By: Miranda Edwards
I began at Johnson & Wales as a Sport, Entertainment, and Event Management student with the intent to be a wedding and party planner. I quickly realized the amount of weekends I would be committing to and also the amount of bride-zillas I would be working for. College can be very daunting if you have no idea what you want to do or what path you want to take. After taking a basic accounting course I fell in love with it. The concepts and processes clicked to me which was a great feeling. After converting over to accounting I realized it was probably the best decision I have ever made. I felt a strong, familial bond with my fellow students, professors, and the delightful people I encountered at NCACPA events which my professors encouraged us to attend.
During NCACPA’s Making Cents event held at Johnson & Wales, I had the opportunity to meet Whitney Gann, an NCACPA member and great advocate for the organization, women, and the entire accounting industry. She encouraged me to apply to SLINC… and that’s where my passion for the industry.
I arrived at Wake Forest University for day one of the event, nervous because I did not know a single person there. I was also worried that I was going to spend the next two days in boring seminars and workshops with my eyes glazed over. Well, I am here to say that the complete opposite happened! I was greeted by so many smiling faces from the moment I stepped foot in the dorms! Whoever said accountants are boring has never attended SLINC!
All the students were split up in groups of about five and had one CPA team leader. I had the honor of being in Callie Reeve’s group. Callie is a Senior at Cherry Bekaert in Charlotte, NC. She was such a fun spirit and really took the time to get to know each of the students in her group. She was encouraging and passionate about the industry. We all sat in on several workshops that held your attention and increased our interest in the industry, and not a single workshop made my eyes glaze over. It was two days well spent. I left with new friends, opportunities, and an increased passion for what I was doing in school.
Life after SLINC:
After SLINC, I returned to school in the fall with more motivation then I had ever experienced. I planned a “Meet the Firms”–type of event at Johnson & Wales entitled Accounting Careers Day, to help increase the amount of recruiting done on our campus for accounting majors, and also to help increase awareness of the accounting program at Johnson & Wales (yes, we have more than just chefs). I have volunteered during the CPA Day of Service and a total of three Making Cents events. I was also chosen to be the Student Liaison for the Young CPA Cabinet, which starts in May of 2014. On top of all of that I have kept in contact with many of the students that, I had the opportunity to meet as well as my group leader, Callie Reeve.
Callie has been such a great mentor for me since meeting her at SLINC. She inspired me to work harder and to have passion in all things that I do. Callie also helped me get an interview at Cherry Bekaert in Charlotte. I am currently serving as the Audit, Tax, and Transaction Services Intern at Cherry Bekaert! I hope that one day I can serve as a mentor for a young aspiring accountant like Callie has done for me. Cherry Bekaert is lucky to have her representing the firm.
My hope for other accounting students is that they will be passionate about the profession and for those students attending SLINC, I hope they are able to take away just as much as I have so far. It is such a great way to learn and network with professionals and other students. I am thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see where my involvement with NCACPA takes me.
Miranda is a recent Johnson & Wales graduate of the Management Accounting program. She is currently serving as the Audit, Tax, and Transaction Services Intern at Cherry Bekaert in Charlotte, North Carolina. She will also be serving as the Student Liaison for the Young CPA Cabinet. Miranda hopes to be attending Winthrop University in May 2014 to begin her degree towards a MBA with Accounting Emphasis.