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WSU accounting majors share their stories with local high school students
April 14, 2014

On April 9, the Michigan Accountancy Foundation and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) presented the 8th annual High School Leaders Diversity in Accounting Conference at Wayne State University. Students from Cass Technical, Fordson, King, Belleville, Renaissance and John Glenn high schools learned the benefits of pursuing a degree in accounting.

Wayne State accounting students Christa Byrd, William Leannais, Diara Prather and Calvin Sitto participated in a student panel on what the School of Business Administration’s accounting program has to offer.

Leannais and Prather both attended the event, themselves, when they were in high school and credited it with helping them decide to attend Wayne State and major in accounting. Leannais is currently interning at Plante Moran, and Prather is completing the School of Business Administration’s post-bachelor certificate in accounting.

Byrd, chief executive officer of the WSU Business Student Senate and an intern at UHY, told this year’s attendees that accounting is the key to unlocking many of the mysteries of a career in business.

"If you understand accounting, you can understand any aspect of business," Byrd said.  "You’ll be better at other fields because you understand the fundamentals of how business works."

The panel was moderated by Randy Paschke, former chair of WSU’s Department of Accounting who currently serves as the School of Business Administration’s director of external relations and community engagement.

Paschke, who also serves as chairman of the MACPA, said that diversity in the accounting field is important for relationship building with clients. He said that employees of firms, especially public accounting firms, should reflect what society looks like. He credits this event with showing more local students, particularly those from groups who are underrepresented in accounting, what the field has to offer.

Similar events were also held at Oakland University and Western Michigan University.

To view photos from the event, please visit Flickr.