News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

Innovative Camp First in State

2016 ASAP participants included (from left, 1st row) Abigail Mederos, Madison Duran, (2nd row) Rachel Hall, Katlin Williams, Jensen Reed, Jackie Woitesek, Cameron Reeves, (3rd row) Cole Mosby, Hunter Whitman, Cory Tune, Elizabeth Stephenson, (4th row) Reily Holloway, Kyanna Hollin, camp counselor Keisha Robinson, Seth Germ, Matthew Ferris, Xavier Bodie and Noah Winstead.

In July, the Adkerson School of Accountancy presented its second “Accelerating Students into the Accounting Profession” – ASAP – Summer Camp. The inventive program serves rising high school seniors who are considering careers in accounting.

“This is a pioneering concept – we’re the first in the state to do something like this,” states ASAC Director Shawn Mauldin. “It helps draw some of the best and brightest young students into our profession by letting them try it out and by showing them how they can use an accounting education.”

Through a series of fun, creative, hands-on activities, ASAP invites participants to test the waters of accountancy. This year’s campers worked in groups on projects to be presented in the style of television’s “Shark Tank” program. The two-day competition began with some instruction that introduced basic accounting and research skills. The groups then worked to imagine their own businesses and put together plans for them. They presented their plans to a panel of faculty members and practitioners, which offered feedback and selected a winning team. The winners, Reily Holloway, Cole Mosby and Noah Winstead, received Amazon gift cards.

Business plan competition winners were (from left) Cole Mosby, Reily Holloway and Noah Winstead.

Exposure to the profession and practicing professionals came in several ways, including a “Why Did I Choose Accounting?” session. HORNE, LLP, sponsored a trip to its Ridgeland, MS, offices, and KPMG led a seminar on interview techniques. Other professional skills were covered in a “What Not to Wear – MSU Career Center Edition” event and an etiquette dinner.

Participants also got a glimpse into the Mississippi State experience, beginning with a scavenger hunt and a formal tour that helped familiarize them with campus. They were welcomed by Mauldin and by College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald, and they heard about scholarships and the admissions process. They also got a feel for college by sitting in with university students on an accounting lecture and staying in campus residence halls. ASAC students served as their counselors.

This past year 17 top high school students participated, up from the 10 of the inaugural camp in 2015.

“It was an impressive group,” notes Mauldin. “If they represent the future of accounting, the outlook is a promising one!”

Ryan Colvin, Senior Coordinator for the MSU Career Center, talks to students about dinner etiquette.

Campers got a first-hand look at the profession with a visit to HORNE, LLP.