Student ambassadors enter ‘real world’ ready to contribute

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Article2_Ambassadors_600pxRecent graduates entering the workforce are expected to have strong communication skills, show initiative and think on their feet. Luckily for those in the Student Ambassador program, they’ll learn all this and more.

“Through being a student ambassador I’ve learned more about communication and leadership skills by figuring things out on my own,” said Sarah Reynolds, junior and student ambassador at John Carroll University.

Reynolds is part of a class of 19 ambassadors across 18 campuses in Ohio tasked with promoting accounting as a viable and in-demand career to their peers. The Student Ambassador program is fully funded by The Ohio CPA Foundation, OSCPA’s philanthropic partner that funds programs to grow Ohio’s accounting talent pool.

Reynolds has organized presentations to different groups around John Carroll to spread information about accounting to those outside of the major. She’s set up informational booths in the business school and planned a pizza party for student members to listen to the experiences of a young CPA.  

As Reynolds has worked to educate others and build the accounting pipeline in Ohio, she has gained invaluable professional knowledge.

“Through this program I now have recruiting experience, leadership and event planning skills,” Reynolds said. “I was able to build a network of student alumni, CPAs in Cleveland and even professors on campus. This will benefit me whether it’s in my job search or reaching out to someone for help.”

For Michael Kostandaras, senior at Cleveland State University, being a student ambassador has allowed him to grow his confidence in his public speaking skills.

“I’m more on the shy side and taking on a role like this has helped me interacting with people one-on-one and presenting to large groups,” Kostandaras said. “It’s helped me tremendously with preparation and presentation.”

Kostandaras has spoken to numerous high school classes about accounting and helped with Cleveland State’s Accounting Career Day. After graduation he will start full time at Ernst & Young.

He is confident he will make a difference in his future career, both with his clients and in more philanthropic endeavors.

“I’m looking forward to the work in general, and exploring other avenues outside of the profession,” he said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to donate my time and money and be in a position to help people.”

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