The American Institute of CPAs announced on Monday that 103 minority college students have graduated from the 2018 Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop. Held in Atlanta, the three-day invitational program looks to build students’ professional and networking skills on their way to a successful career in the profession.

All participating students in the program have declared majors in accounting, finance or tax, and will pursue the CPA license. This year’s class of students represented a wide scope of universities and colleges across the United States and Puerto Rico.

“There’s a world of opportunities for talented students who want to go into one of the many professional areas in which CPAs operate today,” said Kim Drumgo, director of diversity and inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and vice chair of the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, in a statement. “The Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop provides minority students an in-depth look into the career options available for CPAs. This event sets up students for success by answering their questions about the accounting profession and giving them the knowledge and tools necessary to sit for the CPA Exam with confidence.”

Students were present for panel discussions and presentations with industry leaders including Barbara Williams, immediate past chair of the Georgia Society of CPAs; Jonna Martin, president of business etiquette training firm AdvanceMe Associates; Billy Williams, partner in audit practice at KPMG’s Houston office; and Claude Steele, professor of psychology at Stanford University. Discussed topics ranged from personal branding to networking techniques.

“As a first-generation college student, it was inspiring to hear from professionals in the accounting field who had similar backgrounds to mine, and it was wonderful to network with like-minded students from around the country,” stated Joyce Ozuna, a recent Master of Accounting graduate from Rice University. “It was evident that much thought and effort went into planning the conference, and I definitely recommend all qualified students look into attending ASLW.”

Candidates for the Leadership Workshop include ethnic minority sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students with majors in accounting, finance or tax. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be involved with campus and community activities and hold a Student Affiliate AICPA membership. Anyone with an interest in the program is also encouraged to apply.

AICPA building in Durham, N.C.
AICPA building in Durham, N.C. Photo: AICPA

For a full list of the 2018 Leadership Workshop graduates, head to the AICPA's site here.

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