On Service

Doggie dash

For the past three weeks, I have been tutoring two students–non-accounting business majors taking a required graduate accounting course.  Tomorrow they have an exam, and I’m so excited about how hard they have worked to study for it.  I feel preemptively proud of them, if that’s allowed.

The first day I met one of the students in one of those always-slightly-smelly library basement study rooms, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I hadn’t tutored anyone since I was an undergraduate (and back then I helped kids write papers–not use present value tables!).   We went through some problems, I asked and answered some questions, and I noticed that sometimes the most effective thing I could do was simply sit and listen as the student worked a problem out on his own.

At the end of that very first session I had such a strange but clear feeling that what I had done in that little basement room had served to enrich my education as much as all my graduate accounting courses combined.  Which is not to downplay the enormous amount that I am learning in all my classes!  What I mean is that the act of helping another student succeed trumped my personal successes.  More than that–it gave meaning to all those classes and all those As and all that work.

After that first day, I think I probably looked forward to the tutoring sessions more than the students did!  And I certainly didn’t always have the answers, but hopefully I was a bit helpful, a bit motivating, maybe a little clarifying, and even a bit of a cheerleader when the moment was right.

Anyways…send them good thoughts on their exam day tomorrow!

(The photo above is from another bit of service–I and other members of Beta Alpha Psi directed runners and walkers along the racecourse at the Doggie Dash and Dawdle this month.  That dawdler pictured above took the cake.)

Branding Bootcamp: Round 2

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I attended a second Branding Boot Camp yesterday morning–this time to hand out This Way to CPA materials, to be a Career Services Student Ambassador presence, and to support Kate Williams, our Anderson Career Services advisor and resident branding genius. We watched the Ann Rhoades video again, and there was the Dwight Schrute slide, and a lot of LinkedIn advice.  It was great to be there in a supporting role this time–to watch as others uploaded photos to LinkedIn and brainstormed lists of their stand-out strengths.

Go branding!

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Start Now

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When I met with Jason Deshayes, he gave me a lot of great advice, but one theme really stood out: don’t wait.

He mentioned joining non-profit boards early in his career–not waiting until he was a senior or partner (which, a decade later, he is).

And he suggested that if you are a senior staff member and you are wanting to move up to being a manager, don’t wait.  Start doing whatever manager-type duties you can right away–take the initiative and the responsibility even before you have the title.

He said that something he has learned over the past decade is that even though you do have to let all the conditions come together on some things, you should never believe that “it’s not your time.”  Don’t wait for someone else’s idea of “your time”–write your own course!

Being an AICPA Legacy Scholar has motivated me to start making professional connections, and to try and set myself up to become a future leader in the field–even before I have earned all the credits to sit for the CPA exam.  For instance, I’m really interested in the sorts of conversations going on among current CPAs (especially young CPAs), so I follow people on twitter, follow firms and organizations on LinkedIn, and read blogs like the one at Thriveal.com.

The hashtag #aicpagc13 started showing up in my twitter feed this past weekend, along with some really great quotes and insights from speakers and panels at the meeting.  So I tweeted about how great that was, and I was quoted in CPA Tom Hood’s Storify the next day.  Pretty cool!

I’ve also started looking into CPA exam prep materials and test info; even though I can’t sit for the exam until next summer, I sure can get a head start on studying for it.

So my advice for today is: if you have an ambition to do something–start now.  In whatever way you can.  It all adds up.