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Accounting Conference Provides Incredible Learning Opportunity
A student leadership conference impressed the two LSBE attendees so much, they’d like to start a chapter of that organization here.
Right: Latisha Forsberg and John Sufka at the Leadership Conference
John Sufka, an Accounting major with a Finance minor, and Latisha Forsberg, who has a double major of Accounting and MIS, traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to take part in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Student Leadership Conference.
Wipfli paid for half of the students’ attendance fees, which required the students to apply and have a 3.2 GPA. Donors to the Labovitz School provided for the remainder of the student fees. "Donors play a crucial role in the education of our students,” said Suzanne Anderson, LSBE’s development officer.
While at the conference, the students started and ended each day with keynote speaker presentations and attended workshops in between. Topics included data analytics, forensic accounting, and career round tables that featured representatives from the FBI and public and private accounting firms.
Tours of businesses and organizations, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Nestle, were also part of the event, as was an exhibition where the students connected with company representatives and recruiters.
Overall there was a lot to learn and a variety of venues from which to learn it.
“I got the inside scoop from company reps on how to get an internship or work towards attaining a career with a particular company,” said Sufka. His main takeaway from the keynote speakers was to leave your team better than when you first joined them.
Forsberg’s takeaway was that you can be competitive and still be kind. “I also was exposed to other cultures and accounting practices outside of the U.S., plus I made some international connections.”
Forsberg and Sufka offer the following advice to future attendees.
- come prepared to meet company reps and talk with high level leadership
- bring networking cards and your resume
- professionally represent yourself and your school (e.g., use good manners, be respectful)
- have an open mind to what you might learn or whom you should talk with
- put yourself out there and approach people and industry leaders
Both students plan to work in public accounting with goals of joining a private manufacturing company, like 3M.