Growing and Learning in all Aspects of Life

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Melissa Larson

Assistant Teaching Professor, Accountancy


I was the first in my family (mom, dad, brothers, sisters, and cousins) to attend a university. I have always loved to read and found great fulfillment in obtaining knowledge. I wasn’t naturally smart but I knew that if I worked hard, put in the necessary time and studied on a consistent basis, I could achieve my goal of attending a university. My family could not afford a college education so I had to work hard to obtain an academic scholarship and work part-time to help pay for school. Yes, I received a full-ride academic scholarship, an excellent education, graduated with a master’s degree from the top accounting program in the nation and had multiple job opportunities—but that is not what I love about my education. I cherish my education because it helped me to become a little closer to the person that my Heavenly Father wants me to become and it was the best preparation for becoming a mother. Through my education I learned about sacrifice, commitment, responsibility and discipline. I learned to balance different aspects of my life, manage a rigorous schedule, work in groups, be open to other perspectives, and learn to compromise as needed.

As busy and challenging as college life was, my life is more complex now. I have a full-time job teaching 1,100 students this semester in an introductory accounting course, a demanding church calling, 4 very active children, and a wonderful spouse. Every week is a balancing act as I try to fulfill all of these roles adequately. In the Marriott School I learned how to manage a business, and now in partnership with my husband, I am the manager of my household. I manage the resources in our home, schedule all the activities for our family, help with homework, and help my children develop in their respective personalities and achievements. My education prepared me for rigorous schedules and challenges and gave me the confidence that I need to press forward.

I am raising the next generation of my family tree and they need my strength and talents to help them. Daily I rely upon my Savior to guide and direct me through personal scripture study and prayer to know how better to serve my family with the skills that I have developed. The skills and patterns that I learned while gaining my education are eternal patterns and behaviors. When we are learning we are progressing and when we are progressing we are productive and happy.

My learning did not end with my formal education. I still seek to grow and learn in all aspects of my life. In the last couple of years I have taken a ski instructor course, golf lessons, a Doctrine and Covenants Class and started learning Spanish. Learning is a life-long pursuit and if there is anything “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”




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