Recipient of AICPA Minority Scholarship (2010-11)
Georgia State University
“Today is Saturday, March 25th, 2028,” imagines Wini Akande, “And yesterday was my 40th birthday.”
This is how she began an essay to the AICPA Minority Scholarship committee, going on to “reflect” on a rich career in accounting, partially made possible by being awarded the scholarship. The story included her becoming a partner at Ernst & Young; advocating on clients’ behalf to the IRS; and drumming up lots of new business and being cheered by her colleagues. She also imagined herself as chair of the Advisory Council for the School of Accountancy at Georgia State University, her alma mater. Future-Wini excelled in the role, having raised $1 billion to provide for a new building, research opportunities for professors and – of course – scholarships for deserving accounting students.
Well, Wini turned out to be one of those deserving students in the present day. The committee chose to award her the scholarship. How could they not? Beyond her creative and entertaining essay, Wini had a 4.03 GPA, a glowing letter of recommendation from a school Director and tons of leadership experience, including serving as President of Beta Alpha Psi and not only leading, but founding the Women of Robinson, which seeks to advance female students into the corporate world. Her list of awards and achievements is as long as your arm, and considerably stronger.
Sure enough, Wini’s vision for the future is coming truer by the day. She already has an offer to go full-time with Ernst & Young in January 2012, by which time she’ll likely have her Master of Taxation degree from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State, as well as her CPA license. The firm has had ample opportunity to recognize how smart Wini is – she interned there. Twice. Then she went back to school, leading great organizations, getting amazing grades and generally impressing everyone around her. While working two part-time jobs. And doing the occasional charity bike ride for breast cancer.
It’s somewhat ironic that this mega-achiever, who has scheduling down to a science (“Never underestimate the value of a good to-do list” is a favorite piece of advice) and wrote herself a chapter-by-chapter, day-by-day plan to prepare for the CPA Exam, is actually doing all this in the interest of keeping things open.
Wini seeks a CPA designation because she’d hate to ever be “pigeonholed” into any one area. “I’ll have the flexibility to do just about anything in business,” she says. “I really enjoy that!” It’s a good bet that she’ll be just as happy with her choices in 2028.
My “to-do” list is close at hand. Prioritizing and delegating are second nature by now.
Unfortunately, this is one task I can’t delegate to anyone else.
Arrive at School (Complete Graduate Assistantship Work)
Research, admin tasks, however I can be most helpful.
Lunch with friends
And I *never* bail on them. If I tell you I’m going to do something, you can be sure I will.
Gym (Workout) – It’s not all about the mental; the physical side of things requires maintenance too. I’ll take a bike ride any chance I can get.
Prepare for class & answer BAP emails
As President of Beta Alpha Psi here, I’ve got a lot of correspondence to attend to.
I started the fall semester with 128 educational hours and 24 accounting hours. By next December I want those numbers to be 155 and 30. Better get cracking.
Maybe catch an episode of “Ugly Betty” if it’s on.
That way all the knowledge gets firmly lodged in my brain while I sleep.
Go to Sleep