A Top Catawba Business Student Attends Prestigious Leadership Institute
November 13, 2015
By Anna Beth Carter '16
Embarking on an opportunity that she describes as "an unforgettable experience," Catawba College junior Lauren Hardison of Yadkinville, N.C., was selected as one of nearly 50 top accounting students from across the state to attend the prestigious Student Leadership Institute of North Carolina (SLINC).
SLINC is the premier networking and educational opportunity for the best and brightest accounting students in North Carolina. It seeks to develop future leaders in the accounting profession. This year's program was held on the campus of UNC-Wilmington.
During the two-day program, students were involved in various lectures, group activities, and networking opportunities with accounting professionals from distinguished firms such as Dixon Hughes Goodman; CliffLarsonAllen, LLP; PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Lincoln Financial Group; and Hughes, Pittman & Gupton, LLP, all of which gave them helpful information and next steps toward their career or educational plans.
Taking advantage of the program's various seminars, Hardison participated in mock interviews, networked with accounting professionals, learned techniques in business writing and building a strong resume, and reviewed information to help prepare her for taking the CPA exam. She was excited that her team leader was employed by Dixon Hughes Goodman, the largest regional accounting firm in the southern U.S. The highlight of the program was a "meet the firm" session where students interacted one-on-one with representatives from the accounting firms.
"NCACPA's SLINC program offers an opportunity for students unlike any other. Most leadership programs in this profession are offered by public accounting firms which inherently promote their own brand. However, SLINC provides a perspective from many avenues of the profession including public practice and industry, small and large firms. In addition, SLINC includes events which allow the students to practice their interview skills and meet with potential employers. For some of these students, their current business school may not offer these types of opportunities. I believe the combination of the network of students that represent different schools and the professionals who represent various career backgrounds is what makes this program so special. I can't say enough great things about the opportunities this program is bringing to these students," said Alicia Smith, a CPA with Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP.
Linda G. Yoquelet, Director of Human Resources at Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP had this to say of the program, "The Student Leadership Institute provided a great opportunity for networking with students from across the state. We were able to make connections with outstanding students and the universities they represent outside of our regular recruiting avenues. Our young professionals who led student groups enjoyed the leadership and mentoring experience they gained and are looking forward to returning next year."
Hardison is a Business Administration major with a concentration in accounting and information systems. Through the influence of the positive impact of SLINC, she now plans to pursue graduate school with an interest in forensic accounting. She shared, "A special thank you goes to [Catawba Assistant Professor of Accounting] Darin Spencer for exposing me to the process for admission into the summer accounting program as well as writing a teacher recommendation for the application." Along with excelling academically, Hardison is vice president of the Phi Beta Lambda business organization, and treasurer of the Environment Catawba Outreach Club.