50 Notable Alumni

Alyssa Combs

Assistant Vice President, Internal Auditor, First Busey Corporation, Urbana, Illinois

Associates in Science

Business Administration


Alyssa initially enrolled at Parkland to become a Certified Nurse’s Assistant, “And Parkland gave me the opportunity. This was important because through the practical courses and lectures I realized I was not as interested in nursing as a career path as I had originally thought,” she said. So she turned to accounting instead and after graduating from Parkland with a degree in Business Administration in 2005, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy in 2007 and a Master’s of Accounting Science in 2008 both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In 2008, Alyssa joined the United States Department of Defense Office of Inspector General as an Auditor for Readiness and Operations Support. A year later she transitioned to the Acquisition and Contract Management Directorate and then Joint and Southwest Asia Operations Directorate in 2011.

After working five years in the Defense Office of Inspector General, Alyssa returned to the Champaign-Urbana area and now has a career at First Busey Corporation as Assistant Vice President, Internal Auditor.

Alyssa is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Global War on Terror in 2012; named Auditor of the Year for Joint and Southwest Asia Operations Directorate in 2012; and with her team received the United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator Team of the Year in 2015.

Skilled in Sign Language, Alyssa volunteers an Interpreter for the Deaf, translating songs, conversations, and sermons in Sign Language. Her nominator remarked “She not only works in these amazing jobs, she volunteers her time wherever she goes, from serving her peers during college at the Baptist Housing Ministry to now volunteering through the United Way with several projects around town.”

Alyssa’s most memorable moment “was really a memorable class rather than just a moment. (After changing her mind about a nursing career) the next semester I took a variety of classes to see what else I could do. One of those classes was my Financial Accounting class. As I listened to lectures on T-accounts, debits, and credits, I realized that I loved all the rules that I was learning about. Parkland’s variety of classes and experiences and the ease with which I could try new areas of study allowed me to find a career path that gave me a fun and adventurous first job as well as a career that I truly enjoy.”