By: Nabil Jizi
My name is Nabil Jizi and I am a recent graduate of Mount Olive College. I would like to tell you about my amazing experience with NCACPA over the past year. I hope that by the time you are finished reading this memoir of sorts, you will be inspired to achieve great success, and also understand the numerous opportunities that await you once you engage in your local chapter.
In May of 2012, exactly one year before I was to graduate, I decided that I did not want to be among the countless students who finish and ask the question, “Now what?” I was a non-traditional student and this was not an option I was willing to explore. I signed up for NCACPA per recommendation of my Corporate Finance teacher and looking back, this was a crucial point in my early accounting career. After signing up, I picked up the phone and called NCACPA’s main office in Raleigh, and asked the general question, “How can I get involved with my local chapter?” I was speaking with Holly Bazemore, the community relations coordinator, and she was very helpful. She informed me that a board meeting was to take place in two days and that it would be wonderful to have a student member attend. I reviewed the meeting agenda and showed up two days later to a warm reception. I gave valuable input to the discussion and spoke with many interesting CPAs. I received an email a week later from Richard Pasquantonio, the President of the Chapter asking if I would be willing to inform various firms in the area about the CPA Day of Service. I responded that I would be glad to. All of a sudden, I was an active student member of the board. I made it my goal to attend every event I could and volunteer to help wherever it was needed. And guess what? People noticed. One thing I realized throughout all of this was that volunteering is a great way to get people to see what your work ethic is like in real time.
At the Wine Social later in the summer, I met Michelle Jarman, who worked at McGladrey, LLP. She was president-elect at the time, and I asked her about a possible internship with the firm. She asked me to send my application to her and asked that we keep in touch. All the while, the CPA Day of Service was quickly approaching and I had signed up to volunteer at the Good Shepherd Home here in Wilmington. At this event I met Rob Wagner, a partner for McGladrey, LLP. We spoke about the internship I had asked Michelle about and I explained to him my career goals as well as my activities within the chapter. He then set me up with an interview. This was all a very surreal experience and it set off a chain of events which landed me a tax internship with the firm this past busy season. It being a temporary position, I kept in close contact with Richard Pasquantonio, the president of the chapter. He set me up with an interview at the firm he worked for, Barker Jones & Co. It turned out that I was offered a full-time position with the firm starting shortly after my McGladrey internship ended.
The relationships I built over the past year with NCACPA proved to be extremely beneficial to my career goals. An internship and a full-time job later, I am now president-elect of my local chapter. I am extremely grateful for all the experiences I have been afforded through this organization, and I hope my story has encouraged those looking to get involved. If you are hoping to make valuable connections in your area with other CPAs, look no further than the NCACPA. The tools are all there for you to generate meaningful relationships and fulfill significant volunteering needs. And you never know—you just might be talking to your future employer.
Nabil works for Barker Jones & Co. in Wilmington, NC. He recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mount Olive College and is currently studying to obtain my CPA license. Nabil enjoys coaching his daughter’s soccer team, staying active and involved within the community, and spending time outdoors.