Contact: Lisa Sollie
MERIDIAN, Miss.— A first-generation college student from Collinsville is the Outstanding Graduate Student in the Division of Business for Fall 2022 at Mississippi State University-Meridian.
Recently married, Alanna Boyken spent the past few months keeping up with her college studies while on the road due to her husband’s military career. Immediately after their September wedding, the couple moved to Milton, Florida, for flight school and then transferred to Kingsville, Texas, for continued flight training.
“It’s definitely been a real whirlwind these past few months, so I was surprised and quite honored to receive this recognition,” she said. “I couldn’t have accomplished everything I did without the support of my husband and parents.”
Boyken earned a Bachelor of Accountancy degree at Mississippi State in Spring 2021 while working in corporate accounting at Van Zyverdan, one of the largest wholesale distributors of flower bulbs in the U.S. After graduation she wanted to explore public accounting and went to work for Kemp, Williams, Steverson and Bernard, a CPA firm in Meridian. While at the firm, she became interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
“When I looked into the requirements to take the CPA exam, I discovered I needed 150 hours of college credit,” Boyken noted. “I had about 100 hours after my bachelor’s degree, and if I went back to school to earn my MBA, that would be give me another 50 hours. I investigated the MBA program at MSU-Meridian since I had loved going to school here for my undergraduate degree. When I saw the GMAT was waived, I applied.”
“I’ve always been a business-oriented person and I thought I might own my own business someday," Boyken continued. "So, earning an MBA made sense to me. The degree would allow me to earn the college hours I need to take the CPA exam, while also giving me greater flexibility for employment, especially since my husband will have to move from one duty station to another due to his military career. One of the best things about this program was I didn’t have to quit work but could continue my studies.”
A native of Meridian, Boyken is excited to experience another part of the country.
“I’ve lived here my whole life, so I am enjoying exploring Kingsville. I want to get settled before I figure out my next step. For now, I want to just enjoy my new home and spend time with my husband and let the new year ring in a new path for my future.”