On the Court, in the Classroom, as a Co-op: Zoya Excels

by Laura Merrill, Manager of Cooperative Education

Zoya Filippova didn’t choose U of L—U of L chose Zoya. As captain of the national volleyball team in Russia, she stood out among her peers. So much so that Leonid Yelin, U of L’s volleyball coach, called her three and a half years ago and asked her to play for the Cards. That was good news for U of L academically. It’s a long way from Moscow School # 786 to Louisville, Kentucky, but that didn’t hinder Zoya’s academic prowess. According to accounting professor Christy Burge, “Zoya was one of our top accounting graduating seniors. She overcame culture and language difficulties as a foreign student. She illustrated leadership skills in the classroom and on the volleyball court. She is an outstanding individual.”

Zoya excelled in her accounting studies and was chosen by the accounting faculty as the Outstanding Senior for Commencement for May 2005. With a GPA of 3.8 and her leadership role in her volleyball team, that is not surprising.

During the spring semester of her senior year, Zoya completed an accounting co-op with Jefferson Financial Group, where she got hands-on training in accounting. As staff accountant, she handled everything from preparing year-end taxes for corporations and individuals and managing accounts payable/receivable to preparing and analyzing year-end and monthly financial statements.

Coach Yelin isn’t surprised at her accomplishments off the court. “Zoya’s responsibilities and duties within our team equipped her with the confidence and direction to pursue her dreams in the world of business.”

Zoya’s leadership skills, attention to detail, and her ability to be a team player helped land her the job. Key to Zoya’s success at Jefferson Financial is her confidence.

Says Zoya, “First of all, I believe in myself and what I can do. I know that I will be successful and I know I am a strong person. I’m not afraid to ask questions and to try to figure things out myself. I try to analyze things, find supporting documentation, and then get approval for what I figured out.”

Also important to her success was the knowledge she gained in the classroom. Zoya was able to tap into all of the theory she learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life business situations. “I felt prepared in terms of theory, but I gained practical experience by working in the real-life situation.”

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