NABA Student Chapter Hosts Professional Development Experience

The University of Tennessee’s National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Student Chapter hosted a professional development trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, the week of February 22, 2010. The University of Tennessee College of Business Administration brought 20 high-achieving students, ranging from freshmen to graduating seniors, who have an interest in accounting and other business-related disciplines such as finance and information management. The purpose of the trip was to give the students first-hand exposure on how these companies operated and have them envision potential career paths within these companies.

NABA group“A professional development trip, such as the one to Charlotte, benefits students in the classroom in several ways,” said Randy Bradley, assistant professor in UT’s Department of Accounting and Information Management. “First, it gives the students a greater appreciation for the concepts they learn in class because they have the opportunity to see how those concepts are leveraged in industry. Second, such a trip can lead to better scholastic achievement since students, especially freshmen and sophomores, have a better idea of what they are working toward. They no longer have the mindset of ‘I'm taking classes for the sake of taking classes.’ It results in a paradigm shift toward viewing their coursework as an opportunity for career preparation.”

Over the course of the week, the students met with executives from Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dixon Hughes, and the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team. Company executives talked to the students about their businesses operations, particularly focusing on the areas of accounting, finance, and diversity and inclusiveness. The students also got to enjoy an evening with the NABA Professional Chapter of Charlotte.

“I really enjoyed meeting with the NABA Professional Chapter of Charlotte,” said Jasmine Davis, December 2010 graduate in accounting. “It gave me the opportunity to network and speak one-on-one with professionals in an open environment. In addition, students who were not accounting or finance majors were able to benefit from this experience because of the range of disciplines represented at each of the offices. This program was a great way to see what it is available in the ‘real world’.”

“All of the executives we met were extremely gracious and spent so much time with the students,” said Tyvi Small, coordinator of diversity initiatives for the College of Business Administration. “They helped the students better understand the educational career paths often taken by executives and how to prepare for jobs in business. They also exposed our students to internship and fulltime job opportunities.”

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