Lazizakhon Komilova felt that she was always destined to follow her path into the world of business and accounting. As a child she played the restaurant game, pretending to own her own business. Her favorite part was the end when it was time to count the money she had made and feel instant gratification.  

Flash-forward to the present, where Komilova is finishing a Bachelor of Science in public accounting and business management, the five-year program with CPA tracking at the Murray Koppelman School of Business at Brooklyn College. The budding public accountant will graduate this spring and has already landed a post-graduate job where she will be assisting a tax team and offering professional guidance to businesses and clients so that they can feel empowered in making smart financial decisions for their future. Her tenacity to pursue her dream has made it a reality.  

What did you study at Brooklyn College? 

I pursued a B.S. in public accounting and business management. Growing up, I was always fascinated by business and how money was made. As a little kid, I remember playing “pretend restaurant” where I created the menu and served food. My favorite part of that game was counting the revenues and expenses to see my income. I am truly happy that my childhood dream job is becoming a reality. 

Why did you decide to major in public accounting and business management? 

It was a relatively easy choice for me to major in accounting and business since it was my passion. However, it was challenging to decide in which specific direction to go since Brooklyn College provides different types of programs. I chose public accounting and business management because it fulfills the New York state requirements for a CPA license. My next goal is to become a certified public accountant after graduation. I like to analyze and examine financial data and documents and apply the rules and laws during the examination. This profession is made for me. 

What are some of your favorite courses and why?  

One of my favorite classes was Accounting Internship, where I participated in the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. The program is exclusively open to students who are accounting majors. In the VITA program, volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS. Volunteers and staff file tax returns for many families and individuals free of charge. It was a fantastic experience working with the team and the clients! 

Did you have a staff or faculty mentor at the college who had a particularly significant influence on your academic career? 

One of the faculty mentors that has made a particularly significant influence on my academic career at the college is Veronica Manlow, associate professor of business management at the Murray Koppelman School of Business. We met during the fall of 2021. Professor Manlow was my mentor for the Blackstone LaunchPad in Brooklyn College’s Office of Innovation + Entrepreneurship Lab. She helped me develop a game for kids with diabetes that teaches them how to manage their condition. 

This idea came from my personal experience with diabetes. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was eight years old and required kid-friendly resources. I would never have reached the point where I am without Professor Manlow’s guidance. After that, I participated in some competitions and programs at the college, including the Idea Challenge, Business Idea Challenge, and CUNY Startups (a program at Baruch College).

Also, a special thanks to Professor Emile Westergaard, who has taught me a lot about how business works as a whole and where to pay attention during financial forecasts. I was his intern for his startup company called IVoT during the spring 2022 semester.  

What are your plans for after graduation? 

My plans after graduation are to apply for the CPA exam in 2024. Additionally, I was offered an associate position at PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big four accounting companies. It is a full-time job, and I will be on the tax team. And, of course, I would like to climb the career ladder. 

What advice would you give other students studying at Brooklyn College? 

The advice is to participate as much as possible in what Brooklyn College provides, including classes, job fairs, clubs, events, the Magner Career Center, and just to network with people. There is so much that comes from networking; you will be amazed at what kind of people you will meet and how it is essential for personal and professional development. It all comes from people; I met so many unique people at Brooklyn College who just inspired me with what they have been working on or what they have accomplished. Another piece of advice would be to constantly ask for feedback in college and at work; there is good feedback, and it helps us to advance our skills and be successful.