By Quinton R. Arthur
The gender diversity was well represented in the Accounting club panel. On Sep. 24, the Accounting Club hosted a panel discussion about the profession, featuring a panel of women from diverse backgrounds in the industry.
The meeting began with a brief introduction to the Illinois CPA Society, a professional organization aimed at helping students grow and develop in Accounting. The Illinois CPA Society, one of the largest CPA Societies in the nation, provides many benefits for students who join.
For students who take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) examination, the Illinois CPA Society provides tuition reimbursements for them. There is no cost to students who have not yet completed their 150 course hours required for the CPA examination.
Next, there was a question and answer with the panelists, who each gave their background and professional matriculation.
Meghan Rzepczynski majored in Accounting and pursued internships at each company she was interested in. She has worked with three of the big four accounting firms before settling with PCW. Rzepczynski believes that accounting jobs require strong communication skills.
“Even though a majority of our work is sitting behind a desk, we still communicate with other co-workers and speak frequently on the phone,” Rzepczynski said. “That requires a lot of people skills.”
Charlene Rhinehart envisioned herself as a dancer, but was influenced by her mother that accountancy was a more of a lucrative career path. Rhinehart imaginatively described her career path as a love story, first falling in love with PCW, but then eventually marrying JP Morgan Chase. Though she chose accounting, she still has the opportunity to showcase her personality as the bank’s “Ms. Corporate America 2015.” Rhinehart says that networking never stops, even in the professional field.
“Continue networking with as many mentors you can,” Rhinehart stated. “Take as much information as you can and grow professionally.”
Martrice Caldwell knew that she wanted to combine her passion for math and business and accountancy seemed like the best path for her to accomplish that. Caldwell currently is stationed at a local branch of the YMCA, a non-for-profit that utilizes her skills in data analyzing.
“One thing I wish I did more of is learn all the different functions of excel,” says Caldwell. “Almost everything I do requires use of the software in various forms.”
In preparing for the required CPA examination, taking review courses for each section, and utilizing the resources of the accounting education resource Becker help propel each professional to success.
Abhitej Singh, an accounting graduate student, trusts the advice offered by the panelist.
“I really want focus on my CPA examination soon,” Singh said. “This program helped me sharpen my accounting skills and focus.”