Learn more about the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop
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Learn more about the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop

May 28, 2020 · 5 min read

The Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW), is an annual AICPA Foundation-sponsored event, that aims to increase the representation of people in the profession from ethnically diverse backgrounds and underrepresented populations. In addition, it focuses on encouraging and supporting students from diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing a career in accounting and finance.

ASLW exposes students to myriad opportunities within the profession and helps them envision themselves prospering and potentially growing into leadership roles. Participation in the program is enriching, and the benefits of attending are far-reaching.

With the theme “Blaze new trails in accounting,” learning sessions in ASLW 2022 were designed to broaden students’ understanding of the profession. Attendees learned strategies for career growth, networking, developing a personal brand, and creating their path to their dream careers. Panel discussions and speakers offered guidance about licensure options within the profession, including how to acquire them, and provided inspiration for pursuing a rewarding career in accounting and finance.

More highlights from the 2022 event can be found here. (Link the blog when its done).

The next annual AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop will take place in the Fall of 2023.

To learn more and to apply, check back in Spring 2023!

What to Expect

Participants participate in learning sessions, panel discussions, and networking events covering an array of topics to help develop leadership skills and the prepare for CPA exam. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with CPAs and other experienced professionals who are willing to share knowledge on the accounting profession, careers opportunities in accounting, and other experience they’ve gained throughout their careers.

Perspectives from Previous Participants:

Yi Xia, Southern Connecticut State University

  • The ASLW is extremely beneficial. I was very inspired by all the speakers. Their successful stories gave me more motivation for studying my CPA exam.

  • Connecting with professionals and also students. I made great friends there. I also loved the stories about that not everyone’s journal is easy. People fail all the time, but the most important thing is never give up. CPA exam is hard, as long as we study hard, we will pass it even though you may fail a couple of times.

Erin Hardin, University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • “The event was very beneficial! I had the chance to connect with apiring scholars and professionals. I came home with the sense of urgency to plan my career out after graduation! I did not have a plan but now I do. I learned a lot as well. The people I connected with truly are amazing. If I could do the event again, I will!! “

“What I enjoyed the most was the building your brand session, growing up we have an image of what our brand should look like while that is not true! Your brand is you! You have to be yourself at all times. You cannot transform into anyone else!”

Ryan McKelvey, University of Texas Tyler

The ASLW actually changed my outlook on this profession. I decided to become a CPA because I fell in love with accounting. Now that I am at the point in my collegiate journey that I am looking for internships, I had been feeling like I don’t have a future in accounting leadership because I hadn’t seen other minorities in management positions in local firms. Coming to the ASLW and listening to and learning from so many minority leaders and scholars inspired me to pursue all of my dreams no matter how large. I hope that one day I can give a future minority accounting student that same inspiration.

  • I found The Road Ahead session with Billy “Boss” Williams the most valuable. He and I actually come from the same area of Texas. Listening to his story and his journey to partnership at KPMG inspired me to dream big even though I started with little.

James Do, California State University, Fullerton

  • ASLW is one of the most meaningful events that I’ve experienced in 2022. I'm fortunate to be one of 100 students selected to participate in this rewarding leadership workshop. First, I have the opportunity to better understand myself, and share my story with others, thereby developing my personal brand. Next, the knowledge, lessons, experiences, and tips from experts in the workshops not only help me develop myself and improve my knowledge of leadership but also direct me to apply them in my life and positively impact my surrounding people. As a result, I will be able to lead my team more effectively and achieve our goals together. Finally, ASLW was an awesome opportunity for me to meet and build relationships with top students from all over the US, top leaders from accounting firms, and professionals from American institutions. I have been greatly inspired by their stories, successes, and accomplishments. Thanks to that, I have more motivation to get out of my comfort zone and continue writing my own story.

  • What I love most is meeting, interacting, and learning from students and professionals at the event. I love the moments when we study together, eat together, and discuss different topics by the pool after learning sessions. I love the conversations I have with the speakers after each session and our photos. Each person has a different personality and different background, but all of them are present at the event with the same goal of self-development, connection, influence together, and promoting a stronger accounting industry. What impressed me and stuck in my mind was their leadership mindset and networking skills. They are always willing to take pictures with bright smiles and always willing to connect and help me on my way to success.

  • “Mentorship & Sponsorship” by Dr. Kecia Williams Smith is the most valuable for me. I realized that what I’ve known about mentorship and sponsorship before is all wrong. I gain my knowledge about the definition and meaning of mentorship and sponsorship. I also learned some tips to maintain relationships with my mentors and my sponsors. Eventually, I committed to an action plan to develop my relationship with them.

Program Requirements

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a declared accounting major, or have interest in joining the accounting profession

  • Be a college freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, 5th year, or graduate student

  • Be actively involved in campus and community activities

  • Have not attended a past workshop

  • Be an ethnic minority (i.e., Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; Native American; or Asian, etc.)

  • Be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident (green card holder)

  • Be a Student Affiliate Member of the AICPA

  • Be able to provide the name and email address of two references who have agreed to provide a recommendation on your behalf. The reference must be from a faculty member.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to attend this event?
The 2023 application period will open in April 2023. Please check back in the Spring for additional details.

I am ready to apply what type of information or documentation do I need to have prepared to submit an application that is review ready?

In addition to the above eligibility requirements you will also need the following; unofficial transcripts, two letters of recommendation (at least one must be either a faculty member or a licensed CPA), a video where you answer the provided questions (up to two minutes) OR written essay.

If I am graduating in Spring / Summer 2023, may I still attend the workshop?
Yes; this is an ideal program for recent graduates. This workshop benefits attendees by strengthening networking and communication skills to prepare workplace leaders.

If I have attended a past AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, may I come back?
To enable as many students as possible to have this experience, students who have attended a previous workshop may not attend.

What if I have another obligation (class, work) at the same time as the workshop and still want to attend?
Students are required to attend the workshop for the duration of the entire event. If requested, AICPA will provide your employer or teacher with a letter regarding the content and benefit of your participation in this program.

May I attend if I am already a CPA?
No, those persons who are already CPAs are not eligible to attend as participants.

How do I learn more about the Leadership Workshop and other AICPA diversity programs?
Contact us at diversity@aicpa.org with any questions.

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