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We recently held the second annual virtual Future CPA Leadership Series as an alternative to the in-person Student Leadership Academy. Although we missed the in-person engagement again this year with our students, we continued to make the most of the virtual experience with engaging speakers and interactive touch points throughout the program.

With the series being virtual we were able to break it down into bite-sized pieces spanning four days offering attendees the flexibility to attend as many or as little as their schedule allows. We were also extremely happy to have many students from surrounding states join in on the fun!

Attendees were welcomed at the start of the series by MACPA CEO Jackie Brown and then-Board Chair Avonette Blanding, CFO with Maritime Applied Physics Corp, as well as incoming Chair Lexy Kessler, lead partner at Aronson LLC. Students were then introduced to ways to become future-ready with the latest professional news from Tom Hood, the AICPA’s executive vice president of of Business Engagement and Growth. They were also offered tips to take control of their career from the MACPA’s very own Rebekah Brown, director of development. They heard from DEI expert Florence Holland on how to tackle inclusiveness in the profession, as well as how to master communicating effectively with MACPA champion and Audit Supervisor of Ellin & Tucker, Patrick St. Clair. The program incorporated panel discussions with emerging leaders, speed mentoring, and some friendly competition with a little trivia fun. Always a favorite, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor inspired all with her words of wisdom on elevating their future success. They also heard from the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy representative Barrett Young on how to best navigate the road to CPA. The series ended with information from Surgent and Gleim CPA Exam Review sponsors, as well as tips from the current high scorer and Elijah Watts Sells winner Kim Nguyen.

Attendee Chantel Zemp, summarized her experience below:

“After attending the MACPA’s Student Leadership Series, I have that drive again to help me get through my next set of accounting courses. Not only have I learned more about the profession I have chosen to pursue, but I have also learned a great deal of what it’s like to not only work but to thrive in the business world.”

We can’t thank the speakers, students, staff, and these ever-so supportive sponsors for helping us make this event a success:

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we can return to in-person in 2022 with the Student Leadership Academy, as well as continue virtual offerings on pertinent topics throughout the year to continue our goal of a future-ready pipeline.

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