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Minority High School Students Preview Accounting Careers

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: June 25, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Management and the Foundation for Accounting Education of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) are collaborating to introduce minority high school students to career opportunities in the accounting profession during a five-day program.

Twenty-seven students from 20 area high schools are expected to attend the seventh annual Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program, taking place June 24-28.

"The goal of the program is to increase awareness of the many opportunities that an accounting education and career can provide," says Ann Burstein Cohen, associate professor of accounting in the UB School of Management.

Working with the NYSSCPA, Cohen has led the Buffalo COAP program since its inception in 2006. "It is our hope that if minority students realize early on that the accounting profession has a variety of interesting opportunities, we can increase the number of candidates who enter the field," she adds.

The program will feature a comprehensive series of breakout sessions designed to provide participants with insights into all the components of an accounting education and career. Sessions will be held in the UB School of Management.

A number of area accounting firms will give presentations on campus, and students will make off-site visits to Lumsden & McCormick, PricewaterhouseCoopers and New Era Cap Co., where they will take company tours and speak with accounting representatives from those firms.

The program also will include a wide variety of professional development opportunities, including a business lunch called "Putting Your Best Fork Forward," which will feature etiquette tips for working meals; a "dress for success" session; a "speed-meeting" event; a résumé-writing workshop; and sessions on job-search strategies, interviewing techniques, public speaking and ethics.

This year's program will conclude with a banquet for students and their parents at 6 p.m. on June 28. Ezra Stanley, assistant vice president at M&T Bank, will serve as keynote speaker at the event.

NYSSCPA represents 28,000 CPAs and is the oldest state accounting organization in the nation. Incorporated in 1897, the society is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to establish and maintain high standards of integrity, honor and character among certified public accountants. The Buffalo Chapter, with nearly 1,500 members, encompasses Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. To learn more about the society, visit http://www.nysscpa.org.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit http://mgt.buffalo.edu.