Major/ Year:Senior majoring in Accounting
Internship/ Full-time offer:Currently interning at Myers and Stauffer and will be interning at SC&H over the summer.
Interesting Fact:Won a PPR fantasy football league with the help of Pat Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, and Alvin Kamara.
The third semester in Beta Alpha Psi, JohnRay has already made his mark in this chapter. Within the last year, JohnRay held two positions, communicator and social media chair. Trying to always lighten up the mood, he is known for his email chronicles where he made funny nicknames paired with embarrassing pictures of our former president. Not only does he do an outstanding job on the E board, but he also gets involved in other projects like the Regional Conference and Shaping Our Future Leaders. This year JohnRay will be helping our Branch squad present in front of multiple chapters, talking about how we use technology within our chapter. Making an impact and being involved in every step of the way is why it’s safe to say that JohnRay Akia is deserving of the second “Beast” of the week.
CPA exam, a great challenge which is waiting for every accounting student after graduation. But do not worry since there are various CPA review courses that are available to support us. On February 26th, I had the opportunity to hear Emily, a Surgent student ambassador and also a Towson Tiger, showing some of the unique features of Surgent CPA Review. Surgent has an adaptive teaching style, which assesses students’ knowledge through mock exams in order to figure out the best way to beat the test with the most efficient study program personally for you. It also provides you and me the freedom to choose my studying style that best fit for our study habits: from E-book to flashcard. Last but not least, I can stay with Surgent until I pass all four parts of the exam!
Besides learning about Surgent we also got to play a Kahoot game, which was created and ran by our President Jayson Parisi and Vice President Ryan Carter. We played together, laughed together, and knew more about each other while looking back at the legacy of what we did so far this semester. It gives me the cozy feeling of a family, not a group of strangers. Tina is Beast of the Week, but everyone of us are Beast of Beta Alpha Psi!
- Ryan Carter
There are many conflicting ideas of the typical Big Four CPA firm experience. Some say it is the most worthwhile experience for an entry-level accountant, while others say you are just setting yourself up to be overworked for a year or two before finding a “real” job. However, why can’t it be a little bit of both? To answer that question and learn more about the Big Four employee experience, last Friday, February 22nd, 13 members from our Beta Alpha Psi chapter attended an office visit at the Ernst & Young (EY) Baltimore office.
EY is one of the Big Four CPA firms and its main purpose is to “build a better working world through our own actions and by engaging with like-minded organizations and individuals.” During our visit, we went on a tour of the office, had a presentation from their Campus Recruiter, Ally Yawman, and had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of associates in different lines of service. As we walked around the office, it was interesting to see small ways that EY makes their employees feel comfortable at work. For example, they have a room with reclining chairs for associates to take quick work breaks, an exterior dining deck above the Harbor, and a seating kiosk so associates can choose which cubicle they want to use on a daily or weekly basis. Can you imagine being able to take a quick nap at work or enjoying a candlelit dinner above the Harbor on a late night workday during busy season? Aside from all of the “comfort” features in the office, Ally’s presentation on the firm, all that it offers, and how it is utilizing modern technology was very informative and showed why any business major, regardless of major concentration, could succeed at EY. The panel, of two first-year associates in audit and advisory, and a tax manager, reinforced this idea. They answered all of our questions about why they chose EY, their previous internship experience, and what they do on a daily basis. In addition, I really appreciated how they honestly answered questions about the dreaded busy season and emphasized ways that EY helps promote work-life balance for its associates.
Overall, I feel like our EY office visit was a worthwhile experience and showed how working for a Big Four firm is a lot of work and some long hours, especially during busy season, but also an extremely worthwhile experience for a business student beginning their career.
Name: Valentina Wang (Tina)
Major/ Year: Senior majoring in Accounting.
Internship/ Full-time offer: internship offer with RSM in the summer 2019.
Interesting fact: Tina has shih tzu, her name is Kiki and she's 7 years old.
Tina has performed extraordinary as a member of Beta Alpha Psi. she was inducted as a Beta Alpha Psi member in Fall 2018. Last semester, Tina participated in almost all of the community service events and office visits. She was also the second runner- up as "Gold Candidate" last semester. This semester, besides doing her duties as a member, she also helped out board members by recruiting people into BAP, setting up a couple weekly meetings. Besides that, Tina has donated in total of 47 children books to BAP in less than 2 weeks. With this extraordinary work that she has done, it's safe to say that Tina deserves to be the "Beast" of the week.
- Jayson Parisi
With Valentine’s Day behind us, Beta Alpha Psi continues to have outstanding meeting week in and week out. On February 19, 2019, our chapter was lucky enough to have both Julie Reahl and Brianne Harrison from RSM. RSM is considered a middle market accounting firm, but don’t let that fool you because they have locations in 116 countries and has a combined staff of over 41,000. Also, RSM ranks 5th overall in the largest accounting firms.
At this meeting, Julie announced that we were going to have a discussion on ethics. Let’s get real, this isn’t a topic that has you jumping out of your seat with excitement. Surprisingly, our speakers created a fun and engaging activity that allowed us to work in a group and discuss how we would react to different ethical situations that happened in their firm. This was different from other meetings because we worked with members and the presentation was more informal.
What I learned from this meeting has gotten me thinking about the different ethical situations that might come up when I’m working at my firm. Taking the knowledge I gained from this meeting, I'm confident that I will make the right ethical decisions when faced in a situation
- JohnRay Akia
As much as I love sitting through presentations, it’s always good to switch it up. Morgan Stanley came to BAP with a workshop in mind, splitting the members into three different groups - finance, compliance, and operations - allowing them to ask questions directly to staff in a casual setting. As the first BAP meeting of the semester, I think it did a great job helping members engage with business professionals which is a valuable experience for college students. After all, where else do students have the opportunity to speak directly to finance staff wearing sweatpants and hoodies while eating pizza?
On February 6, 2019, Beta Alpha Psi was fortunate to have Mrs. Taylor come and speak at Towson University. Kimberly Ellison-Taylor is currently the Global Accounting Strategy Director for Oracle America, she used to be the Chairman of the American Institute of CPA’s Board of Directors, and she is also a past Chair of the Maryland Association of CPA’s. She was recognized by Accounting Today as one of the “Top People in Public Accounting- 2018” and by CPA Practice Advisor as one of the “2018 Most Powerful Women in Accounting.” There were people in attendance from different schools and backgrounds. Members from Towson University Society of Accountancy, National Association of Black Accountants, and other BAP members from Loyola, Salisbury, Morgan State, and University of Baltimore came to the event for guidance, questions, and to learn more about the opportunities in accounting.
As an aspiring accountant I found the event to be informative and motivational. Mrs. Taylor made it a point to stress that there are “no excuses” on what you can do. I’ve heard this phrase used on television and Ted Talks, but to hear these words in person hits harder than any Nike commercial. As an African American who was raised in inner-city Baltimore, Mrs. Taylor managed to beat the societal expectations placed on her. Everyone loves underdog stories, but what I respect most about Mrs. Taylor was that she never saw herself as such. She did not let her background define her opportunities and by doing so she was free of the self-perceived limitations that come with expectations and stereotypes. I’m sure everyone in attendance took “no excuses” differently, but I took it as a challenge. Mrs. Taylor knew her audience was filled with aspiring accountants and the future that lies ahead. Accounting is hard, the subject matter can be mind numbingly boring, the hours are ridiculous, the CPA is terrible, and failure is inevitable. But Mrs. Taylor showed me that with the right mind-set anything can be done-like a boss.