UB student only one in Maryland to receive accounting scholarship

A UB senior was the only student in Maryland to win a nationwide scholarship for accounting majors.

On Sep. 25, Tanyeka Alexander, a senior in the Accounting program in the Merrick School of Business, was announced as a winner of the 2014-2015 AICPA/Accountemps Scholarship presented by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Alexander was the only college or university student in Maryland to be awarded the $2,500 scholarship. The scholarship is presented annually to undergraduate and graduate students who are working towards getting their licenses as CPAs. The AICPA recognizes the students who are awarded the scholarship for their academic excellence, as well as their leadership. Alexander says there are at least 10 different scholarships on the AICPA’s website that students can apply for.

“You just apply for as many as you can, especially those that you think apply to you,” Alexander said, who’s currently working as an intern at the Baltimore headquarters of accounting firm CliftonLarsenAllen.

Alexander says she also applied to scholarships for transfer students and minorities. She described how she and a classmate were flown up to Philadelphia to meet with the AICPA’s Diversity and Inclusion Team during the two-and-a-half- day Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop. Alexander says about 35 students from across the country took part in the workshop, and they received instruction on everything from etiquette and networking to studying for the CPA exam.

Each of the scholarships involved answering two questions with short essays of 250 to 500 words.

Alexander says one of the questions applicants were asked was what their intentions were if they won any of the scholarships and became an “Accounting Legacy Scholar.” The second question would vary by scholarship.

“The second question would’ve been more detailed, such as ‘Why did you choose accounting,’ or ‘How successful do you think you will be in accounting,’ or ‘What will you do when you graduate with your degree in accounting,’” Alexander said.

She added that the applications also required two professional letters of recommendation, from an employment, supervisor, or a professor.

Alexander said it felt good to find out over the summer that she was among the finalists for the Accountemps scholarship.

“It was very rewarding to find that I had been selected as a top tier (applicant), but I would know for sure by August,” Alexander said. She feels fortunate to have been named one of the 10 scholarship winners nationwide.

“I’m very blessed to have it. I definitely need it; looking at graduating and continuing on with my Master’s. There’s GMAT to consider […] every test involves costs, and even preparation review tests also have costs. I’m looking at taking the CPA exam and preparing for that,” Alexander said. Passage of the GMAT test is required to get into the Master’s Accounting program.

The fact that Alexander was the only winner of the Accountemps scholarship in Maryland was newsworthy to CliftonLarsenAllen. She says her award made news throughout the company.

“A couple of partners at the firm just thought that was remarkable, and it even helped me just as an intern. I’m not just an intern; I feel like I’m THE intern,” Alexander said.

She also made company-wide news when her research paper, titled “Generational Encounters: Goodbye Boomers, Hello Millenials,” was published on the blog of Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) Executive Director Tom Hood on Aug. 26. Alexander was also presented with a scholarship from the MACPA Education Foundation during the association’s first annual “Women to Watch” Awards Breakfast on Sep. 30.

Applications for next year’s scholarships are now available on the AICPA’s website, www.aicpa.org.

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