As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2023, Gabriella Cammarata, honors accounting and finance double major with a minor in economics from Manalapan, New Jersey, has demonstrated remarkable dedication and resilience during her time at UD.
Cammarata was nominated for this series by UD Instructor of Accounting Paige Etheridge, who said, “Gabby was in my tax class and proved herself to be the epitome of a student. No matter how difficult the topic, Gabby charged in and was determined to master it. She consistently engaged in class with questions and with her peers. I had the pleasure of getting to know Gabby and she is an amazing person.
“She does quite a bit of volunteering all the while maintaining her impressive GPA of 3.815 in the Honors College. Gabby is clearly the poster version of the outstanding student: dedicated, consistent top performer, leader in class/campus/community, consistently uses her excellent social skills and is committed to the accounting profession. She will begin her accounting career at Ernst and Young in the fall. I can think of no better student to highlight in the Class of 2023.”
In this profile, Cammarata shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Cammarata: I have changed from my first semester at UD to now by becoming more sure of myself as a person and professional. I have learned work-life balance and always give 110% in the classroom, while also enjoying my college experience. UD pushed me to set goals for myself, and exceed them. I was set up for a profession where I am constantly learning and challenging myself, with determination and raw grit. Above all, I’ve learned about life and friendship. I’ve learned how to help others reach their potential, and I hope I have made even the slightest difference and left an impression during my time here.
Lerner: What have been some of the challenges you have faced during your college experience and how did you overcome them?
Cammarata: The most obvious challenge I have faced during my college experience was the COVID-19 pandemic. I had a total of approximately six weeks on UD’s campus as a freshman before we were sent home. I had to learn flexibility and adaptability to overcome, and I ended up really enjoying my virtual experience and learning a lot. Another challenge I faced during my college experience was advocating for myself. I have amassed invaluable interpersonal skills and expressed my opinions in a way that would allow me to remain respectful, yet heard. My professors have been more than supportive of my outspokenness and have helped me to nurture my extroverted personality in the workplace, while remaining professional and collaborative.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience and why?
Cammarata: My favorite signature UD experience–by far–was being a World Scholar. Unfortunately, words can’t encapsulate how amazing being able to spend my late teenage years and early twenties seeing the world. The World Scholars program is a four-year comprehensive program intended to globalize a student’s education. I spent the first semester of my freshman year abroad in Rome, Italy, my junior spring abroad in London, England, and my senior winter abroad in Sydney, Australia. I am truly at a loss for words, apart from the fact that I had the experience of a lifetime. The intercultural competency I gained has proven–and will continue to prove–to be an asset in my career, and I hope it will take me back to work abroad in the future. I made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime, and I am so grateful to everyone that has supported me in my endeavors, in one way or another.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Cammarata: Being a “Lifelong Lerner” means giving back to those around you–whether it be those above you, or coming after or before you. I feel so appreciated and respected when I have other Lerner students asking me for personal or professional advice. As I mentioned earlier, I love seeing those around me reach their full potential and excel. I hope that I can give back to the university as a mentor, as my mentor was to me, and I will always present myself in the professional manner that Lerner has taught me to.
Lerner: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen to make the most out of their college experience?
Cammarata: As a Lerner ambassador, I’ve been fortunate enough to advise countless freshmen on how to make the most out of their college experience, and that advice is always the same: UD is what you make of it. As Lerner students are typically motivated individuals that strive for excellence, I could argue that a majority of us would succeed at any university. However, because of the incredible opportunities that UD allows for, freshmen have the potential to go above and beyond. The option to coast is always there, but freshmen can make these the best four years of their lives…until the next best four years of their lives ahead of them. I urge them to take every opportunity and run with it!
Lerner: Did you have a Lerner professor or staff member that had a big impact on your UD experience?
Cammarata: A Lerner professor that had a big impact on my UD experience was Paige Etheridge. Professor Etheridge means business, and that is exactly why I can confidently say that she is the best. I have never felt so accomplished for obtaining an A in a class as I did in Income Tax Accounting. As I’ve told Professor Etheridge, I went into tax petrified, and left having learned the most out of all six of my classes that semester (and probably in the entirety of my college career).
Professor Etheridge is intelligent, inspiring, kind, encouraging, and did the most to help her students. She made time for me when I was struggling, and always believed in me. She makes her students feel welcome, respected, and smart. I’ll never forget when I had brushed something off as a stupid mistake that I “shouldn’t have made” and Professor Etheridge let me know that it was alright that I had made the oversight and that it did not diminish my ability or learning. She really is one-of-a-kind, and I hope her peers and future students recognize her as the wonderful woman that she is.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Cammarata: My plans following graduation are to become a certified public accountant and work as a wealth and asset management FSO assurance staff at EY. I will be working out of the New York office, and hope to work out of the London office…for at least a little while. Above all, of course, I plan to be a Lifelong Lerner!