High School Students Find Accounting Has Strong Appeal

A high school internship program has exploded some myths about accounting while encouraging more Albany-area minorities to consider a career in the field.

Jihad Ramdene, 18, will start at the state University at Albany as a business major in the fall, much to his own surprise. Ramdene graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany and had not considered "uncool" accounting until he took part in the "Career Opportunities in Accounting Program" run by the New York State Society of CPAs, the Albany Business Review reported.

The five-day program held at the College of Saint Rose showed Ramdene and six other high school students the range of careers possible with an accounting or business degree. The goal of the program is to generate more interest in accounting by minority students by placing the students in summer internships at area firms.

Saryia Rodriguez, marketing and sales associate for CPA Journal, the society's publication, was the students' mentor during the program. She feels accounting firms are not actively seeking minority employees.

"Certain groups are under-represented in the field and we want to change that," she said.

The percentage of bachelor's degrees in accounting granted to black, Asian and Hispanic students at New York state colleges dropped from 16 percent to 12 percent from 1997 to 2002, according to the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.

David Johnson, an accountant with DeChants Fuglein & Johnson LLP in Latham, said it's time students found out the field isn't a bunch of "bean counters."

The students in the program agree that their friends don’t consider accounting, mainly because of its reputation as a boring field. But now, those same friends regret that they didn’t apply for the internship program.

Intern Toni Thompson, 17, wants to earn her CPA certification. She has an internship with the chief financial officer at Albany International Airport.

Jihad's sister, Khaliah Ramdene, 17, shifted her career interests from journalism to business after the program. She now interns at local firm DeChants Fuglein.

To Rodriguez, these students are good examples for other minorities. "We want to show them it can be done," she said. "We want to show them how to get along in this business world."

You may like these other stories...

For the first time in the five-year history of Vault.com’s rankings of the top 50 accounting firms to work for in North America, a firm has held the top spot as best accounting employer for two consecutive years....
With complex financial issues playing a larger role in litigation, and people increasingly turning to CPA experts to involve themselves in everything from criminal investigations to shareholder disputes to uncovering assets...
 Event Date: April 24, 2014 In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel. David will introduce the Macro Recorder, which transforms actions...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.