Double major, student-athlete, and campus leader succeeds on and off the field
Time management is one of the most important skills a college student can master before venturing into their careers. As a dual major student-athlete whose held five leadership roles in student clubs and organizations, three on-campus jobs, and has completed two internships before her junior year, you can call Widline Thomas a master of time management.
Having made the Chancellor’s List (at least a 3.8 GPA) in three of her first four semesters at UMass Dartmouth, Thomas has been recognized as an exemplary student in the competitive Charlton College of Business (CCB).
What made you want to study accounting and finance?
"I always knew I was going to go into business, but I really fell in love with accounting my freshman year. Its structure just made sense to me. I chose to add finance as a double-major because accounting and finance complement each other well. Understanding one makes the other make more sense."
How difficult is it to double major?
"It’s challenging, but with two business programs you can 'double-dip' your prerequisites to count for both majors, so you really only have to take an extra six to eight classes. I’m planning to get my CPA after graduating, which means I need to earn 150 credits anyway. Spending the extra 30 credits on a program that complements my primary field works well."
What brought you to UMass Dartmouth?
"UMass Dartmouth was the perfect fit for me because it’s not too big, but not too small. You could tell that professors really care about you. Since CCB is also highly accredited, I knew this was the school for me. I wasn’t necessarily looking to play lacrosse, so it’s really a bonus to be able to do that as well."
On the field
Also a standout athlete, Thomas started right away for the women’s lacrosse team, causing two turnovers and recovering four ground balls a game as a freshman. As a sophomore, she added five goals and four assists from the defense, and was named to the LEC’s 2nd team All-Conference and All-Academic team.
What's the greatest reason for your success?
"My team. I play for them. They mean so much to me, and I know the girl next to me is working so hard. I always give my 110% so I don’t let them down."
What's your favorite part about the lacrosse team?
"The fun memories we’re creating. I’ve had bad days going into a team workout or practice and left with a huge smile on my face because of my teammates. I love that we’re an up-and-coming program, and also super welcoming and diverse. The coaches and athletic department in general are really supportive."
When school isn’t in session, Thomas has stayed busy with two internships at "big four" accounting firm Ernst & Young during her first two college summers. This upcoming summer, she’ll intern at another accounting giant, Deloitte.
Did you work remotely, in-person, or on a hybrid schedule?
"Going into my sophomore year (summer 2021) we were strictly online, but the following year we worked a hybrid schedule, spending about half the time in the office, half the time working from home."
What did your day-to-day look like?
"It was always changing because I worked in two-week rotational programs where I alternated between the audit, tax, and consulting teams. This upcoming summer I’ll be focusing on auditing and assurance at Deloitte’s Boston office."
How valuable have these internships been for you?
"Very. They’ve confirmed for me that I want to make a career in accounting and finance. Learning what you enjoy doing, as well as areas you don’t enjoy, is really valuable to know while you’re still in school and before you start a job full-time."
Would you recommend this internship to other accounting majors?
"Definitely. The Big 4 accounting firms really set themselves apart because of their flexibility to switch roles and meet so many coworkers with experience and advice. I met a lot of people and saw a lot of different routes taken that led to successful careers in accounting and finance. Seeing that makes me feel confident that whatever I do, I’ll find my way to the right path."
In "free time" Thomas enriches her leadership qualities, network, and project management skills with leadership roles as the Vice President of UMassD’s Beta Alpha Psi and Women in Business chapters, Treasurer of STEMming while Black, and Recording Secretary and Senator for the Charlton College of Business for the Student Government Association. She also works on-campus jobs as a Charlton College of Business Student Ambassador, Fitness Center Assistant, and former Admissions Ambassador.
How do these experiences enrich your college experience?
"I love clubs because they help me to branch out, meet a wide variety of people, and provide a different experience I otherwise wouldn’t have. It makes me more understandable, approachable, and expands my network with a lot of great people on this campus."
Each year, accountants are swamped for "busy season" from January to April as auditors review year-end earnings and tax filings. By staying so busy throughout the academic year, Thomas is well-prepared for the hectic life of a public accountant.
How do you find time for extracurriculars and hobbies?
"It’s easier to have a lot of things on my plate because my time is very structured. I use Outlook calendar to remind me of everything going on in my day. You’re always going to have professional, personal, and extracurricular responsibilities throughout adulthood. I think having a lot going on now will help me manage my time a lot better post-graduation."
Advice to others
"Appreciate every moment. Four years goes by very fast, so put yourself out there, and say yes to as many opportunities as you can to make the most of your experience."
"Widline is driven and highly passionate about her interests, and I suspect that that has helped her get to where she is today in each of these aspects of her life," said Women's Lacrosse Coach Meghan Griffin. "Her passion for lacrosse is evident in her energy on the field, in the way she plays the game, in how she invests her time to improve and perfect her technique. Her improvement on the field over the course of the 2021-22 academic year is truly impressive. Wid set a goal to become an all-conference player and she put in the work needed in order to achieve it. To me, it's no surprise that she's built such a strong résumé in business already and I know this quality in Widline will undoubtedly lend itself to a very successful professional career."