Debunking Dull: OSCPA Student Video Contest Challenges CPA Stereotype

By Deanna C. White

So many of us are defined by the career we choose, either by ourselves or by others, particularly when that career comes with a ready-made stereotype  like being a CPA.
But this spring, the Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) is inviting college accounting students and emerging professionals who are members of the OSCPA to shatter that one-dimensional, bland CPA typecasting by participating in its inaugural Me in a Moment: Future CPA Video ContestThe contest, which began April 1, asks the future CPAs to create a thirty-second video to show people what they're passionate about outside the classroom.
Students' self-defining "passions" can run the gamut of everything from volunteering at a local animal shelter, gigging with a band on the weekends, or logging miles on their bike to gear up for their next cycling event. 
Students should begin the video with the phrase "I can't wait to be a CPA! But when I'm not studying, I'm . . ." then pan to whatever it is they do in their free time. 

Ideas for Student Videos

Following are some ideas suggested by the Ohio Society of CPAs to get potential contestants started on their Me in a Moment: Future CPA Video Contest submissions. 

I can't wait to be a CPA! But when I'm not studying, I'm . . . 
  • A musician
  • An animal lover
  • An athlete
  • A super fan 
  • A volunteer 
  • A world traveler 
  • A ROTC student 
  • A missionary 
  • A sorority/fraternity member 
  • A cyclist 
  • A political junkie
  • A social media fiend
  • A drama queen 
  • An environmentalist 
  • A "fashionista"
  • A library hermit 
  • A theme party planner 
  • A part-time employee
The society will post the top videos to the OSCPA's Young CPA Facebook page, where they will be judged on creativity, presentation skills, and the amount of Facebook "likes" received. 
Students who submit the top three videos will receive a free Becker CPA exam review course, valued at over $3,000, and a $50 Visa gift card.
Rebecca Hixen, manager of member relations for the OSCPA, said the society realizes the idea for the video contest is much more daring than the customary approach the society uses to engage its younger audience. It's also much more likely to catch the attention of the social media savvy generation of future CPAs, engage them in the OSCPA community, and debunk the dull CPA stereotype in the process.
"We want our members and those throughout the community to learn more about this next generation of CPAs. While we know they truly value their careers and want to succeed, they also recognize that being well-rounded is important for success," Hixen said. 
Hixen said the contest is geared toward a generation that has grown up participating in many extracurricular activities.
"It's this mix of activities that defines who they are, in addition to their accounting background," Hixen said. "Accountants don't just sit in their office crunching numbers – they have strong personalities, are animated, do exciting things for the community, and make society better overall."
A few potential video ideas the society has modeled on its promo clip to inspire contestants include accounting students doing everything from backflips at the gym, dancing in the library, and cheering on their favorite baseball team.
Hixen said she hopes the contest will prove to be the perfect vehicle to learn more about the next generation of CPAs.
According to the OSCPA:
  • College accounting students and emerging professionals who are members of the OSCPA (future CPAs) are eligible to participate in the contest.
  • Videos must be no longer than thirty seconds.
  • Videos must be submitted to Becky Hixen at no later than May 1. The Facebook contest will run May 1 through May 15.
  • Videos will be posted on the Ohio Young CPA Facebook page after approval.
  • Videos will be judged on the number of Facebook "likes," creativity, and originality.
For contest details or more information, visit the OSCPA website
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