Last summer, when Ruxandra Badilas walked into the Ernst & Young office in downtown Los Angeles to begin her internship at the ‘Big 4’ accounting firm, she may not have realized just how significant the experience that she was about to begin would be for her. But this hard-working and highly social Accounting senior made such a great impression during her time at EY, she was offered a fulltime position on the Assurance Services staff when she graduates in December.
While Ruxandra’s work ethic and positive attitude helped her get the job offer from EY, she does not take all the credit. Woodbury’s Career Services department, as well as School of Business events like “Meet the Firms: Accounting Industry Night,” provided valuable assistance and critical networking opportunities that helped her secure the internship. In addition, Ruxandra’s mother leant her own form of assistance as well. “My mother has been my role-model and motivator,” she says. “She instilled a real strength of character and sense of positivity in me.”
Ruxandra was born in Bucharest, Romania and emigrated to the United States — and Southern California — as a 16-year-old high school student. After graduating from Hollywood High School in 2013, she began her studies at Santa Monica College where she graduated with an Associate’s degree in social and behavioral sciences. After taking some time off to work fulltime, Ruxandra transferred into Woodbury’s Accounting program in 2017.
“What I loved the most about Woodbury was the class sizes and the overall welcoming community,” she says. “From the first time that I stepped onto the campus, I immediately felt as if I was walking into my new home: comfortable, warm and safe. I was very attracted by the small-sized classrooms — I knew it would allow me to closely interact with both my professors and my colleagues.”
Ruxandra also appreciates that Woodbury places an emphasis on innovation while encouraging and allowing students to express their creativity and pursue their entrepreneurial impulses. Her engagement with Woodbury, however, does not end in the classroom. Ruxandra also serves at the vice president of finance for the Woodbury chapter of the global student organization, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO).
“CEO has opened many doors for me and allowed me to build strong connections with the people at the headquarters of the organization, as well as with other members of the organization’s board and professionals in the working world,” Ruxandra says. “Moreover, my work with CEO has allowed me to collaborate with other organizations on campus — hosting important events and strengthened my own organizational and team-playing skills.”
The key for Ruxandra is to focus on her long-term goals. “I’ve established a mindset that hard work will pay off in the long run,” she says. Those goals included getting her CPA licensure and eventually returning to Woodbury to obtain her MBA. Ruxandra also hopes ultimately to pursue a career in forensic accounting.
“I have a strong passion for justice and I also very much enjoy helping others,” she says. “I hope to have the opportunity to use my experience and my resources to focus on those goals in the future.”