Recipient of AICPA Minority Scholarship (2007-09)Next profile
University of Houston
Senior Accountant, Ernst & Young, Houston
Aside from wildflowers, there’s not a lot to look at on the 3-hour drive from Houston to Austin. But it’s safe to say that Manny Ojobaro had a great time making the trip. “I was officially licensed as a CPA in spring 2010,” he recalls, “And along with my congratulatory letter from the state was an invitation to a swearing-in ceremony in the state capital.”
Those 161 miles were the end of a much longer road for Manny; one that began in his first college accounting course. The material piqued his interest enough to make him reconsider studying marketing or sales, and led to the managerial accounting course that got him “hooked.” Going back even further, one could even say it started in Nigeria, where Manny was born to an American mother and Nigerian father. From the beginning he was taught a strong work ethic and driven to be the best at whatever path he chose.
So far that path has included hard work, achievement and active involvement in a variety of organizations. One example from Manny’s college days at the University of Houston: INROADS, which helps businesses gain greater access to diverse talent. Beta Alpha Psi, the professional honors organization for financial information students and professionals, also counted him among their ranks. Manny was also involved in Student Government on campus as well. In 2007, while attending the AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, Manny learned about the AICPA Minority Scholarship, which he was ultimately awarded. That helped him complete the University’s five-year Masters in Accountancy program and graduate Magna Cum Laude in 2008.
From there Manny has worked his way up to Senior Accountant at Ernst & Young, having been promoted from Staff II Accountant in October 2010. “I spend the vast majority of my time working on the audit of a Large Oil and Gas Drilling Company in Houston,” he explains. His company has given him the opportunity to work on IFRS projects, debt issuance, Sarbanes-Oxley testing, and SEC reporting. Additionally, he’s trusted to oversee important work trips, like the two-week excursion to Brazil from which he recently returned. “With my CPA credentials and work experience,” Manny says, “my team trusts me to coordinate our testing and be the sole supervisor of two staff.”
Manny is naturally up to the task. As he says, his credentials and experience are proof of his ability. And as George Gamble, Manny’s former accounting professor says, he also possesses the “ethical sophistication that is paramount in the CPA profession.”
But you don’t have to take the professor’s word for it. For evidence of Manny’s ethical, principled approach to his chosen profession, just read his scholarship essay from May 2008, when he earned the AICPA Minority Scholarship: "I look forward to taking and passing the CPA exam,” he wrote, “so that I will soon be able to give back to the profession and repay my debt by assisting others in achieving their dreams.”