Name: Megan Arritt (Kjetland)
Graduation Year: 2006
Current Position: Senior Tax Accountant with Sentara Healthcare(2011-Present)
City and State: Fork Union, VA
What do you do?
I am a CPA and senior tax accountant for Sentara Healthcare. I have worked for them since May of 2011. From September 2006 through May of 2011, I worked in the tax department of a medium-sized public accounting firm in Norfolk, VA. In my current position, I mainly complete and review corporate and not-for-profit tax returns. I love what I do! My current employer let me start working from home part-time in 2014 when my daughter was born extremely premature.
What is your favorite memory from EU/AGTS?
During my junior and senior years, I traveled to Bolivia for spring break with Dr. Jeff Fulks. Growing up in America, it’s easy to take for granted all of our blessings. Traveling to Bolivia really helped me see how very blessed Americans really are. Over 10 years later, I still have Bolivian friends that I keep in touch with. Another favorite memory I have is studying in the Joust with my accounting friends. I loved studying. (I am a nerd, what can I say!)
How did EU/AGTS help you identify/develop your calling?
When I was a little girl, whenever anyone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say that I wanted to be a mommy. The desire for motherhood played a big decision into why I chose accounting. I knew that I would have to put time into my profession in the beginning. With the way that technology was progressing at the time, I could tell that the future of accounting looked bright for working remotely. From the first accounting class I had with Mrs. Rhoades to the last upper division course I had with Mrs. Ohern-Ray, I knew that accounting was meant for me – I always loved it.
The class size at EU really allowed us to get to know our professors and the other students very well. If we had a question or needed help the faculty was always available and approachable. Had I attended a larger school, I would not have gained the same amount of accounting knowledge in just four years. Mrs. Rhoades and Mrs. Ohern-Ray did an amazing job of making sure, as a freshman, we were prepared with our four-year plan. Qualifying to sit for the CPA is very extensive and varies from state to state, and they made sure that all of their accounting students were ready for it. After I graduated, I joined an accounting firm and did work many long and hard hours. I was qualified for my position and did well thanks to my training at EU. My hard work paid off because now I am able to have a career by working from home while still taking care of my children.
How did your experience at EU/AGTS prepare you for life after graduation?
While at EU, I was taught that if you followed the Bible and the Lord’s guidance that He can “call” us to do things that are not directly in the Ministry. I love accounting, but I also knew that I wanted a family and that I needed to put them first. So, in 2011, I made the decision to leave a very demanding job in public accounting to work for my current employer. The decision was not easy but I knew that, if I was going to make time to meet a husband, and put my family first, I needed a less demanding job. I was very blessed that my new job was still challenging but did not require any overtime.
In the following year, I met and married the love of my life. Once we were married, I had to move three hours away. However, since tax accounting is all done online I was able to keep my same job. Shortly after getting married, my husband and I were very happy to learn that we were pregnant. Sadly, into our second trimester, we lost the baby. A little over a year later we found ourselves pregnant again. We were very overjoyed but were also very concerned because we never were given a reason for our first loss. As I was just turning 22 weeks, our concerns were confirmed when I was diagnosed with cervical insufficiency.
I had dilated to three centimeters and my water had broken even though I had no pain and very few warning signs. Our doctor told us that we were going to lose the baby, but that we could try staying on complete bed rest to see if I could keep pregnant long enough to give our baby a chance. With the Lord’s help, I was able to stay pregnant for another week and in May of 2014 our baby girl, Hope Dawn was born 17 weeks early – a week before official “viability.” She was 1 pound 2.7 ounces and 10.5 inches. At her birth, we heard her little cry! But, it took us eight more weeks after that to hear her cry again, as she was intubated for her first few months.
Many times during our NICU journey, the nurses would comment on our strength and happiness. It only came from the Lord. I would always tell them that my husband and I knew what it was like to leave the hospital with empty arms. As long as our daughter’s heart was beating, we had the possibility to take her home. And for that every day we rejoiced! The NICU road was tough, but she became our “take home” baby! We were able to bring her home the week of her due date after a four-month NICU stay. She miraculously is doing wonderfully at home and has caught up to her adjusted age. She is now 3 and was discharged from all of her therapies in May.
After our daughter had been home a few months, the Lord led us to a doctor who was able to help us beat cervical insufficiency. In June of 2016, we had an 8-pound baby boy who came home from the hospital with us! I would not wish baby loss or the NICU on anyone, but I do know that what we have gone through makes us appreciate our “normal” experiences with our son all the more. The Lord has blessed us greatly!
When traumatic experiences happen to you, it can be hard to reconcile how God can let “bad” things happen to “good” people. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because we all are sinners, we all will face death one day….it just comes at different times for different people. Babies are not exempt from this. Because they are born into sin, they can also die and they can also experience the trauma of his life at a young age.
But, here comes the good part! Even though we all deserve death because of our sin, if we repent of our sins and believe in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins we will not perish, but will spend eternity with Him! (John 3:16). I had some great professors at Evangel who taught this concept to us many times. I believe that in today’s climate of false teaching it is important to remember that God does not love or take care of us because we are “good” or because of what we have done. He takes care of us because despite our sin He still loves us.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
I would tell them that when they are choosing a career to keep your long-term goals in sight. If you are a young woman and plan on having children, let that help guide you in deciding a career choice. Being a working mom is difficult, and no matter what you may think now, when you have children you will want them to be first in your life.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from EU/AGTS?
I would look for someone who is not afraid to work hard. I would also look for someone who knew that to get far you cannot expect to rise to the top right away. Success comes with hard work and determination.