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Minority high school students preview accounting careers

By Kevin Manne

Release Date: July 10, 2014

“The goal of the program is to increase awareness of the many opportunities that an accounting education and career can provide.”
Ann Burstein Cohen, associate professor of accounting, School of Management
University at Buffalo

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) recently collaborated to introduce minority high school students to career opportunities in the accounting profession during a five-day program.

Nineteen students from 16 area high schools attended the ninth annual Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program, June 27 to July 2 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 firms.

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 branding.

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.

The COAP concluded with a banquet for students and their parents at the Hotel Lafayette, and the 2014 keynote speaker was George Willie, CPA, CGMA, CGFM, managing partner at Bert Smith & Co. in Washington, D.C.

Incorporated in 1897 and now representing more than 28,000 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 information.

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 U.S. News & World Report 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.

 

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