Accounting students gain valuable experience at national workshop . . . for free.

Where can a group of talented accounting students from all over the country meet for sessions on networking, mentoring and techniques to prepare for and pass the CPA exam plus conduct self-assessments to determine their personality and working style?

At the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, held in Peachtree City, Georgia from May 28-30, 2009-part of the 40th anniversary of the Minority Initiatives Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

George Willie, CPA, Bert Smith & Co. and Sharon Lassar Cat Norman Photography/www.catnorman.com
George Willie, CPA, Bert Smith & Co. and Sharon Lassar

“The theme ‘CPAs: Embracing a New Era’ is telling of the changes on the horizon for the CPA profession and how students can prepare themselves to maximize their talents, knowledge and diverse experiences into becoming successful professionals,” said Elizabeth DeBragga, coordinator diversity, work/life and women’s initiatives at AICPA.

From left to right: Daniel Zamora, Naisla Sabie and Ramon Medina Cat Norman Photography/www.catnorman.com
From left to right: Daniel Zamora, Naisla Sabie and Ramon Medina

College of Business Administration students David Bello, Ramon Medina, Ana Isis Rodriguez, Rosmery Osuna (BACC ’09), Naisla Sabie and Daniel Zamora were among the 89 participants from 26 states and Puerto Rico. Sharon Lassar, director, School of Accounting and member of the Minority Initiatives Committee, presented “How to Pass the CPA Exam” and participated in a panel discussion on “Life as a CPA.”

From left to right: Rosmery Osuna, David Bello and Ana Isis Rodriguez Cat Norman Photography/www.catnorman.com
From left to right: Rosmery Osuna, David Bello and Ana Isis Rodriguez

Students put values, knowledge and creativity to the test.

For Medina, president-elect of the Florida International University Accounting Association (FIU-AA), the all-expense paid trip provided an “opportunity to make contact with future leaders from across the country.”

In one activity, teams of four or five from different schools presented a case study to a hypothetical board of directors.

“Ours involved a stockbroker whose client had weather information that could affect coffee bean futures,” he said. “We had to decide whether the stockbroker should use that information herself. We decided she shouldn’t, and rather than deliver a traditional presentation, we worked creatively and prepared a skit.”

Zameer Upadhya (BACC ’02), chair and co-founder, BabySpot.com, himself an attendee in 2001 and now South Region Director of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), selected the students.

All photos courtesy of Cat Norman Photography.

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