Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Clara Jean Light

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Clara Jean Light

Business Savvy

As a former graduate assistant and business development specialist for the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, Clara Jean Light gained savvy business sense working with an array of industries ranging from green businesses to software companies.

Light, who was named the Innovation Center’s 2011 Student of the Year, wrote business plans, analyzed financial data and assisted in writing grants totaling $2.4 million for the Innovation Center.

“I don’t think I could have gained this experience anywhere else,” said Light, who graduated with a Master of Accountancy in December 2011. “I had the opportunity to be involved in the different aspects of 55 small businesses within the Innovation Center and in the excitement of taking the business owner’s idea and running with it.”

Light, a native of Charleston, S.C., earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in December 2010. Her interest in small businesses came from observing her father operate his own business which sold prosthetics and orthotics in Charleston.

“Growing up and experiencing my dad's joys and pains of operating his small business has helped me to relate to clients at the Innovation Center,” said Light.

While attending classes at the University, she juggled three jobs, maintained a 3.7 grade point average, and was a member of the YWCA Corpus Christi Chapter’s Finance Committee. In addition, she was a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Junior Achievement instructor who taught 11th grade students about entrepreneurship. In 2011, she received the Texas Society of CPAs Corpus Christi Chapter Accounting Excellence Award, and was awarded a scholarship from the Chapter that same year.

Light started off the New Year by accepting a position in private client services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Houston, Texas.
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