Most essential to me was the importance of building strong, sustainable working relationships. In business, I can think of nothing more important. In 2011 I became president of Bowie State University’s chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. Quickly I learned through facing tough fiscal challenges mixed with the need for strong leadership how critical and beneficial it was to gain stronger skills in the area of developing solid working relationships. Through that experience combined with my ambitious vision and help from extraordinary professors, administration and students, I was able to achieve a very successful year providing a platform for business students to reach out to leading firms in the nation’s private, public and non-profit sectors.
Although before I came to Bowie State University I never viewed myself as a visual learner, I remember discovering how clear concepts sharpened in my mind when I used a whiteboard my mother bought for me at the beginning of my third semester. Those images I drew on that whiteboard would be the framework for my tutoring sessions from then until graduation. Each time I could see the concept and how it related to the big picture, a glowing freshness would rush through my soul. I knew that any unpleasant feeling was temporary, but the knowledge I had just internalized was with me for as long as I wanted to hold on to it. I remember my peers calling me "the professor" because of my relatively reminiscent approach. "The icing on the cake" was seeing that same reaction occurring in someone else, like passing a torch with a flame that will burn forever.
As a freshman, I shared the common problem of managing my time effectively. What deterred me from a path of confusion was first identifying the problem. Soon after, I discovered a book that talked about significantly cutting back on "loose" time that seems to slip away each day. I experimented with many different devices. I figured if I could control how I spent my time then I could better control my destiny. Soon, my day would flow according to plan day in and day out. It took planning small tasks and completing them to build confidence in myself, but I soon gained the structure I needed. Even though I am still learning, I can honestly say that I was able to be highly productive on a consistent basis.
I am grateful to have been able to work with some of the most dedicated and challenging professors. Intermediate Accounting is known to be one of the toughest accounting classes. If you can pass that class, then it is said that you have what it takes to be an accountant. Moreover, if you can make all of the classes at the only time it is offered at 8 a.m., then you are ready to work in accounting. For that class, I took Professor Samuel Duah, and he did a fantastic job. The concepts were explained with an expertise only an experienced professional can manage to pull off. Professor Duah valued his best students and always displayed his ethical strength and sharp sense of humor. I can say that my view of accounting was profoundly impacted. After achieving high marks in that class, I was ready to take on the accounting world with a confidence in my ability to do well in the profession.
Early on in my academic career I had the chance to work part time with Professor Duah at his accounting firm. The things I learned working there not only reassured me of the importance of the knowledge I gained in class, but it also took my thinking to a new level. Efficiency came into play and I knew that I had to approach the concepts with an academic and practical mindset. In addition, the experience further solidified my plans to become an accountant as I felt a great satisfaction working in that intense environment. The foundation was necessary to take my career to the next level, and the skills I learned there will be very useful in helping me provide value to any organization.
After I attain my undergraduate degree, I will become a full-time Audit/Tax Associate for CohnReznick, a public accounting firm and leader in audit, tax and advisory services located in Bethesda, Md.