The accounting profession isn’t going to attract the best students simply by hoping they’ll find their own way; it takes opportunities like OSCPA’s High School Accounting Career Days.
“I think it’s important to show students who might not fully understand what an accountant does,” said Laura Rapp, CPA, assistant vice president of accounting at Welltower and speaker at a recent Accounting Career Day.
For more than a decade, OSCPA has offered accounting career days as an opportunity for high school students to learn more about the profession by hearing about all the possible career paths, salary expectations and more. This season saw 81 schools and about 1,300 students participate.
The events were held at five universities around the state, giving students exposure to not only the profession but also what it’s like on a college campus. The final event took place Nov. 16 at the University of Toledo where more than 120 students heard opening remarks from Dr. Anne L. Balazs, dean of the College of Business and Innovation at UT.
Two UT grads working at Marathon Petroleum spoke about the opportunities in accounting, and then the students participated in a rousing game of Accounting Bingo. After lunch, the group heard from Rapp, who earned her master’s degree in accounting from UT, on growing within a company and the importance of the CPA credential.
“It (conveys) credibility in our profession and in the business world,” Rapp said. “People see it, they trust it and they respect it.”
The day ended with a panel of UT students who were all accounting majors; they spoke on the importance of getting involved early in college, what grades you need and how to find internship opportunities.
“There are a lot of things that an accounting background can give you that a lot of other careers won’t,” Rapp said. “You can springboard from accounting into a lot of things in business.”
PHOTO: Laura Rapp, CPA, assistant vice president of accounting at Welltower, speaks to students at the Nov. 16 University of Toledo High School Accounting Career Day event.