November 21, 2022
The KSCPA INSPIRE Business Camp can best be described as an evolution. Not just the development of something simple to a more complex form, but a group of living organisms developing and diversifying together to become better collectively and individually. The camp ensures not only the vibrancy of the profession but emphasizes the importance of accounting in business and the role the next generation can play. It encourages students to take the next step in charting their path for the future. It also validates the importance of accounting and its role in modern business. Gone are the days of accountants in the back-office crunching numbers and the INSPIRE Camp helps tomorrow's leaders spread the word.
The day kicked off with words of wisdom from Brian Dunn, Controller of the Kansas City Chiefs. He shared what a day is like, what skills are required, and how his office affects and interacts with the Chiefs program and overall operations. He passed the baton to Austin Barone, owner of Just Play Sports, and Meagan Dowell, owner of On the Ball, who talked about entrepreneurship, opening and running their businesses. They also discussed how a background in accounting benefits them and their business. A panel of college students also shared their experiences and answered questions from the group.
"I was very eager to participate in the KSCPA Inspire Camp as it gave me the opportunity to demonstrate the wide variety of opportunities the accounting profession can provide." ~Brian Dunn | Vice President of Accounting and Controller, Kansas City Chiefs
Participants took a lap around the Cool Career Track and College Training Booths to see where a career in accounting starts and where it can lead. Their high school business teachers accompanied them, so conversations can continue and expand when they get back to the classroom. There was significant participation from colleges, universities, and employers, representing the accounting ecosystem and how we all work together to support each other in the profession. Educational and professional representatives were asked to join the student groups throughout the day to simulate that sense of community and camaraderie during the camp.
"KU was very excited to host the KSCPA camp this year! Our accounting faculty are driven to show students how pairing an accounting skillset with their passion can lead to successful and rewarding careers. We loved seeing the young high school students in the audience, asking questions, and showing real enthusiasm for business and accounting." ~Rachel A. Green, CPA | Master of Accounting Program Associate Director, Accounting Lecturer + FORVIS Beta Alpha Psi Advisor, University of Kansas
Interactive games and challenges were also an integral part of the day. Students were assigned groups at random, so they got the opportunity to meet and work with new acquaintances. A series of Minute to Win It games adapted around the INSPIRE sports theme got groups talking, moving, and working together from the start. The day culminated in a fun business pitch activity. Groups were challenged to develop a new sport to pitch to the Olympic Committee. They had to explain their sport, why it should be considered, and the benefits it would bring to the next Olympics.
The INSPIRE Camp will continue to evolve, as we all should, to stay relevant and current. The best way to impact the accounting profession and the communities we serve is to become better accountants, individuals, and organizations. Touching the lives of high school students exploring their future seems like an excellent place to start.
We are beyond grateful to Rachel Green and the University of Kansas staff, who graciously hosted this year's event. We couldn't have done it without your involvement and support!
Thank you to the organizations who sponsored and participated in the event.
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