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UES degree provides foundation for future success

A business valuation expert with BDO Consulting and adjunct instructor at Tufts University in Boston, MA, Alicia Amaral’s ’91 professional and educational journey included an unplanned stop at Furman University. The Undergraduate Evening Studies graduate was only one year away from earning her degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts when her husband’s job transfer brought her to Greenville. UES provided Alicia the flexibility she needed to take care of her family and earn her degree.

Since then, she’s been busy. Really busy. Her Furman degree prepared her for the demanding Master of Accountancy program at Bentley College (now University). As Amaral noted, Furman  “absolutely prepared me” to be a successful graduate student. She didn’t stop there. For several years she worked at Arthur Andersen in public accounting. Craving more flexibility and family time than a “Big 6” partner path could provide, she transitioned into controller position in financial services. When her children were older, she accepted a full-time CFO position.

The call to teach others was strong. She joined the faculty at Tufts University as a part-time lecturer. At the same time, Amaral took advantage of the experience she gained from prior positions and started working in business development for the business valuation consulting practice of BDO USA, LLC. Her clients include hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, mergers and acquisition companies, litigators, estate planners, and others who need to establish value in the sale of a business. Today she enjoys both crisscrossing the country to meet with clients and engaging students in the classroom. The flexibility, autonomy, variety and daily challenges of her position at BDO are also perks.

Amaral recalls with fondness her UES instructors. A few include: Tom Traxler in business law, Linda Julian in literature, and the inspirational message of Gordon Herring, her commencement speaker in 1991. As Amaral recalled, the instructors were professionally qualified and brought real-world relevance to their teaching. She said this is something she tries to emulate in her entrepreneurial finance, financial and managerial accounting, and entrepreneurial leadership classrooms at Tufts University today.

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