The beginning of a lifelong experience for a team of Grambling State University National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) began Oct. 19 as they traveled to Houston to attend the Southwest-Western Region Student Conference. “We were met by a team of professionals at the hotel. The first thing that struck me was the level of professionalism that was quite vivid in the choice of hotel accommodations and the way that everything was well organized and flowed very smoothly,” said Clarita Monrose, freshman from St. Lucia, Caribbean. The first event of the conference was the opening ceremony. Approximately 230 students from various universities were given the opportunity to network with professionals from NABA and prestigious companies including the Big Four accounting firms namely KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touche USA LLP, and Ernst and Young. The event gave the students an opportunity to disseminate resumes and to schedule interviews. “I was unable to secure an interview but I gained knowledge of the companies present and I was also given the opportunity to network with professionals which was a highlight of my trip,” said Monrose. The importance of having good social and interpersonal skills as well as maintaining a good Grade Point Average (GPA) was emphasized. While some conference attendees interviewed others attended technical sessions where lectures on various topics relating to Corporate America were held. The sessions were facilitated by employees of various companies. Those sessions were educational and interesting. “The weekend of Oct. 19 _” 21 definitely taught me to appreciate NABA and the many people who worked so diligently to keep this vital organization afloat,” Monrose said. The three St. Lucian students (Clarita Monrose, Lissa Jean Baptiste and Russi Antoine) who attended the conference through the sponsorship of Grambling alumni, were thankful to the NABA members for organizing such an event and for providing an avenue to explore their potential. Grambling alumni, Eric Moses, Felicia Henry and Ariana Mathers, sponsors and other sponsors for making it possible for us to attend this conference and also for preparing us before the conference. I would also like to extend sincere gratitude to all the companies that sponsored this event and that are so committed to the success of this organization whose motto is ‘Lifting As We Climb’. Lastly, I would like to thank Aaron Witherspoon, faculty advisor and the local chapter led by Freddie Harris for providing us with such a rewarding and fruitful experience. I have vowed that I will do my best to be more actively involved with NABA because not only does a member benefit through personal development but also through networking and the availability of numerous scholarships. I feel proud to be associated with such an organization and I appeal to all accounting and business majors to make a concerted effort to be involved in NABA. I guarantee you that you only stand to gain. Interested persons can contact Aaron Witherspoon at 1-318-274-2741 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The entities that sponsored and participated in this event are NABA, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Grant Thornton, Becker CPA Review, ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Wal-Mart, Comerica Bank, Electronic Data Systems, Halliburton, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, UHY Advisors, Hewlett Packard, Koch Industries Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Samson, Farm Credit Bank of Texas and Nokia.