ACAP-Ohio brings industry, career insights to students
Forty-four high school students from around the state recently gathered at Fisher for the 19th annual Accounting Careers Awareness Program (ACAP-Ohio). The weeklong event, which provides minority high school students the opportunity to explore career options in accounting and business, was presented by The Ohio Society of CPAs, The Ohio CPA Foundation, the Columbus Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and Fisher’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services (ODISS) in conjunction with the Department of Accounting and MIS.
“These students are the future leaders in accounting and other areas of business,” said Edwin Jones, an alumnus of the program, an ODISS graduate student staff member, and an MBA candidate who serves as program coordinator of ACAP-Ohio. “Before this program, they may not have known – because of their background – that career paths like accounting and business were available to them.
“We’re giving them a chance to see the great impact these professions can have on them and the ways they can use their skills to excel in accounting and business.”
Students engaged with faculty and staff from Fisher and Ohio State as well as representatives from many of Fisher’s corporate partners. Among the week’s events was an Accounting 101 workshop led by Dr. Cynthia Turner, senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and MIS.
The session not only offered students an introduction to the industry, but for Cristina Morales – a recent high school graduate – it provided valuable insight.
“What Dr. Turner taught, through the basics of accounting, were lessons I can apply to parts of my own life – like my savings account,” Morales said. “Throughout the week, I’ve learned how to lead, how to network and the proper etiquette and professionalism expected in social situations.
“Just as important, we were given the chance to put these skills into practice.”
ACAP-Ohio activities also included professional speakers, team-building exercises, networking events and a site visit to Honda’s Marysville Auto Plant. A college fair in Mason Hall provided opportunities for students to meet and network with representatives from colleges and universities from across the state.
Ayman Osman, a high-school student from Columbus, said the ACAP-Ohio program provided him with an understanding of how accounting, business and entrepreneurship are connected.
“Now I understand what an asset and a liability is,” he said. “ACAP is a great program. It shows you the fundamentals of not just accounting, but the fundamentals of business in general. I want to own my own business one day, and I know for that to happen, I’ll be using the concepts I learned here.”
Providing additional support to ACAP-Ohio were Fisher’s Office of Career Management and Undergraduate Programs and Advising Office, and Ohio State’s Office of Outreach and Engagement and Office of Student Life.
ACAP-Ohio once again drew strong support from area CPA firms and other businesses, including many of Fisher’s partners. In addition to sponsoring ACAP-Ohio, organizations such as Deloitte, EY, Honda of America, KPMG, MDS CPA Review, Plante Moran and PwC contributed to the week's programming and engagement activities.
Other sponsors included the Accountancy Board of Ohio, which provided significant financial support, as well as L Brands, the Ingram-White Castle Foundation, John Deere, McDonald’s, and Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. In addition, ten students were awarded $500 scholarships from ACAP-Ohio sponsors.
“Without the help and contributions of our partnering companies, this program wouldn’t be possible,” Jones said. “We’re extremely grateful for the support of our partners and recognize the important role they play in making sure the ACAP-Ohio program remains one of the best career development opportunities for young minority students.”