As could be expected at a gathering concerning accounting, accounting education, diversity, determination and hard work, the School of Accountancy and MIS was well represented at a special inaugural offering of the Illinois CPA Society, the Internship Preparation Program.
Held the State Street University Center, the Internship Preparation Program is a three-day, all expenses paid program for college students throughout the state of Illinois, and seeks to develop future leaders in the CPA profession. Students have the opportunity to learn critical skills for an internship and beyond, the opportunity to interview with accounting firms in the Chicago area, and share their new skills with students on their campuses. The program is sponsored by the Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund of the ICPAS, the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois, and cooperating firms. The Wylie Fund is named to honor Mary T. Washington Wylie, America’s first African-American female to attain her CPA license.
Elizabeth Murphy (COM ’74), associate professor in the school, past L&Q president Scott Steffens (Grant Thornton; COM ’89), L&Q Board member Sammy Delgado(Abbott Laboratories; COM ’03), alumni Mike Fernandez (Deloitte; COM ’07) and Charlene Rhinehart (JP Morgan Chase; COM ’09), and June 2013 accounting graduate Karen Tellez helped provide a busy and innovative three days. DePaul students participating were Phil Banks Jr., Donnisha Bailey and Kevin Vargas.
In short order, Murphy (who also served on the Internship Prep Program planning committee) presented a CPA Exam Information session and led an Excel-based “Jeopardy”-like game to summarize and refresh the content at the conclusion the three-day program. Event chair Steffens (who chaired the ICPAS Diversity Initiatives Task Force, 2011-12) opened and concluded the program for two of the days, and led a session on Diversity in the Accounting Profession and another on tips for reading the newspaper and current issues in the accounting profession. Both Steffens and Murphy met individually with students during the first evening to give students individual attention and make recommendations on how to improve their resumes prior to their interviews on the third day of the program. Fernandez and Tellez teamed up for Intern and New Hire tips while Charlene Rhinehart–a 2009 Illinois Lincoln Student Laureate—presented on Business Etiquette. Delgado helped with an ethics case discussion and presentation
There was more than enough help and advice for the 25 Illinois college students who participated, and the ICPAS plans a second offering at this time next year.
PS–Some very special kudos: in 2008 Prof. Murphy was presented the inaugural Illinois CPA Society Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Diversity Award, and Steffens was the 2009 Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Diversity awardee. Also, Steffens and wife Kelly sponsor the Steffens Family Diversity Scholarship at DePaul. And finally, Bel Needles, Ernst & Young Professor in the school, and spouse Marian Powers were also part of the ICPAS Diversity Initiatives Task Force, and helped plan the Internship Prep Program. Big Shoulders indeed, and lots of them.