Monmouth College junior Lidia Temores, an accounting and economics major from Chicago, participated Jan. 6-8 in the Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Program. Created by the Illinois CPA Society and named for the first African-American woman to earn a CPA, the program was held in Chicago.
Now in its second year, the competitive three-day program is designed for up to 25 African-American and other underrepresented minority accounting students who are sophomores or juniors at Illinois colleges or universities. Its goal is to prepare and place students interested in the CPA profession in successful internships at Illinois accounting firms through exposure to the field and access to practical training, resources and mentors. At the end of the program, participating firms interview the students for a variety of paid internship opportunities.
At workshops during the first two days, Temores and her peers learned more about the interview process, how to improve their résumés and the importance of networking. On the third day, which was devoted primarily to interviews, Temores spoke with three major companies, including Deloitte, which is one of the “Big Four” professional services firms.
“I think the interviews went well,” said Temores, who attended Chicago’s George Washington High School. “Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Although she lives in Chicago, she stayed with the other program participants in the stylish Wyndham Blake Hotel in the city.
“It was very helpful,” Temores said of the program, which she learned about from her faculty adviser, accounting professor Judy Peterson. “Last year, 13 of the 25 participants received internships,” and all 25 students received a $500 scholarship to help with educational expenses.
After she graduates in 2015, Temores plans to sit for the CPA exam. She then hopes to land a full-time position at firm similar to the ones who interviewed her for the internship.
Before she gets to that point, though, Temores said she is expecting a challenging semester this spring, through both her accounting coursework and her participation in the college’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).
More information is available at www.icpas.org