Mentors and mentees meet at launch of new School of Accounting program.

For Yevegniy “Jimmy” Vinitskiy (BBA ’07), who completed the School of Accounting’s one-year “Certificate in Foundations of Accounting and Auditing” and is now a student in the Executive Master of Science in Taxation (EMST) at Florida International University (FIU), having a mentor means a chance to “became a better person, to grow as a professional, individual and student.”

For Ben Diaz (MST ’96, BACC ’95), managing director, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand, LLC, having a mentee “enables me to participate in an effort whose benefits I have seen for other students and our firm.”

And for Fred Campos (MACC ’01, BACC ’98), senior manager, transaction advisory services, Ernst & Young LLP, who heads the sub-committee of the School of Accounting Alumni Affinity Council (SOAAAC) which fashioned the program, mainly for undergraduates, “I believe the program will be another way the school enhances the experiences of its students.”

Fred Campos

Mentoring isn’t about networking, though valuable relationships will develop.

The program officially kicked off at an April breakfast at which 29 mentors and mentees spent time with each other at the College of Business Administration.

According to Sharon Lassar, director, School of Accounting, the pairs will meet at least two times each semester, once on campus and once in a venue determined by the two parties.

A lively breakfast meeting brought the first group of 29 pairs of mentors and mentees together.

Diaz, SOAAAC co-chair, who has been active as a recruiter—coaching students on how to interview and prepare a résumé as well as providing guidance on potential career paths—has already met with Vinitskiy for lunch and plans to bring him to his firm for the off-campus session.

“I want him to meet with people at different levels so he is exposed to professionals to whom he can express his interests and so we can give him feedback,” Diaz said.

That suits Vinitskiy.

“I know that he is very busy, but I want to learn as much as possible about taxation from him, and have the opportunity to meet with other professional accountants,” he said.

Lassar notes that additional students have expressed an interest in the new mentorship offering and she hopes to have more mentors lined up for the fall semester.


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