LAUREN BE • BE INDIVIDUAL
Learn about why this Orange County native fell in love with Bakersfield and how she enjoys being part of this thriving community of diverse people.
Lauren Be • Tax CPA at Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman
I came to Bakersfield in 2004 from Long Beach, CA which is in between Los Angeles and Orange County. I relocated to Bakersfield because life happens. My husband lived and worked here, and at first I was hesitant. Coming from a huge metropolis to a smaller area, I really didn’t know what to expect and thought nothing much would be going on here - I was wrong.
Our community is becoming more diverse in leisure and culture as well as dining options since I’ve been here. There’s always something going on or something to do, and it’s never a dull moment.
We have the C.A.L.M. lights during the holidays, First Fridays in downtown, and new Bakersfield restaurants popping up all the time so that I no longer have to leave town to get good boba tea, yummy sushi, or delicious ramen. If you’re looking for things to do in Bakersfield, you don’t have to look far. There are fun things happening every weekend and lots of things to do during the week. The Rabobank Arena brings in bands from all over, and we have very talented local artists and musicians providing live entertainment.
The community is also tight-knit. Back in SoCal, I didn’t know any of my neighbors because it was such a large community, it was hard to connect with people. Whereas here in Bakersfield, I know the parents of my kids’ friends and my neighbors by their first name. People are real here, and it makes all the difference.
Most people think that there’s no work here or if there is, they would think work here is simple and boring. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. With the lower cost of living, along with competitive compensation, local firms are quite attractive. Jobs in Bakersfield are ripe for the picking with a variety of career opportunities to choose from, and plenty of quality job openings that are more than worth it to relocate for. I find my work here even more challenging and there’s always something to keep you interested. You won’t be pigeonholed into one type of specialty or industry.
You’re an individual here, you’re a someone. In bigger cities, you’re just a number or a little ant - in this city you can become someone. This city makes it easy to make a big positive impact in the community. For example, when I first transferred to Cal State University of Bakersfield, I joined the local accounting club and was able to voice my opinions about events we should throw and activities we should engage in. I was able to truly make a difference by putting together an event that became the biggest fundraising initiative for the club. It was so successful that it is now held annually. I made my mark.
The same thing happened when I joined the local chapter of CalCPA, a professional association. Even though I’m a young professional, I was able to land positions as director, treasurer, and even president at one point. I made an impact by reviving the local chapter and preventing it from being shut down by the “corporate" CalCPA board.
My favorite thing about this community is that it gives you opportunity and provides you the platform to be the ultimate version of yourself. You have the chance to put forth your input and truly create your own legacy in the community.