This past January, 25 minority college students were fortunate enough to receive top-notch training and resources in the transition from student to professional at the Illinois CPA Society’s Mary T. Washington Wylie (MTWW) Internship Preparation Program.

Over the course of the three-day program, students learned from accounting and finance professionals from leading firms and organizations as diverse ranging from the Chicago White Sox, Exelon, and The Field Museum. Additionally, the Careers in Accounting Panel addressed various career paths, sharing stories of how they found their niche in accounting, daily workload expectations, and how to be successful in similar roles.

In the four years since the MTWW's inception, 100 students representing 37 schools have participated. To date, 69 students have received one or more internship or other offers due to the program, with 24 students having received a full-time offer.

“This experience changed my life. I learned so many beneficial lessons about my professional presence, attitude, and etiquette, which will allow me to soar in my future career,” said Valencia Pringle, MTWW scholar, per a statement.

Overall, students participated in sessions dedicated to business ethics, team building, interview skills, and the CPA exam. Students also had one-on-one time with recruiters to receive feedback and then make edits to their resumes.

“Every volunteer truly cared about my success in the program and my future in the CPA profession. I am walking away with a greater sense of self-confidence after I received helpful resume tips, interview advice, and learned all about the CPA exam,” stated AuQuan Mack, another MTWW scholar.

“It is incredible to witness the transformation of these students over the course of only three days. These students represent the future of the CPA profession, and it is our responsibility to help them succeed,” said Illinois CPA Society President/CEO Todd Shapiro in a statement.

The all-expenses-paid program is funded by donations to the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois’ Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund, with additional support from the following firms: Crowe Horwath, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Sikich.

For more information on the Mary T. Washington Wylie Program, head to the ICPASsite here.