German and accounting seem like totally unrelated fields. But Cami Townsend’s mastery of the foreign language gave her a leg up when switching professions. She spent 16 years as a German-English translator, specializing in transcribing freelance clients’ annual financial reports to investors. Once her career plateaued, joining Robinson’s Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) program was a logical next step.
“A graduate degree presented a pathway onward and upward,” Townsend said. “Robinson was willing to take me on, even though I didn’t have a business degree.”
Townsend serves as manager of business process outsourcing for Rödl and Partner, a Nuremberg, Germany-based firm that assists foreign-owned, inbound companies with their accounting, tax compliance, and business advisory needs. She initially interacted with Rödl at a career fair that Robinson hosted. But her LinkedIn profile is what eventually grabbed a recruiter’s attention, resulting in a job interview.
“The combination of my impending graduation with an MPA, being CPA bound, speaking German, and possessing accounting experience helped,” Townsend said. “A few weeks before the program ended, I got an offer.”
That was August 2015. Since joining the company as a staff accountant, Townsend has earned two promotions: to senior associate in 2018, then to manager just one year later.
“I wouldn’t say it’s unheard of, but that’s a faster-than-usual trajectory,” she said.
Townsend is a pragmatic person. She took a practical approach to passing the CPA exam. Her graduate coursework paired with Becker’s CPA Exam Review helped her rock every section. She also appreciated the sensible structure of the MPA program.
“The faculty had actually worked in public accounting firms and held CPA licenses themselves,” Townsend said. “What they emphasized in class had a big impact on my ability to be successful [at Rödl and Partner].”
Townsend made the right career shift. She’s one of the lucky people who loves her job.
“Of course there are days when I want to pull my hair out,” she laughed. “I work really long hours—not because someone asked me to, but because I want to.”