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MAcc student's long journey

March 22, 2012, Nicole Trainor

${image-alt} MAcc student Arslan Jumakuliyev

Originally from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Arslan Jumakuliyev has overcome many challenges to be where he is today. Currently in his last semester at SIU as a Master of Accountancy student with a focus in taxation, Arslan will graduate in May 2012. He will then join the “Big 4” accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, as a tax professional, in their office in Chicago, Illinois.

At the age of 17, he left home to study accountancy at Saratov State Socio Economic University in Saratov, Russia. When he was one year away from graduating with his degree, he felt the urge to seek a better quality education in the United States.  With minimal knowledge of the English language and limited support from his family, Arslan took the risk and dropped out of the school in Russia and made his way to the US.


“I knew this was not going to be easy for me since I didn’t know anyone and spoke little English. I knew I was going to have to work twice as hard in order to achieve my goal of becoming a tax professional,” states Arslan. “On top of all that, I had to transfer from one university to another to earn better scholarships that allowed me to continue working towards my degree.”


Over the course of four years Arslan attended Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, The College of Albemarle in Elizabeth City, NC, and Minnesota State University Mankato in Mankato, MN, where Arslan graduated with honors. There, he earned a double bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance.


“Every time I moved to a new state I faced new challenges and hardships, but I had to keep going. What once seemed an impossible task finally became a reality for me. However, I did not stop. After earning my degrees from MNSU, I decided to transfer to Southern Illinois to attend my 5th university for my Masters of Accountancy degree.”


After attending five universities throughout his college career, Arslan and his education have been impacted by many of his accounting professors along the way. He made special mention of faculty members Marc Morris, Raymond Wacker, Julie Sobery, Marcus Odom and Allan Karnes at SIU, but Arslan would not have come to Carbondale if it weren’t for Paul Brennan, a professor he had while attending MNSU. Brennan happens to be a graduate of the MAcc program at SIU, and he referred Arslan once he saw his potential to pursue his graduate degree.


Of all the hardships Arslan has faced and overcome throughout his journey, he feels the hardest thus far has been not being able to see his family for the past seven years. Nevertheless, Arslan had a goal and he went for it. His story is proof that hard work and determination can help you reach your goal, no matter how challenging the journey may seem.