Accounting firm donates to student ambassadors

Seth Roy

Erin Hamilton, graduate accounting student, is part of a program that has never before been offered at Kent State.

Thanks to money contributed by Rea & Associates, a regional accounting firm based out of New Philadelphia, Hamilton is the first Kent State student to take part in the Ohio Society Student Ambassador Program, in association with the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Rea & Associates donated $2,000 to the university so it could participate in the student ambassador program.

“I think one of the important things at the college level is having a link to the professional world,” said Tim Michel, the firm’s president.

Michel said the firm is involved with both college students and the OSCPA.

The society is for accounting professionals and concentrates on advancing the accounting profession in the state of Ohio.

Students from more than 10 colleges in Ohio are ambassadors to the society.

As an ambassador, Hamilton is given the tools to educate college and high school students about the accounting profession.

“I’m kind of like the go-to person for students,” Hamilton said.

The society started the ambassador program for a number of reasons, according to Karen West, manager of financial literacy and student initiative at the society.

One of the reasons West mentioned was to correct some of the misconceptions about accounting majors.

West said the society felt that letting accounting majors help with this would draw more students to the major than would the help of accounting professionals. The program also allows the society to give another scholarship to accounting majors.

Other areas that ambassadors will focus on include: promoting the profession, combating stereotypes and attracting quality students to the program.

“There are so many different things you can do with accounting,” Hamilton said of the profession. “You’re constantly out at different companies.”

She said many students are confused with what being an accountant really means.

“I think that a lot of students have a misconception of what it’s about,” Hamilton said. “You’re not just stuck in a cubicle all day.”

Don McFall, an accounting instructor, wanted to bring the program to Kent State and contacted Hamilton about participating when Rea & Associates donated the money to the school.

“He called me over the summer to see if I was interested,” Hamilton said. “I said ‘yes.'”

Before school started, she attended an orientation session in Columbus with other first-year ambassadors to learn the best way to serve students and provide them with the best information possible.

“During September, we’ve been just trying to get the word out,” she said.

Programs will start in October. Hamilton said she will focus on something all students will benefit from.

“Financial literacy is something they’re focusing on throughout,” she said. “I think everyone could benefit.”

These programs will focus on the best ways to bank, how to invest money and how to save.

Also, she hopes to attract more students to the major.

“They want to get the word out about accounting,” Hamilton said.

Anyone who is interested in the program, or in learning about the accounting major, can contact Hamilton through e-mail at [email protected]

Contact College of Business reporter Seth Roy at [email protected].