Recipient of AICPA Minority Scholarship (2012-13)Next profile
Senior, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
When Sydney Nelson was a young girl, she had dreams of traveling the world. Now, as a university student and future CPA, she well on her way to making her dreams a reality.
Already, Sydney has spent a few weeks in Ghana and Brazil as part of her university courses.
After her time in Ghana, Sydney decided that she wanted to study abroad for a full semester. Initially, she wanted to cross the pond and spend her semester in England, but a mentor suggested developing her skills in a second language. Sydney took her mentor’s advice and just crossed the southern border of the United States instead - improving her Spanish and learning about accounting and international business while interning with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Querétaro, Mexico. For most people, the adjustment to working in advanced accounting in an unfamiliar culture (and language!) might have been a problem, but Sydney was up for the challenge. In no time, she was a valuable asset to her international audit team.
When she’s not spending time in other countries, Sydney stays busy in the United States. On campus, she is the Vice President of Membership of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), the President of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and has been one of the Student Assistants in her accounting department since her freshman year. She also is working toward graduating with honors. Off campus, she is in her second summer interning with PwC. In her free time, she enjoys playing and watching sports, spending time with her friends and making new ones, and sleeping.
Sydney is looking forward earning her CPA license. “I will have accomplished one of the major milestones in my life by becoming a CPA.”
With her CPA credential in hand, Sydney wants to be a Partner or CFO. She also dreams of serving on the board of a not-for-profit organization and on NABA’s national board. Mostly, though, she wants to be in a position where she can help others. “I believe that we are all put on earth to serve others. I want to be in a role where I can create and lead change; where I can reach my hands back and pull others with me. I hope that I can help others become better than they are.”
The AICPA Legacy Scholars Program was a perfect fit for Sydney – helping her achieve her goal of CPA-hood while allowing her to give back to her community. As part of her AICPA Legacy Scholars project, Sydney was able to go back to her alma mater and speak to three junior-level accounting courses. She gave a presentation about how she chose accounting as a major and the many opportunities that are available through a degree in accounting.
With her diligence and determination, there’s no question that Sydney will be a force for good no matter where in the world she ends up.
Get Ready and Eat Breakfast
Rise and shine! A nice hot shower helps me to wake up and focus on the day's activities. On my way to class, I eat a quick breakfast that usually consists of a pop tart and orange juice.
Honors Business Law
This is the class that I have enjoyed most for this semester. My professor uses stories from his past to teach us the basic concepts of law. Also, he doesn’t hesitate to pick on students using his sense of humor.
This course focuses on federal income tax laws and regulations of an individual taxpayer. The highlight of the course was the tax memorandum group assignment where we had to research and use the tax code to provide various solutions to a problem.
I don't have much time for lunch (my tax class runs into this hour), so I stop in one of the University Center's eateries for a Strawberry Yogurt Parfait with Granola, Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Oreos, or, sometimes, both!
Work at the Children’s Center
Every semester since Spring 2010, I have volunteered in the three- and four-year-old classrooms at the Children’s Center on campus. Last semester, I was presented with the opportunity to serve as a Teacher’s Assistant and I took it! Truly, there’s nothing better than being in a position where I can make a difference in a young child’s life.
Honors Organizational Behavior
This was my smallest class of the semester, with a total of six (6) students. Organizational Behavior is the study of behavior of people in an organizational setting. As the final component of the course, my group’s project analyzed the movie, The Social Network, focusing on the nature of work groups, motivation, values, attitudes, moods and emotions.
Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) Meeting
BAP is a national scholastic and professional accounting organization. This semester firms have presented on topics such as Forensic Accounting and What to Expect During Busy Season. I pledged in Spring 2012 and will serve as the Vice President of Membership for Fall 2012.
Late Night Dinner with Friends
It's nice to unwind with a group of my closest friends. We typically eat at one of the eateries on-campus and every once in a while we will catch a movie at the movie theatre on-campus.