Lilit Davtyan, SB12, received her BBA in Accounting from Woodbury University and is currently the CEO of Phonexa, an all-in-one suite for marketing automation. Lilit also earned a Master of Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. She has served as an official member of the Forbes Finance Council and currently serves on the Forbes Business Council. We caught up with Lilit to discuss her time at Woodbury and her journey after graduation.
I was offered a full ride through scholarship and financial aid at Woodbury University. In addition to this being a large contributing factor to my decision, I was also aware that many of my professors (especially on the accounting & finance side) would have Ph.D. level education and/or strong business expertise, so I was excited to learn from such scholars and educators.
My experience was interesting, rewarding, and challenging. Juggling among classes, group projects, a part-time job, and studying to maintain a perfect grade point average, I gained a considerable amount of experience in time management, self-discipline, and thriving under pressure. These experiences and challenges gave me confidence and shaped my ability to express myself, apply my knowledge to work, manage difficult situations, and even change career paths in ways that were deemed risky or “too soon” by others.
After graduating from Woodbury, I received my Master of Business Tax (MBT) from USC, got my CPA license in the process, and was recruited to PricewaterhouseCoopers. All of these were perfect resume steps, and I’m proud to have accomplished them. After two years in public accounting, I knew it wasn’t for me in terms of a task-driven career, large corporate infrastructure, and less than ideal career advancement timeline. I took a risk and joined a pre-revenue startup company in the marketing technology space with finance focused products, as its 6th official employee. Since that change, I’ve been part of the tremendous growth of this company, part of starting additional affiliated companies globally, and part of a team that now proudly manages over 200 employees in 3 different countries. I am also currently the CEO of a technology company that is dominated by female C-Suite executives.
One tip I have for students is that while education and degrees will provide a great foundational support for your career, finding the right path and advancing within it is 100% up to you as an individual. So go get those soft skills, work on your organization, and take on challenges – all of these will shape you as a hard-working and skilled asset for companies.
Last Updated on April 26, 2022.