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Scholarship winner ready to advocate for herself

Written on May 1, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

After attending OSCPA’s Women, Wealth & Wellness Conference in June, one scholarship winner has a new perspective on what it means to stick up for yourself in the workplace.

“You need to stand up and fight for yourself and it gave me the confidence to do that,” said Jessica Davenport.

Davenport is a recent graduate of Franklin University and attended the conference on behalf of the Ohio CPA Foundation. She said the speakers at the conference gave her a perspective she had never considered before, especially when it comes to women advocating for themselves at work and pay inequality for women.

On the recommendation of multiple speakers, Davenport started her own “brag book,” a record of her accomplishments over an extended period. Such a book is a helpful tool when meeting with employers, current or future, and when demonstrating your value and contributions to the organization. The speakers reminded the audience that although sometimes you assume your manager or leadership are aware of your work, they, too, have a lot on their plate and can sometimes forget how much you’ve done.

Davenport majored in accounting at Franklin, but thought she would be a nurse when she first started school. She realized after a couple years the medical field wasn’t for her and switched to accounting. She now works in the accounting department at Englefield Oil in Heath, and described herself as a “math geek,” saying she’s always liked numbers.

“I really like the analysis part of what I do and figuring out what the numbers are and working with the margins,” she said.

While at the conference Davenport received a $500 scholarship from Clark Schaefer Hackett, an Ohio CPA Proud organization. She said the scholarship was a surprise that will go directly to her school loans.

“It felt incredible and I've never won anything ever in my life,” she said. “It made me feel so good.”

Davenport said she hadn’t attended a conference like this before and left with valuable takeaways she’ll use to her advantage in the future.

“The main thing is fighting for myself because no one else is going to do it,” she said. “If I just sit quietly and work 70 hours a week and take on all this stuff, it's not going to get me anywhere.”

Learn more about programs The Ohio CPA Foundation offers. And for help with studying for the CPA exam, visit our exam review resource page.