Adventures in accounting offer students new perspective

Written on Nov 13, 2017

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager 

A trip around the globe is an adventure some only dream about, but thanks to Caitlin Maggio’s accounting studies it became a reality this past summer.

Maggio is a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University, and her visit to Australia and New Zealand was made possible by a proposal to OWU’s Theory-to-Practice Grant program. The program gives funding from the university to support academic and community service initiatives of special interest.

“It was cool because we spent so much time doing things related to accounting, but we also got to learn and see so much in the area, and that was amazing,” Maggio said.

Maggio traveled with another OWU student and accounting professor Justin Breidenbach, CPA, MAcc, CFE, to learn about the advantages and drawbacks of Australia adopting IFRS into their system. They met and spoke with different accountants about IFRS, went diving with great white sharks and visited sites like the Australian Treasury.

“When we went over there we had the idea their accounting was going to be completely different from ours,” Maggio said. “But in reality, you pick up on little things so quickly it feels natural.”

For Gabby Lowry, a freshman at the University of Cincinnati, her traveling was closer to home but just as eye-opening. She attended the NABA Central Region Student Conference Sept. 28-30 in Milwaukee.

“It was a great opportunity to talk to people who look like you in your major and going through the same things you are,” Lowry said.

While there, she was able to take advantage of a career fair and attend informational sessions on what it’s like to be in the accounting profession as a minority. She even left the career fair with leads on possible internships.

“It was great to see people who happen to be in positions of power,” Lowry said. “They were telling us 'This is possible, this is how I got here. This is my journey, you can do it too. And I’ll help you.’”

Trips such as these allow students to experience firsthand the world of opportunities in the accounting profession, whether it means learning a new accounting system or hearing the perspective of successful professionals.

Maggio will graduate in May 2018, and after an internship this past summer at BDO said she’s looking forward to diving into the accounting profession even further.

“I definitely know I want to start in public accounting and take the CPA,” Maggio said. “I want to see where accounting takes me.”

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