News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

NABA Chapter Chartered

Some MSU NABA members paused for a photo before their February 15 meeting – (from left) Maxwell Perkins, Elijah Bell, Christina Washington and Wynton Johnson.

Despite representing over 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans make up less than 9 percent of individuals employed as accountants and auditors, according to the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). While this reflects marked growth since the organization’s founding in 1969, it also shows there is still room for progress.

NABA, whose motto is “lifting as we climb,” was founded to bridge the opportunity gap for African Americans in the accounting and finance fields. Its focus extends to college students, providing opportunities through scholarships, student conferences and collegiate chapters.

One of NABA’s newest chapters has been founded at Mississippi State. Endowed through a gift from the Richard C. Adkerson Family Foundation, the chapter began activities in the spring of 2021, and the national organization awarded the MSU chapter its charter this past December.

“Membership creates opportunities not only to connect within the University with other students, faculty and staff but also to meet potential employers and hear about types of employment in these fields,” shares chapter adviser Trina Pollan, ASAC’s Academic Coordinator.

An etiquette dinner was held in March.

MSU’s NABA chapter meets twice a month, often hearing from practitioners on specific topics. In one recent event, for example, a KPMG representative discussed advancement opportunities in general and the criteria for advancing within KPMG specifically. ASAC has sponsored a couple of events organized by the MSU Career Center: an etiquette dinner, which covered areas ranging from acceptable and unacceptable topics of conversation to table manners and phone usage; and a session on interviewing, covering how to dress and present oneself and offering preparation for certain potential questions.

Other activities in the works include a service project and attendance by a representative or two at either the regional or national student conference this year.

“I Initially joined NABA for the professional benefits – talking to prospective employers, experiencing the founding of a student organization and networking with other students,” says chapter President Maxwell Perkins. “With the multitude of speakers we bring in, NABA meetings are a great resource for gaining perspective on what the business world looks like.”

He adds, “As I’ve planned meetings with the others on the exec board, I’ve grown to see NABA not only as an organization to grow in professionally but also as a community of students joined in our common desire to grow professionally. For me, it has become a community where I can talk about my career goals, anxieties as a student and my experiences. I want others to join NABA as a step toward achieving their career goals – but to stay in it for the community of students who are ‘lifting as we climb.’”

The MSU NABA executive board includes Perkins; Christina Washington, Vice President; Wynton Johnson, Treasurer; Shamyra Edmond, Professional Development/Event Planning Chair; Jay Parks, Marketing/Public Relations Chair and Raven Smith, Student Chapter Reporting Chair.

Learn more about the chapter’s activities and members by following it on Instagram: naba.msstate