November 4, 2021
A KSCPA Ignite Blog by:
Liz Gaume | Member Relations Coordinator
Kansas Society of CPAs
The Kansas Society of CPAs INSPIRE Business Camp was a day of opportunity and community building. The camp may seem like a fun day off from school to explore a career path, but it is so much more. The day-long event, held on September 30 at Kansas State University, challenged students to think of accounting not only as a college major or a way to make money but to look at how they and accounting plug into the bigger picture. The camp lays the groundwork for potential future accountants while showcasing the relevance of a robust accounting ecosystem.
The camp connects high school students, high school educators, universities, college accounting faculty, college accounting students, prospective employers, and dynamic speakers around opportunities in accounting. High School educators were able to demonstrate the importance of what they are teaching in the classroom. In addition, they were able to tangibly introduce their students to potential next steps in their life’s journey, making it seem that much more “real.” Colleges got the opportunity to share the programs and services their institutions offer and why they might be a good fit for a particular student. College accounting faculty were given a chance to answer questions that might be barriers to students enrolling, such as why accounting, financial resources available to help subsidize tuition or the size of the school and classes. Employers were able to showcase their organization. Most importantly, they were able to share the many career paths within the accounting profession. It was also a prime time for employers to ask the students questions to prepare for the next generation. The event came full circle with current college accounting majors sharing their experiences discovering accounting and why they are excited to pursue it as a career path.
The mission of the KSCPA is to support and develop its members while promoting the accounting profession. The INSPIRE Business Camp is an integral piece, helping promote the accounting profession and build the pipeline of future CPAs. The vision of the KSCPA is to be an inclusive community that connects, innovates, advocates and learns. Students, teachers, universities, and employers were all able to connect, interact, and engage with each other throughout the day. Everyone was an advocate for the future learning opportunities of the students, the relevance of accounting at the colleges, and the critical role employers play in not only providing jobs but cultivating and inspiring the talent of future accounting professionals. Innovative ways to deliver these messages were incorporated to demonstrate accounting as a fun, vibrant, and dynamic career path. Fun notepads, games, a selfie station, outstanding speakers, and even a team video contest on what it means to be a business athlete were used to energize the students and pique their curiosity. Hopefully, the students were able to learn there is a lot more to accounting than meets the eye, and it is a career path worth considering. We hope they also learned that there is a vast and diverse accounting network to support them every step of the way into a career in accounting.
The speakers may not have been part of the individual interaction and engagement activities, but boy did they deliver and connect with the entire audience. Devin Henderson mesmerized the attendees with his comedy, magic, and words of inspiration. Devin is an author, speaker, comedian, and so much more that make up his company Peak Performance. His session Something Greater is as Always Possible showcased his philosophy of starting ugly, starting small, and picking up the ball. It’s not where you start or your path that matters, but how you handle the bumps along the way. Such a great message for aspiring business athletes! K-State Broadcaster and President/CFO of Tower Properties Stan Weber brought some hype and insight with his session on The Business Athlete’s Exciting Future. He highlighted the wealth of opportunity in business and the countless ways accountants support businesses and the economy. A panel of college accounting students shed light on what they wish they would have known before starting college. The panel session concluded with the group fielding questions from students addressing their biggest questions and concerns about college and the accounting career path. The day wrapped up with Jerrica Newby, Recruiter at BKD, getting the students thinking during her session on Be a Pro in Your Career Game! The tips and advice she shared will help students know how to add to their resume, improve their skill set, stand out as an applicant, and create a solid foundation to launch their careers.
KSCPA is proud of the success of the event, the quality of the students who participated, the dedication of the teachers who accompanied them, the encouragement from the universities and faculty, the motivation delivered by the speakers, and the vision created by accountants and their organizations of what a future in accounting could look like.
The next class of business athletes is waiting to be recruited! Spread the word and invite upcoming high school juniors and seniors to watch the video and participate in the 2022 KSCPA INSPIRE Business Camp to be held in October at the University of Kansas. Open the door of opportunity for them to connect, advocate, innovate and learn as part of the accounting ecosystem.
We couldn't have pulled off such a FUN-tastic event without some help from our friends:
We are extremely grateful to Sheila L. Coomes and Brett Wilkinson for their partnership and hospitality. Thank you, K-State, for hosting the 2021 Inspire Business Camp.
We couldn't have done it without your involvement and support!
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