Six members of the UConn chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) attended the organization’s 38th Eastern Region Student Conference (ERSC) on October 10-13, 2013. The conference featured two and one-half days of workshops, seminars and interview sessions designed to better prepare minority students for careers in accounting and financial management disciplines.
Brandon Madden ’16, Shantaye Taylor ’16, Yanashley Bures-Ortiz ’17, Kadijah McGehee ’16, Harris Baucicaut ’13, and Schneider Jean-Baptiste ’16 said they all came back to UConn with an enhanced motive to reach success in their academic and professional careers. Also accompanying the students was Michael Mallery Jr., School of Business Office of Diversity Initiatives.
“The conference was a phenomenal and life changing experience,” noted Bures-Ortiz, a freshman accounting major. The conference gave her an introduction to corporate America and the opportunity to start building her professional network among the variety of students, volunteers, and professionals in attendance. The experience also gave her the opportunity to bond and form stronger relationships with her fellow UConn NABA members.
By learning about the history of NABA and its impact on the lives of its members, the students grew in appreciation for the foundation and paths NABA has created for its members by giving them the opportunity to improve their interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills.
Students quickly took advantage of their chance to interact and participate in workshops held throughout the conference, gaining skills, tips, and an understanding of what it takes to excel in the corporate world. The information presented in workshops taught students how to use their academics, involvement, and experience to land desired internships and full-time positions.
Two of the most enjoyed and beneficial workshops at NABA’s ERSC were the “Sister Circle” and the “Brother Circle,” each designed as a safe haven for discussion among each gender on dealing with common conflicts in a professional manner. The circles built trust and unity among the individuals who attended, allowing them to present personal experiences and share advice. Most importantly, motivational speakers and administrators in each circle presented activities that built confidence within the students.
“I met many inspiring professionals from recruiters to panelists,” says Baucicaut. “They motivated me not to quit and keep pushing until I reach my goals.”
“NABA’s ERSC experience was truly an amazing chance to develop, grow, and understand the importance of professional development and leadership,” adds Taylor. “Through our range of freshman, sophomore, and junior UConn NABA attendees, they have all felt honored and appreciative for the opportunity to gain the NABA ERSC experience. We want to thank the School of Business, Office of Diversity Initiatives, NABA, our corporate sponsor Ernst and Young, and last but not least, our professional chapter in Hartford for their support in making this trip possible,” she says.