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)
collaborated to introduce minority high school students to career
opportunities in the accounting profession during a five-day
Twenty-two students from 16 area high schools attended the
eighth annual Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession
(COAP) program, June 23-27, at the UB School of Management.
“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 features a comprehensive series of breakout sessions
designed to provide participants with insights into all the
components of an accounting education and career.
A number of area accounting firms gave presentations on campus,
and students made off-site visits to Lumsden & McCormick,
PricewaterhouseCoopers and New Era Cap Co., where they took company
tours and spoke with accounting representatives from those
Students also enjoyed a variety of professional development
sessions, including a business lunch called “Putting Your
Best Fork Forward,” which featured etiquette tips for working
meals; a “dress for success” session; a
“speed-meeting” event; and sessions on business
writing, work/life balance, interviewing techniques and personal
Throughout the week, student groups worked on a “Build
Your Own Business” project, developing plans for new business
ventures. On the last day, the groups presented their plans to a
panel of industry professionals who evaluated the entries and
shared their feedback with the students.
COAP concluded with a banquet for students and their parents at
the Hotel Lafayette. The 2013 keynote speaker was Thomas Beauford
Jr., former vice president of HSBC Bank USA and current president
of the WNY chapter of the National Black MBA Association.
Incorporated in 1897 and now representing more than 29,000 CPAs,
the NYSSCPA is a not-for-profit organization that represents the
issues, standards and public services efforts of certified public
accountants who practice in New York State; encompassing all areas
of public practice, government, education, business and industry.
Visit the society’s website at nysscpa.org for more
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 also
has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times,
Forbes 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 mgt.buffalo.edu.