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Student Story

Mustafa Mohammadi ’24, B.S./M.S., Accounting

Although he wrapped up his studies at St. Francis College (SFC) in December, Mustafa Mohammadi plans to participate in next month’s commencement exercises at the Kings Theatre and receive his diploma, summa cum laude, in person. Originally from Afghanistan, he left his homeland and family in his late teens to pursue his academic and professional dreams in the “vibrant metropolis” he calls New York City.

Why did you choose to enroll at St. Francis College?
I am incredibly fortunate to have been accepted into the scholarship program at the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education, where I explored various college options. St. Francis College distinguished itself for two reasons: its strategic location in the heart of New York City and the remarkable generosity of the College’s administration, which granted me a full academic scholarship. I am deeply grateful for the enriching educational experience I have had here and the invaluable connections I have forged. St. Francis College embodies the ethos of a small institution with big dreams.

What prompted you to pursue a career in accounting?
Recognizing accounting as the cornerstone of business comprehension, I’ve always had a passion for accounting. At St. Francis College, the exceptional accounting program played a pivotal role in fostering this passion. Through its rigorous curriculum and dedicated faculty, SFC provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the intricacies of business operations from the inside out.

As an international student, what was your experience like at SFC?
My experience was remarkably similar to that of local students. The College’s inclusive environment welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of nationality. While challenges are inherent, particularly when navigating a new country, I am pleased to share that my time at SFC was rewarding. The College provided a supportive community that not only facilitated my academic journey but also encouraged personal growth and cultural exchange. My overall experience at SFC was characterized by meaningful interactions and valuable learning opportunities, highlighting the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

What extracurricular activities were you involved in at SFC?­­
In my freshman year, I co-founded the Asian Society and went on to serve as its vice-president and, later, president. In my junior year, I was elected to serve as treasurer of the Student Government Association. I’ve also served as treasurer of the Accounting Society and, this past year, as vice-president. In the 2022-2023 academic year, I was honored to serve as president of the prestigious Duns Scotus Honor Society.

Is there a professor or person at SFC who has impacted you in a meaningful way — whether academically or on a personal level?
John Lombardo has been instrumental in my journey in accounting. More than a professor, he’s been a mentor, friend and source of unwavering support. Throughout my five years of study at SFC, I spent considerable time with him. I cherish the day we first met, in Room 3213 at 180 Remsen Street, during my elementary class. Professor Lombardo’s character, guidance and challenging courses have shaped me into a better student and individual. He’s someone I deeply admire and look up to.

What’s next for you?
Besides preparing to take the CPA exam, I was fortunate to receive numerous job offers when I finished my master’s. Opting for alignment with my finance background and interests, I accepted a position at RSM, an accounting firm, and will be joining their private-equity team, advising clients on deals.

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