Colleen Quaglia ’21 is best known at Saint Rose for her accomplishments in the pool, as she holds multiple Saint Rose records, is a multi-time Northeast-10 Conference champion, and qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2019 and 2020. But don’t discount her abilities in the classroom, as the Accounting BS/MS major is a familiar name on the NE10 Academic Honor Roll.
Fortunately for Golden Knights Swimming and Diving, she’ll have an extra season of eligibility due to the pandemic, so she isn’t leaving us quite yet. Read about that in more in this interview with Quaglia.
What drew you to the field of accounting?
I knew I wanted to go into business, but I was not sure what exact degree I wanted to pursue. When I was in high school, I realized that I really liked math and working with numbers which led me to decide that accounting would be the best field for me to go into. I really am glad that I chose this path for myself.
What drew you to Saint Rose – was it the swim team or something else?
I am from the area and I know many Saint Rose graduates. They all spoke very highly of Saint Rose. Also, both of my sisters went to Saint Rose. A few of my past swim coaches were from Saint Rose and I really liked their coaching techniques which were similar to my coach, Keith Murray’s coaching. When I met Coach Murray, I knew he would help me become a better swimmer. I thought about where I wanted to be after college, if I were to stay in the Capital District, I felt that the professors here would help me with connections in the area. Once I decided I wanted to stay in the area, I knew it was the right choice for me.
How did competing at the highest level in collegiate athletics – including the NCAA Championships – help you grow as a student?
Honestly, I have always been a student-athlete. Being a student-athlete at Saint Rose helped me grow further as a student because I had the support of my coach, team, and faculty. As I get closer to finishing my degrees, I know that working hard and being dedicated will be important to succeeding in my career.
Have you done an internship? If so, where and what did you gain from the experience?
I worked at Teal, Becker, and Chiaramonte CPAs in the spring of 2020. I really enjoyed my experience and gained a lot of tax knowledge. I realized that tax is likely not the specific area I wanted to go into with my accounting degree. I also was able to learn how to navigate work throughout a global pandemic and I had to be disciplined to work from home. I learned a lot of valuable skills including understanding about tax code, tax forms, and what tax documents are important.
Are you pursuing a master’s degree next? (Did you gain an extra year of athletic eligibility due to the pandemic?)
Due to COVID, I am gaining an extra year of athletic eligibility. Since I am in the accounting dual-degree program (BS/MS), I will complete both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I was on track to complete this in four years, graduating this May. Since I will continue at Saint Rose, I have added a sports management minor. This provides me with additional coursework, widening my opportunities.
What are your career goals?
Right now, I am interested in two types of jobs. I am interested in going into governmental accounting, such as working for the state. I am also considering pursuing a sales consultant position.
Will you stay active as a swimmer even after your career as a student-athlete is over?
I will most likely swim after my career is over because swimming is an escape for me and is a stress reliever. Swimming has always been a passion of mine. I could not imagine it not being a part of my life.