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On the Path to Making a Difference Upon completing her Bachelor’s/Master’s Combined Program, Laura Guillossou plans to use what she’s learned at Kogod to help change the world.

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Courtesy of Will Diamond

When Laura Guillossou talks about her time at Kogod, one word comes to mind: hustle. Guillossou is in the Bachelor's/Master's Combined Program and is on track to complete her degrees in just four years even though the program is usually a five-year commitment. A self-proclaimed accounting nerd, Guillossou specialized in business and accounting, which allowed her to pursue her passions while taking a variety of electives, and will receive her master’s in accounting.

In addition to her coursework, Guillossou also is involved in extracurricular activities on campus. She has been a Kogod student ambassador, held a student government position, and dedicated time to tutoring her peers. Her innate drive and desire to learn helped her balance what could be a sometimes-hectic schedule.

“I work better with a challenge,” she said.

Guillossou’s persistence and passion is nothing new; her interest in business and aspiration to change the world was inspired by her parents. Her father, who worked at the World Bank since before she was born, found meaning in his career by striving to help others. Guillossou recalls learning about her father’s human change-focused work as a defining moment.

“From that moment on, I was like, ‘I’m going into business in some way, shape, or form,’” she said. “My mom comes from a lower-class background, and that also instilled in me the desire to change. [Together, they] instilled in me both the business side and the idea of trying to make a difference.”

Guillossou has put the lessons she learned from her parents into practice both at Kogod and in Washington, DC. One semester, Guillossou participated in the Washington Initiative Program, a Kogod program that connects students with the non-profit Community Tax Aid. Students work with staff to help DC residents from low-income backgrounds prepare their tax returns.

“It was a way to get experience in your career but also to make a small difference,” she said. “People forget that change doesn’t have to be a change the world sort of thing, it’s just being able to help others.”

In addition to life on campus, she also won an internship with KPMG as an Incoming Federal Audit and Insurance intern. From August to November 2018, Guillossou worked closely with her assigned team and had the opportunity to see the different components of an audit.

“My experience at KPMG was really interesting,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work in a big firm. I saw it as another challenge. Being able to get the internship was very exciting.”

From her coursework to her internship, the Guillossou’s experiences at Kogod have manifested into a future in the business world where she can have a profound impact on the industry. After graduation, she has a full-time opportunity with KPMG waiting, where she plans to put her knowledge and experience to work. 

“I would have never thought that accounting could make a change,” Guillossou said. “Kogod has always emphasized taking the knowledge we’ve learned and making sure we develop something out of that.”

With the lessons her father and mother taught her ringing in her ears, Guillossou is ready to enter the business world and use what she’s learned to change it for the better.

Learn more about the bachelor's/master's combined program