I was interested in accounting before I fully understood what accounting meant.

As a young Girl Scout, I loved collecting money and filling out the cookie forms. I would audit the form 2-3 times to make sure I had the correct amount of money. Outside of Girl Scouts, I had never taken a business class or learned anything about accounting, but in the 7th grade I took a career test and scored the business field. After doing research I quickly learned business was the right area for me.

During high school a friend recommended I participate in the INCPAS Scholars Program. Between that and the National Association of Black Accountants’ Accounting Career Awareness Program, I discovered more about public accounting and had the opportunity to meet with business professionals.

Now as a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in Accounting and Business Analytics, I am very excited for the future of accounting and that firms are actively seeking minorities and diversity.

Throughout the past few years, I have gained a deeper understanding on the importance of diversity in business and accounting. Although there are certain rules, regulations and steps that all CPAs must take, diversity in the workplace is crucial to a successful business. Diversity allows teams to see from different perspectives. In addition, diversity may help with recruiting employees or potential clients. If an employee or client feels welcome with a firm, they are more likely to work with them.

As a black female, I have seen the importance of diversity but more importantly inclusion. Going into the workplace, I am looking for a firm that does more than hire diverse employees. I am looking forward to joining a firm where I see people that look like me, but I also want a firm that embraces one another’s differences and welcomes them.

My family created an organization in high school called “I VOW.” The purpose was to teach others that you don’t have to accept everyone’s beliefs or lifestyles, but that you should respect them as a person. I hope to work with people who follow this motto.

As we celebrate Black History Month, ask yourself if you want a company that only looks for diversity or one that learns from each diverse background and promotes inclusion.

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