Becoming a student member of your state society is an excellent idea, and there are a whole lot of reasons to join a state society. Let’s look at some of them, starting with, well, that line on your resume.
CPA firm partners have stated that they often screen out potential job applicants if they are not members of their state CPA society. They explain that lack of association membership indicates a lack of interest in the CPA profession and a lack of appreciation for professional resources. Hmm, pretty compelling. But let’s go on.
State CPA societies provide opportunities to develop leadership skills faster than in an academic or professional work environment. For example, attending chapter/committee meetings with CPAs and other professionals (like bankers and lawyers) exposes students to organizational skills and formal meeting procedures that will be helpful in working with clients. It doesn’t hurt to make connections with the movers and shakers in your community, either.
Students can build positive relationships with professional contacts who can provide valuable information and networking resources, and who can serve as mentors on career issues. Association members who meet and observe students at association events may be sufficiently impressed with students’ technical and interpersonal skills to invite them to interview. That’s kind of the idea, right? To make yourself the most polished and appealing student member in the room?
Does this sound too vague or intangible? Then let’s get down to some nuts and bolts.
State societies offer significant discounts from CPA Exam review product providers. They offer workshops on interview skills, resume writing, and prepping for the CPA Exam. Many state societies have public accounting firm directories which provide firm profiles. These guides are great research tools to help you decide what kind of firm is right for you. There are also social events just for students and special recruiting programs for students and practitioners.
Want to stay in the loop? There are publications designed specifically for students and some even offer writing opportunities. Did someone say “published author”?
A few state societies offer campus ambassador programs which enable students to serve as champions of the society on their college campuses. In Ohio, there are 12 campus ambassadors who are paid employees of the Society. Pretty cool, right?.
And in many states student memberships are FREE! That’s right, many state societies offer their memberships for free, for a one-time join fee, or for very reasonable dues.
What’s stopping you from jumping on your state society website and signing up, RIGHT NOW? It was the great philosopher Lady Gaga who said “I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way”. Join up, get involved, grow in the profession; you were born to be a CPA.