Diverse high school students from across North Carolina spent three days and two nights on the Wake Forest University campus to learn about accounting.
Deloitte, Dixon Hughes PLLC, Ernst & Young, KPMG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Resnick Group joined Wake Forest University Schools of Business accountancy faculty and staff to create the Accounting 3-2-1 program in 2010. On July 15-17, 40 students attended the second annual weekend at Wake Forest.
“We are really trying to increase awareness of accounting as a profession and a career in general with diverse students before they get into college,” said Yvonne Hinson, associate professor of accounting and Dean of Wake Forest Charlotte Programs.
“Many think of law and medicine as professions and do not realize that the accounting profession has its own certification exam and own set of ethical and professional standards – just like medicine and law," she added. "We are trying to give the students an awareness of exactly what accounting is and what accountants do. “
Mikayla Kinlock, a rising senior from Hickory Ridge High School came to the Accounting 3-2-1 program to see how she can connect her personal passions with a career. “I want to go into a form of business. I have done well in math and am good with people, so I would like to tie that into a career like accounting,” she said.
General career topics like Top 10 Tips for College Success, Building Your Personal Brand and Resume Preparation were also addressed during the weekend. The scholars participated in a business etiquette dinner and watched a “dress for business” fashion show.
“I came to the program because I think it is a good basis no matter what you decide to do,” said Brooke Wilner, a rising senior from the Epiphany School in New Bern. “I am leaning towards studying business, law or engineering. Regardless, you need to be accountable with your personal finances.”
Throughout the weekend, students stayed on campus and got a feel for college life while working on team projects. Each of the sponsoring firms gave a group of six to seven students a challenge to work on and present during the farewell luncheon.
Wilner, who comes from a very small school, appreciated the opportunity to learn alongside talented students from around the state. “Everyone has been so open and friendly and you can have intelligent conversations with them,” she said.
Event organizers expect some of the relationships built with the young scholars during the Weekend at Wake Forest will continue.
“We hope that some of the students will consider Wake Forest, but we are also happy if we can get them to consider accounting no matter what university they choose,” Hinson said.
Marcus Johnson, a rising senior from Lexington High School is already considering Wake Forest. “I like numbers, currency and math. At college night at my high school, I met a Wake Forest admissions counselor who told me how in five years you can get your bachelor’s and master’s degree and take the CPA exam.”
Applications for the Weekend at Wake Forest Accounting 3-2-1 program become available in March. Interested students should contact their high school guidance counselor for details. The program is offered free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the sponsoring firms.