A record-breaking year for member involvement and new, innovative programming helped Beta Alpha Psi’s FIU chapter once again win Gold Chapter status, placing in the top three percent of chapters worldwide.
Gold Chapter status, awarded during the organization’s annual conference in August to the top 10 of 328 worldwide chapters, is a point of pride for the Eta Iota chapter at FIU. The chapter has consistently excelled in member engagement, career education and community service.
In 2017-8, the chapter broke its own record for hours by members, a factor in the Gold status, noted president William Roger. It also focused on innovation and inclusivity, as well as new initiatives focused on both building career preparation and philanthropic service opportunities for members.
To qualify for the annual award, “each year, we have to do something different and something better,” said chapter advisor Jimmy Carmenate, a School of Accounting faculty member. Chapters must produce a video highlighting that work to qualify for the award. This year’s diverse initiatives included a school beautification project and clean-up effort after Hurricane Irma, and also focused on career skills and service.
Professional firms, who want to promote careers in accounting, finance and management information systems to younger audiences, look to Beta Alpha Psi-FIU members to help build bridges through volunteering at organizations like Junior Achievement. The organization also helped promote the study of business analytics, an area of rising importance in the accounting and finance professions. Members spoke to FIU undergraduate accounting classes about the new Master of Accounting track in data analytics, a program designed to meet these needs.
Another chapter highlight: a seminar on ethics, featuring a well-known speaker, which won an award from the national organization. Programming also included a dining etiquette workshop, an important facet in developing “soft skills” for the job search process.
“In interviews, and especially in Miami,” Roger said, “everything revolves around food.”
Changing lives, channeling success.
Roger can attest to the difference Beta Alpha Psi can make in a student’s life. After two years as a student athlete majoring in engineering, he switched majors and joined the FIU chapter of the accounting honor society in spring 2017 after hearing about it from a friend.
“It seemed very authentic, more like a family atmosphere,” he said. Putting baseball behind him, he attended virtually every meeting, and put his energy into becoming active as possible. Within a year, he was chosen as president. After he graduates in December 2018, he’ll start an internship at PwC.
He sees strong similarities between the pursuit of athletic excellence and the work of Beta Alpha Psi. “Athletics taught me about dedication and motivation, and about limits. I always felt I could do more, and I learned I like accomplishing things,” he said. “Beta Alpha Psi brought that out.”
In addition to Roger, executive board members for Fall 2018 are Elias Gonzalez, president-elect; Alexis Lyew, vp of membership; Jessica Carrasco, vp of professional affairs; Julio Galvez, vp of service and reporting; Joaquin Garcia, treasurer; and Sam Carasa, vp of information technology.