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Future Accountants Learn to be Leaders

Kogod students Minju Park and Ross Wittenberg at the Virginia Society of CPAs Leadership Institute. Photo courtesy of VSCPA.

Sitting down to breakfast, lunch and dinner with accounting professionals was an experience a textbook could not offer aspiring accountant Minju Park, BSBA '11.

Park talked with the industry experts and learned they had the same fears about jobs and exams when they were in college that she has now. The young professional accountants shared with Park how they dealt when they were in her shoes.

The opportunity to sit down with accounting professionals at a weekend program for future accountants was a rewarding experience, Park said.

She and other Kogod students attended the Leadership Institute, a summer leadership program for future Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the area. The students honed their career building and leaderships skills at the institute, sponsored by the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA).

Over 70 of the area's top undergraduate accounting students attended the development program, the only one of its kind in Virginia. They all have exceptional academic achievements and a keen interest in business and professional services.

“VSCPA offered lectures on useful business tips and ideas from real CPAs that we can’t get out of textbooks,” Park said.

The program was a unique experience, she said, teaching the future CPAs what leadership means in a business setting or how to handle themselves when dealing with clients over the dinner table.

The students attended hands-on workshops where field professionals offered their perspectives on accounting and career building skills.

Break out sessions like "I've Got a Salary, Now What?" and "Business Etiquette" offered students and firms networking opportunities. Students had a chance to meet with industry professionals and firms got to know the CPAs of the future.

Kogod students who attended this summer's Leadership Institute include: Minju Park, Ross Wittenberg, Rachel Amendolagine, Chris Brown, Cheryl Chan, Brandon Colet, Kaitlyn Rooney, Dennis Saneski, and Emily Weiss.

In 2009, Kogod students Lawren Allen, Mike Cannon, Ivelina Erinina, Jess Gordon, Greg Leach, Siyu Lin, Stephanie Richter, Jesse Sargent Sarah Snyderman, and Aaron Zenkel attended the leadership program.