Friday, May 15, 2020

Accounting Career Resources for Students


With many colleges and universities closed and states still on quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be finding yourself with more free time available. That’s why TSCPA has put together a list of accounting career resources for students to check out right here on the NextAhead blog.

Association Memberships

COVID-19 Resources

CPA Exam

General Accounting Career Resources

Job Search Resources

Salary Information

Scholarships

Tennessee CPA Licensure Information

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Path to Academic Success


By Macy Slaughter, UT at Martin TSCPA Student Ambassador

Academic success is something most of us try to achieve by checking off a hypothetical list of things we can do to help us reach our goals. Most students have a preconceived notion that studying every night and focusing the majority of our time on our classes leads to academic success. I am here to tell you that from my personal experience, that is not completely correct. Now, this is by no means to say that studying is not important - it is vital to academic success - but it is in no way the only or even main factor of achieving success academically.

To me, the most important aspect of achieving academic success is choosing a path that is natural for you. Comparing the scores of students isn’t always a correct depiction of which student is more “intelligent,” because you wouldn’t judge a fish on its ability to fly, now would you? The same goes for us as individuals. Each individual person has his or her own set of capabilities. Different people are good at different things, and it is up to you to determine what you are good at. Not what mom and dad want you to do, not what your best friend is doing and not what makes the most money. Personally, I’m a numbers gal. Numbers are honest, and they are consistent, and these are two of my favorite things. Ever since I was in the third grade, I knew that whatever I did, I wanted math to be involved. I was good at it, I understood it, I liked it, and therefore I was successful in my endeavor.

Before I started college my parents really wanted me to go into nursing. They thought it would be a good career path because it was stable, and I could find a job anywhere. I knew I could make it through the classes because I’ve always been naturally good at test taking, but I had to ask myself: Will I enjoy what I’m learning? Inevitably, the answer was no. I do not like science, the vernacular confuses me, and I am genuinely not interested in the material that I would have to be studying. As a result, I knew my GPA would suffer (which would cause me stress), and I would have to work so much harder for those grades.

I decided to go with a different career path that was like nursing in that it was stable, and I could find a job anywhere, but it was by no means the same. The path that I chose was accounting and finance, and I could not have made a better choice. My classes are very interesting to me. I love learning the material. I love being able to understand economic policies and why some businesses fail and others succeed, as I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Not only that, but I am also able to help my friends make better choices financially and understand tax benefits of certain purchases and transactions.

Because I chose a path I am passionate about, I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA for my entire college career. Yes, some of that comes from natural ability, and yes, I definitely do my fair share of studying, but I am also able to have a life because I chose something I’m good at. I go out with my friends, I am very active in my sorority, I take many experiential learning trips with my school, and I still make time to come home and see my parents. I am able to do so much and still maintain my grades because I love what I am studying. I am eager to understand, and once I do, I am excited to learn more. Not because I just love learning, but because I love the concepts that I’m studying.

Academic success will come naturally to you as long as you pursue what is natural to you.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Five Tips to Have the Best Accounting Internship Experience

By Tamesha R. Bolden, UTK TSCPA Student Ambassador

Internships can be very intimidating. As students, we often stress ourselves about not having enough knowledge, lacking professionalism and other key aspects of being a business professional. However, it is vital that we shift our perspectives to focus on enjoying the amazing opportunities that are already in front of us. This summer, as I interned with a Big Four accounting firm, there were five key things that made my internship experience phenomenal. As you read through my five tips, think about how you can implement them throughout your next internship. 

Stay Positive
Once you begin your internship, be sure to shake off your nerves and begin your day with a positive attitude. Do your best to maintain that attitude throughout the day. Employers are always watching and the emotion you bring onto a team can affect the moods of everyone you are working with. Accounting work will not always be exciting or glamorous, so you have to be sure to bring in that excitement yourself. Help create a positive and welcoming environment that you want to come to everyday.

Don’t be Afraid to Network with Your Team
Your employers are human beings just like you. Years, months and even weeks prior, many of them have been in the same position you’re in right now. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by their status. Learn from them. It is in your best interest to take time out of your busy schedule to grab lunch, have a coffee break, or possibly just take a walk with the people you work with. You’ll find that a majority of the time, if not always, they have some great advice you should consider taking.

Ask Questions Effectively
There will be times where you are given an assignment and halfway through you run into a small problem. When this happens, take all of the logical and necessary steps to solve the issue. Practice responsibility. Take notes and go back through them a few times, just in case the solution is right in front of you. However, do not make the mistake of spending too much time on a project or task. If you can move on, make sure to write down your question and finish as much of the assignment as you can before asking for help. Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask. Everyone on your team is there to complete a task and do it correctly. It is okay to reach out for assistance if that means having a better end product.

Have a Strong Work Ethic
There may be times where you are given a task that you do not want to do or that you see little value in. Though it may not be as rigorous as the classes you’ve taken prior, you should never come off as if you are too good for the work. Take each assignment seriously and if you are going to do something, always do your best. When you are working on a difficult task, you may not even have the skills to complete it perfectly. The point is not to be perfect, the point is having the ability to learn and become better. To have a strong work ethic, there is no trying - only doing. As long as you are doing the best you can, no one can ask more of you than that.

Be Yourself
Your internship is about YOU! It is meant for you to be exposed to the organization and field while the stakes are still low, so take advantage of the experience. Employers want to get to know you, and it is your job to be sure that you are opening yourself up. When you are not yourself, it is difficult to connect with people around you. You’ll never give yourself the chance to see if that is where you will fit in the future. Many firms push strongly for you to be your authentic self, and many people can tell when you’re not. It will become a challenge to build long-lasting relationships. You will begin to notice that when you choose to be yourself, your comfort level will increase if that is where you belong. Always remember, no one else can be a better you than yourself, so do what you do best.