By: Emily Wilkes
This time last year I was presented with an opportunity to attend the inaugural Student Leadership Institute of North Carolina; sponsored by North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA). At the time I applied to attend the event I didn’t know much about the association, but knew that the Student Leadership Institute would be a great place to network and potentially become involved with NCACPA. Fortunately, the leadership institute provided a new network of peers and professionals and presented me with the opportunity to join a task force within NCACPA.
The day before I left for the Student Leadership Institute, I became very nervous as I did not know what to expect during the next two days. From the moment the two-day event began, and continuing to the very end, I was happily surprised with how organized, informational, and FUN the event was. The speakers at the event were motivational, highly intelligent, and quite entertaining. They answered questions on graduate school and the CPA exam, prepared us for interviews, and even educated us on dinner etiquette. I honestly cannot say enough good things about the event and it was only the first year.
A couple of weeks after attending the Student Leadership Institute, I received an email from one of the professionals I had dinner with, Mark Soticheck. He contacted me regarding a position on NCACPA’s Generational Task Force. Mark said that they were looking for a student’s perspective on how to get Generation Y more involved with NCACPA and thought that I could bring some insight. Of course I immediately accepted and couldn’t wait to come up with ideas and be involved! When I attended the meeting with the other members of the task force, consisting of professionals in the accounting field and NCACPA staff, I was inspired by their commitment to NCACPA and knew that my involvement wouldn’t end after the task force. One of the staff recently contacted me asking if I would be interested in blogging for NCACPA, offering advice on office visits, interviews, CPA exam preparation tips, and other important topics for accounting students and recent graduates. Again, I jumped at the opportunity to serve another area in the association.
My advice to you is to get involved with NCACPA and accept any opportunity that is presented to you because you never know where it could lead you and who you could meet along your journey. NCACPA has many mentors and professionals that could lead to future employment. I have already met so many incredible people that are more than willing to help me with my desired career path and I know NCACPA will do the same for you!
For those of you who are about to graduate and have not yet secured a job, my next blog post will focus on interview tips and advice for office visits, so look out for that in April!
Click for more information on 2014’s Student Leadership Institute—Don’t miss out!
My name is Emily Wilkes and I am from Cary, North Carolina. I am currently a senior at High Point University. After graduating from HPU in May 2014 I will pursue a Master’s of Accounting at North Carolina State University. I previously interned at Red Hat, Inc. in their taxation department and Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP as an administrative intern. I am currently serving as a tax intern at Smith Leonard, PLLC while completing my last undergraduate course at High Point University. This summer I will return to the triangle to intern in the tax department at Cherry Bekaert, LLP.