As accounting majors, I’m sure you would agree when I say we are always busy. It’s our nature to have everything perfect, do all our homework, and be involved in everything on campus and then some. And usually when people ask us to do something else, we can’t resist saying, “Yeah, I can do that,” but then we regret it when we never have time to just “Netflix and chill” and be a typical college student like all of our other friends. People know they can rely on the accounting majors to get things done and do it right, so they just give us more and more to do until we think there isn’t possibly anything more we can do. Sometimes we just have to say, “I don’t have time for that!”
But when I say, “You should highly consider becoming a Student Member of your state society if you haven’t already,” this is something you don’t want to say “no” to! Becoming a member in your State Society is usually free if you’re a college student, and it comes with a lot of benefits that you can choose to or choose not to participate in and take advantage of. State Societies consist of CPAs and professionals in the accounting field who have already been in our shoes and want to help us, as well as learn from us.
Being a member of your State Society is something that not only looks good on your resume and is a topic of conversation in interviews, but is a good way to get interviews by going to networking events near you (that usually have free food and fun prizes)! For example, I am a student member of my State Society, the PICPA (Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs), which is a very active State Society. Not only are the members active working professionals (who probably have busier lives than we do), but they make time to attend these events that bring them together with other professionals just like them. The best part of the PICPA is that they have events designed specifically for college students that bring you together with other students pursuing careers in accounting. My favorite has been the PICPA Networking and Casino Night in Pittsburgh, where firms in the Pittsburgh area come to network specifically with you, but in a laid-back atmosphere filled with card games and Monopoly money.
Being a student member in your State Society isn’t just about networking, though; State Societies also offer discounts for their student members for a variety of different career-related items, such as CPA Review Courses. Another benefit of being a student member is the scholarship opportunities many State Societies offer their college students. Oftentimes the scholarships don’t require much more than an application and a solid transcript, but pay much more than the time required of them. This is especially true in the PICPA: there are also scholarships for the CPA Exam, specific regional scholarships, Essay Contests, and even an App Designing Contest.
All of these benefits are available to you, just by being a student member. You can choose as much or as little as you want to do in your State Society, but it’s definitely in your best interest (and your career’s best interest) to say, “Yeah, I can make time for that!”
For more tips for college students majoring in accounting, subscribe to the Surgent CPA Review blog, Passing Insights.