored to have been considered for this accounting scholarship.

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PBN: What first drew you to the accounting industry?

TOURONY: My father is the reason I became interested in accounting. He went to college for accounting and now works for a hospital in their finance department. I am very similar to my father in that we both like math, are well organized, punctual and like being around people. Thanks to him, I have found what I want to do for my career.

PBN: Why did you choose to study accounting at Johnson & Wales University?

TOURONY: When I first started looking at colleges in high school, I had a different career in mind – baking and pastry, which is why I was looking at Johnson & Wales University. I ended up applying to JWU’s hotel and lodging major, but after one trimester I started to think about other things I liked and what I am good at. Accounting came to mind. Since becoming an accounting major, I have learned many new things about the industry, made relationships with fellow accounting students and professors, and got a job in JWU’s procurement office.

PBN: Will you follow up your undergraduate degree with an MBA?

TOURONY: I recently applied for the MBA program at Johnson & Wales University, which prepares students for the [certified public accountant] exam. In addition to getting my MBA, I would also like to attain a CPA certification.

PBN: What type of career do you hope to pursue with this degree?

TOURONY: After finishing my education and getting a CPA certification, I would like to work in a CPA firm’s audit department. After a few years of gaining valuable experience in public accounting, I could see myself working for a larger company in their accounting department and hope to be a company controller.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email,

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