Caitlyn Aune packed two degrees into her three years at Washington State University.

On May 4, the 21‑year‑old from Burbank, Washington, will receive a master’s degree in accounting from Carson College of Business. A year earlier, Aune earned an undergraduate accounting degree.

Aune discovered an affinity for accounting at Columbia High School near Pasco, where her mom Patti Aune was her business teacher.

“I really liked it when everyone else seemed like they didn’t,” she said of accounting. “I like working with numbers – I’m definitely more of an analytical, process thinker.”

Washington’s Running Start program allowed Aune to earn an associate degree at Columbia Basin College while she was finishing high school. She entered WSU with enough credits to enroll as a junior. During her undergraduate years, she received a Distinguished Regents Scholarship, which paid for her tuition and fees.

Pursuing a master’s degree as path to CPA license

As she mulled options for becoming a licensed certified public accountant, Aune opted to pursue a master’s degree. She needed five years of schooling to take the CPA exam, and she decided the one‑year master’s program in accounting would serve her better than a second undergraduate major.

“I thought it would best further my accounting knowledge and help me to successfully pass the exam,” she said.

After graduation, Aune will work for the Spokane office of Moss Adams, a public accounting firm, where she interned last summer.

Aune credits the Carson Center’s advising services and career consulting for helping her succeed during her college years. She later became a peer mentor in the Carson EDGE program, which pairs first‑generation college students with older, experienced students.

Being involved in the honor society Beta Alpha Psi was a valuable part of her education, too, Aune says.

“Meeting with potential employers each week right here in Pullman at Beta Alpha Psi meetings was a monumental part of finding the job at Moss Adams,” she said. “I also met some of my best friends through the club, which helped give me a great college experience.”