Bob Levy of New York City-based Levy & Associates called to tell me about a CPA Career Day and The Singing CPA. I thought the idea a superb one. You see, students from the Academy of Finance schools in New York City had the opportunity to get a firsthand look inside the world of accounting at this year’s CPA Career Day, an event that featured speakers from Goldman Sachs as well as music from “The Singing CPA,” who played songs spiced with accounting-related lyrics. Sponsored by the Academy of Finance and the New York Society of CPAs, it was attended by high school students, many of whom are considering the field of accounting in their future. According to Joshelyn Vivas, a junior at John Dewey High School, the event was not only informative but motivating, as well. “After listening to the speakers it makes me want to be a CPA and take the exam. An accounting firm is where I want to be.” Julie Levin, a Goldman Sachs vice president in their tax department, notes that putting in the hours is one of the most surprising things for students. “I kind of tell people that you’re likely to start out working about 55 hours and that doesn’t include email time, coffee, or lunch breaks.” Regina Flannery, Director of the Academy of Finance, points out, “The fact that the students have the opportunity to gain access to successful professionals in the accounting field will prove extremely beneficial. What we’re really trying to do is give the students a three-dimensional look at a potential career choice. While many of these students may not choose accounting as their profession, they’ll at least have had the chance to see what the field has to offer.” This is extremely important says Levin because in the end she feels that it’s really the students who have to decide what they want to do with their future. “No one can make that decision for them. It’s all about taking your career in your own hands. If you want to do international travel, you really have to let people know.” Providing much of the entertainment was Steven Zelin, also known as “The Singing CPA.” He currently works at Societe Generale, a large corporate investment bank, in addition to having his own consulting CPA practice. “I enjoy sharing my experience as a CPA with young people,” says Zelin. “A lot of the students think first off that being a CPA is all about the numbers, but it’s really being able to work well with other people as well as understanding business and accounting concepts.” He adds that becoming a CPA provides a strong foundation for many types of careers in business. “I think that the training you get from studying accounting provides a terrific foundation for developing a good financial perspective on life.” He also stresses that becoming a member of the NYS Society of CPAs would be a sound financial investment to students looking to go into the field. The Academy of Finance is a partnership of the New York City Department of Education, the National Academy Foundation, and the New York business community. The Academy introduces students to a variety of career opportunities in the financial services industry while equipping them with the conceptual and practical tools they need to choose their future profession. The National Academy Foundation creates partnerships between business leaders and education through an innovative educational model. Its small public school-based learning communities empower high school students to successfully go on to higher education and professions of their choosing. Thanks, Bob.
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