As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2022, Jeel Patel, an honors accounting major with minors in economics and trust management from Newark, Delaware, has not had the typical student experience at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Patel, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered as students. Each installment of this series will profile an outstanding member of this class, showcasing their achievements, experiences at UD and what it means to be a Blue Hen.
Patel was nominated for this series by UD Instructor and Chairperson of Accounting Debra Dragone, who said, “Jeel enjoys academics and tells me that accounting majors are very social and love to have fun. She has a dynamic personality and has accomplished much at Delaware. Her largest accomplishment is being selected as a PCAOB Scholar. That is quite an honor. She is a teaching assistant for two professors, a peer tutor and finds time to be president of the Accounting Students Association (ASA). Her resume is impressive having utilized her summers and winters working with five companies relevant to her field of study. Through all of this, Jeel has managed to sit and pass with excellent scores.”
In this profile, Patel shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How have you grown from your freshman year at UD to now?
Patel: When I first came to UD freshman year, I felt lost and did not know exactly what I wanted to do after I graduated. I changed my major multiple times inside of the Lerner College, but eventually realized that accounting was the best fit for me. Also, freshman year I did not know how to be a professional, but over the years I feel as if I have grown professionally when it comes to things such as networking and interviews.
Lerner: Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? If so, how did they shape your experience at UD?
Patel: I was the president of the Accounting Student Association since junior year. Being president helped me make relationships with recruiters at many different firms, leading me to various job opportunities. Furthermore, being president helped me become more outspoken and improve my leadership skills, which helped me during group projects.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Patel: For me it means that I will constantly be striving to achieve more, whether it be improving my skills or learning a new skill. Additionally, it means I am part of a large group that will always try to help one another out whenever it is possible.
Lerner: What was the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Patel: My most memorable course that I took at Lerner was Theory of External Reporting and Applications with Carolyn Levine. This course was not like any other accounting course, it was real life situations we had to examine with an accounting lens, something we could possibly encounter when we start working. In fact, this course is the reason I became interested in forensics because it involved a lot of problem solving, which I enjoyed.
Lerner: What was your favorite UD experience?
Patel: My favorite UD experience has to be honestly just walking to class. I did not realize how much I would miss walking to class, or even being in a classroom until COVID-19 occurred. It just changes my whole attitude, I am actually ready to get my day started and complete all my tasks instead of sitting in bed all day and not doing anything.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Patel: After graduation, I plan to work at KPMG in their Philadelphia office. I will be working in their Forensics Advisory group, specifically compliance, litigations and disputes.