Accounting student breaks barriers

April 30, 2024

Justine Lewicki smiling in her graduation gown

First-generation college student Justine Lewicki '24, MS '25 has shattered barriers as she successfully navigated academia, global leadership and life-changing experiences abroad.

Recognizing her natural talent in mathematics since elementary school, Lewicki's academic path led her to major in accounting in the accelerated dual degree program, coupled with a minor in marketing.

“I absolutely loved the 3+1 accounting program. I was worried it would be too extensive and condensed, but I feel like I have learned so much within the time. I could not see myself doing college any other way," she said.

"All the professors want to see the students succeed and push us to be the best accountants we can be. The program has helped set me up to be ready for the CPA exam,” Lewicki added.

Mastering time-management skills proved instrumental in her success, she said.

“Being a first-generation college student makes me feel so accomplished in life. My family supported me throughout and I can’t thank them enough. I am happy I powered through and changed the norm of my family," she said.

During her time at Quinnipiac, Lewicki accomplished a tremendous amount.

One of those is her being awarded the annual M&T Bank Center for Women and Business Scholarship, and recording a podcast on Spotify as a result.

Lewicki’s winning paper discusses how women can excel in male-dominated fields while also tying in her own experience about working hard to prove herself.

“I felt honored and rewarded that I was recognized for my hard work. I loved being on the podcast,” said Lewicki.

Lewicki’s journey extended far beyond Hamden — to Belgium and Italy.

In Belgium, she participated in the Global Partners Program, a four-day conference attended by 120 students worldwide focusing on leadership within the workforce.

Additionally, she embarked on a study-abroad opportunity in Italy, fully immersing herself in Italian culture.

“My family is from Italy so I got to l experience the true culture. I learned how to navigate in a foreign country and even began to speak the language," said Lewicki. "My course in Italy taught me new ways of learning, and approaching schoolwork. It was a very hands on course which I enjoyed.”

Lewicki has also been interning at CLA in West Hartford for her second tax season. 

“My day to day varies, but a majority of the time I am working on different types of tax returns for the Manufacturing and Distributions group,” she said.

Looking to the future, Lewicki will be graduating summa cum laude and has plans to become a CPA.

“I want to become an advocate for young girls who want to pursue a male-dominated field,” she said. I want to be the voice to prove that you can pursue any career despite any setbacks you may encounter.”

Lewicki emphasizes the importance of taking action.

“Do it! Nobody is holding you back but yourself. Anything you set your mind to you can accomplish. You are your biggest cheerleader," she said.

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