Marie D’Antonio, 2017 AICPA Scholarship Awardee

2017 AICPA Awardee

  Name: Marie D’Antonio       Major: Accounting       Minor: Economics       Graduation Date: May 2018

August 2017

Name of award and a brief description:

The AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students is one of four national awards provided through the AICPA Legacy Scholars program that  offers financial assistance to outstanding accounting students. The AICPA Minority Scholarship was created in 1969 with the purpose of increasing the representation of ethnically diverse accounting professionals. For more than four decades, this program has provided over $14.6 million in scholarships to over 8,000 accounting scholars.

What are your future educational and career goals?

I would like to ultimately obtain a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in Accounting and Economics. I am passionate about  business and hope to share the knowledge I have acquired at university and in life to others. After completing my MBA, I hope to eventually work at VC (venture capital) firm so I can help to identify startup companies with great potential and empower others, especially minority women, to start their own businesses. 

What inspired you to apply for this award?

I first heard about the award when I received the weekly Friday Funding emails sent out by Cassidy Alvarado in the NISFeP office here at Cal State LA. As an Accounting student, I was familiar with the AICPA, but this announcement of the award inspired me to do more research into the organization. The AICPA is the organization that develops and administers the Uniform CPA Examination, the exam that accountants must take to become a licensed CPA. They set the ethical and auditing standards for the profession. It is the world’s largest member association for the accounting profession representing more than 418,000 members in 143 countries. 

What was the most challenging part of the application process?

The most challenging part was to believe in myself and to have the confidence to apply for a national scholarship. I decided to apply just to see what would happen. I overcame this by tasking myself with working on the sections of the application over several sittings. Drafting the personal statement was a challenge, I spent several weeks writing it. I went through many different drafts. It challenged me to do a lot of introspection to dig into the core of who I am and what I want to accomplish in the future. 

What tips or suggestions do you have for future applicants?

The application for scholarships may seem daunting at first but if you approach it the way you would for any large project by breaking it down into its smaller components it won’t be as intimidating. Foster your relationships with faculty, they are your best allies. They will offer you words of encouragement and will help to serve to be your “closers” when they write you strong reference letter. Utilize the many resources available to you on campus from the Writing Center to the NISFeP office. You will get some incredibly useful feedback, tips, and encouragement from them as well. Believe in yourself. You will never know unless you try. Worst case scenario you don’t get the award, but in the process you will gain some insight into who you are. A friend once gave me a card and it read: “Shoot for the moon, if you miss at least you will land among the stars!”

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I spent a year working and traveling around Asia. I was incredibly fortunate to get a job working on a talent show that was similar to American Idol which was showcasing talent across Asia. I worked directly for the president of the company and was tasked with coordinating the audition process. I got to visit countries such as, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, and India. I was out of my comfort zone navigating a foreign environment stripped of everything familiar to me. It allowed me to do some massive personal growth and gain a new perspective on life. I made the most amazing friends that I keep in touch with to this day and I have so many great memories that will last a lifetime. 

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For more information about the AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students, please contact NISFeP.