ICPAS Hosts Mary T Washington Wylie Internship Prep Program

In four years, the program has provided 100 students with resources to advance their academic and professional pursuits.

CHICAGO – January 2016 - This month, 25 minority college students received unparalleled access to training and resources essential in the transition from student to professional at the Illinois CPA Society’s Mary T. Washington Wylie (MTWW) Internship Preparation Program.

This award-winning program continues to provide its scholars with the tools they need to advance in their academic and professional aspirations. The culmination of this experience is an opportunity for students to interview with accounting firms. In the four years since the program’s inception, 100 students, representing 37 schools, have participated. To date, 69 students have received one or more internship or other offer. In total, 24 students have received an offer or are currently working in a full-time position. In addition, many of the program’s scholars are on track to take the CPA exam and three of the 2013 scholars have already passed the exam.  

Over the course of the three-day program, students interacted with accounting and finance professionals from leading firms and organizations as diverse as the Chicago White Sox, Exelon, and The Field Museum. A highlight of the program, the Careers in Accounting Panel addressed various career paths. Panelists shared stories of how they found their niche in accounting, daily workload expectations, and how to be successful in similar roles.

The American Institute of CPAs Vice Chairperson, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, delivered the program’s inspirational keynote address, which was focused on overcoming personal and professional challenges and supporting diversity within the profession. Young professionals and past program scholars brought energy and a unique perspective as they shared what it takes to earn an internship and receive a full-time position.

 “This experience changed my life. I learned so many beneficial lessons about my professional presence, attitude, and etiquette, which will allow me to soar in my future career,” said Valencia Pringle, MTWW scholar.

In addition, the students participated in interactive sessions dedicated to business ethics, team building, interview skills, and the CPA exam. Students also enjoyed a revamped resume session that allowed them one-on-one time with recruiters to receive feedback and then make edits to their resumes.

“Every volunteer truly cared about my success in the program and my future in the CPA profession. I am walking away with a greater sense of self-confidence after I received helpful resume tips, interview advice, and learned all about the CPA exam,” said AuQuan Mack, MTWW scholar.

 “It is incredible to witness the transformation of these students over the course of only three days. These students represent the future of the CPA profession, and it is our responsibility to help them succeed,” said Illinois CPA Society President/CEO Todd Shapiro.

The all-expenses-paid program is funded by donations to the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois’ Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund. Essential to the program’s success was the generous support and involvement from the following accounting firms: Crowe Horwath LLP, Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, Grant Thornton LLP, KPMG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Sikich LLP. Each firm engaged the scholars in different formats: with speakers, volunteers, or mentors to help develop and facilitate the program.

The 2016 Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholars are:

Name                                                     Hometown                            School

Edgar Allen                                           Palatine                                 William Rainey Harper College

Aisha Bell                                              Bolingbrook                          Western Illinois University

Aaron Blum                                           Pittsburgh, PA                       University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

LeRone Branch                                    South Holland                      Dominican University

Meri-t Ua Brown                                   Chicago                                 Illinois Wesleyan University

Naquincia Burnett                                Elgin                                       Elgin Community College

Daisjaun Burns                                    Chicago                                 University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Jakell Collins                                        Chicago                                 Eastern Illinois University

Elizabeth Cristobal                              Chicago                                 Western Illinois University

Aseelah Duncan                                  Chicago                                 Eastern Illinois University

Jacqueline Flores                                Berwyn                                   St. Xavier University

Takira Hill                                              Chicago                                Western Illinois University

Tshawnda Kitchen                               Charleston                            Eastern Illinois University

AuQuan Mack                                       DeKalb                                  Northern Illinois University

Alexandro Martinez                             Franklin Park                        Roosevelt University

Samone Morris-Beck                          Peoria                                    Western Illinois University

Cindy Peralta                                       Chicago                                  St. Xavier University

Valencia Pringle                                  Chicago                                  St. Xavier University

Corbin Quinonez                                 Tulare                                     Greenville College

Juan Ramirez                                       Waukegan                             Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Cortesha Spencer                               Washington Park                  McKendree University

Odontuya Sumiyatsooj                       Mount Prospect                    University of Illinois at Chicago

Ashley Terrell                                       Bellwood                                Northern Illinois University

Nana Wiafe-Ababio                            Peoria                                     Bradley University

Dave Zuniga                                        Chicago Heights                   St. Xavier University



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Eric Scott
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