Future accountants going beyond the classroom

Written on Dec 21, 2017

This story written by an Ohio Wesleyan student shares her perspective on discovering how the accounting profession affects the real world outside of the classroom. It's a look at business, government, and the opportunities young accounting students will encounter in the future.

Caitlin_MaggioBy Caitlin Maggio

The past few months have been bittersweet as my senior year at Ohio Wesleyan University is ending. But one of the highlights of this year has been my participation in the inaugural year of the Accounting Fellows program, sponsored by the OWU Department of Economics and The Woltemade Center. The program consists of juniors and seniors who are majoring or minoring in accounting and have an interest in combining classroom knowledge with real-world accounting research and application.

During fall break, the program group traveled to Washington D.C. for a life-changing trip. Our schedule consisted of meetings and tours with accountants and professionals who approach the industry from many angles – public accounting, advocacy, industry, education and more. The fellows and I could see how accounting is applied day-to-day, but also provided opportunities to dig deeper into tax reform, policy, enforcement, CPA entrance requirements and voice our opinions on “hot topics” and current events.

When we met with congressional staff, the AICPA, the Greater Washington Society of CPAs and the Treasury Department I realized the need for accountants to have a voice in public policy. They can contribute on a national, state and local scale outside of their everyday duties.

Later, meeting with the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant taught me the need to have a strong sense of ethics. During a panel of speakers, it was scary to see how simple frauds can have massive impacts. However, it was comforting to discuss how accountants work to hold themselves to a high set of ethical standards.

The last day consisted of meetings with alumni who work at EY and Uber. It was an amazing experience to hear from young professionals and pick their brains on how they transitioned from the academic environment into the professional world. Our conversation covered artificial intelligence, digital currency, data analytics, remote work environments and “hoteling” – utilizing temporary workspace within a primary office location.

I am looking forward to beginning a career in which I have a passion for that is now burning stronger than ever thanks to this trip. I know I’m prepared to go beyond the classroom and contribute to the world as an accountant.

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  1. Sally Mustaca | Jan 01, 2018
    So proud of you, Caitlin. It is for sure that you will be a great voice in America. Love you, Aunt Sas.

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