Cameron University accounting students selected for prestigious national training

Cameron University accounting students Aubreann Champ and Chelsea Marks were selected to attend the National Leadership Training (NLT) in Washington D.C. The event is coordinated by the Association of Government Accountants, which selects only 10 students nationwide.  During the training, Champ and Marks met and connected with potential employers and was assigned a mentor.

Champ is a senior accounting major from Lawton. She was mentored was Thalia Melendez, Director of Audit Services, New York State Education Department. Marks, a senior accounting major from Fletcher, was mentored by Diane Dudley, partner-in-charge, Federal Audit Practice, KPMG.

“I think the mentor assignment was absolutely the most beneficial part of the trip,” says Champ. “Having a mentor greatly increased my ability to network, and it was great to be able to talk to someone in the industry and ask questions and get their feedback and opinion.”

For two days, both students networked with leaders who are passionate about public service and advancing government accountability.  They learned from experts with real-world leadership experience in government and business, and heard from young professionals who have made public service their career choice.

During the training, Champ and Marks, as well as CU’s Bernadette Lonzanida, instructor of accounting, attended the Rotunda Red Carpet Reception.  They also received a private tour of the Pentagon, thanks to CU alumnus Rosario Torres, CIA, CGAP. Torres, Chief of Audit Programs and Administration at the National Guard Bureau, shared his experience of accounting work with the military sector.

“Our students were honored to be selected for this prestigious training,” says Lonzanida. “We are deeply appreciative of the support of Riley Shaull, president of the AGA-Oklahoma chapter, for believing in our students’ capabilities to compete among the nation’s best.” 

“The part of the AGA training that I found to be most beneficial was learning from current accountants about leadership and changes that will be happening in government accounting,” Marks says. “Specifically, the plans that are in place to complete an audit on all branches of the Department of Defense.”

Both students have advice for their peers on campus.

“I would tell other students to not miss this amazing opportunity.,” Champ says. “Everyone of them absolutely has the same chance that Chelsea and I did to earn this. Cameron produces world-class business and accounting students, and this proves that we can compete on a national level. This trip was so eye-opening towards new career paths and opportunities. It is opening so many new doors. If you haven't started participating on campus, start now. Join clubs and organizations, get involved, because they look at leadership as well as your GPA and your essay.”

Marks concurs. “I would tell future students that would like to be selected for this training to get involved in school activities or give back in community. The AGA does look at you GPA but beyond that they look for future leaders in the accounting field. “

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April 11, 2018