Thirteen students and a faculty member from Grambling State University attended the 36th National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA) Southwest-Western Region Student Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference was held from Oct. 15 – 17.
The students interacted and networked with recruiters and employees from several accounting firms and companies such as Deloitte, KPMG LLP, PwC, Grant Thornton, Chevron and Dell during the career expo. As a result, five students were able to secure interviews, which later took place on Friday, Oct. 16.
Some students received two interviews with different companies while two students are expected to travel for office visits in the upcoming month. Moreover, one Grambling State student was awarded a scholarship from Wiley CPA.
The students also attended various networking, professional and leadership development sessions during the conference.
Two GSU students who completed internships at one of the big four accounting firms this past summer, had the opportunity to experience the conference through the eyes of a recruiter. They assisted the firm that they interned with recruiting possible candidates for employment and internship opportunities.
The students who attended the conference had numerous positive feedback particularly first time attendees.
Tracey Warrington said, “Attending the South West Western Regional Conference was definitely not a mistake. I have always heard about how beneficial it was to attend as a business student and got to experience it myself. Although I didn’t leave with an internship which I was hoping for, I now know what to expect next time so I can be well prepared when given the opportunity.”
She said as a student you need to push yourself a little further. You need not only have good grades but you need to stand out from your peers. Become a leader; participate in school organizations and clubs.
“From all the success stories I heard at the conference, one thing which I noticed was that every one of these people have a mentor. If you need to grow you cannot do it alone. Get someone to guide you along the way, and when you get there you need to pull others with you. They also stressed on building your personal brand and networking. Be careful what you put out on the internet. This conference has helped me in so many ways and I would wish that more of our students would attend so that they could also have this wonderful experience as I did,” she said.
Kailyn Sylvain, conference attendee, said, Attending the NABA Conference was very informative to me and my future.
“I feel as though now I have a greater understanding as to what department in Accounting I want to focus on, Audit. I enjoyed this experience and can't wait for next years’ conference,” said Sylvain.
Abigail Newton who also attended the conference, though a bit overwhelming, it was enlightening.
“I was able to tap out of my comfort zone and reach for the stars. From the first session down to my last interview, I felt like I had this exceptionally professional demeanor which I usually didn't have,” she said.
There were valuable technical sessions-virtual branding, avoiding career limiting moves etc. and sessions such as real talk which just demonstrated what we need to know and do in our collegiate career to make our presence felt and known. Again, every experience to build one's self should be taken advantage of and though initially I didn't plan on going, I'm thankful I did. I'm once huge step closer to realizing my dream of becoming a CPA, thanks to the sponsors of the NABA conference, she explained.
For more information about NABA, email email@example.com.
Contributors included Nonso Okpala, accounting instructor and faculty advisor and Nadisha Guavo, GSU NABA president.