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A Call to Action for Young Leaders

Applying to the AICPA’s Leadership Academy Could be the Boost Your Career Needs

Leadership Academy group photoHey, you. You made it over the hurdle of getting your CPA license, and you’re eager to take the next step in your career development… But you’re not quite sure what that looks like. Professional development takes on many shapes and sizes. Some people like online learning and self-study, while others are drawn to a classroom setting. Many people focus on developing their soft skills, while other prefer to keep their knowledge base sharp with more technical sessions.

One often overlooked aspect of development is building a strong network of contacts in your chosen profession. If you’re interested in connecting with some of the best and brightest young CPAs in the country, look no further than the AICPA’s Leadership Academy.  This selective event exposes the next generation of CPAs to a strong ethic of leadership and service to their profession that CPAs are known for.

Now in its 9th year, the AICPA’s exclusive Leadership Academy has graduated more than 270 CPAs, many of whom have taken on expanded leadership roles in the profession.

It’s a four-day program where emerging CPAs – like you – can get in touch with their leadership skills and really drill down on what they want to do with their careers and how their unique set of talents will help take them there. CPAs will learn about issues facing the profession today and how to view these challenges as opportunities.

Being selected to attend Leadership Academy is an opportunity to learn about yourself and the profession while establishing connections with talented and motivated CPAs from across the country. I’ve had the pleasure of observing a few days of Leadership Academy over the years and the energy in a room of so many likeminded, enthusiastic CPAs is incredible. But don’t take my word for it, three Leadership Academy graduates share their experiences below.

“Leadership Academy greatly accelerated my leadership development. By fostering self-reflection and group discussions, Leadership Academy helped me recognize and appreciate my unique strengths and guided me in designing a personalized strategy to become the type of leader I aspire to be. The network of highly engaged young leaders who attended the Leadership Academy alongside me provided encouraging support and has continued to be invaluable to my growth in this profession. I left with greater confidence and an eagerness to learn, grow, and give back to the profession. Years later, I am still reaping the rewards of this program.” - Jessica Cormier, CPA, CFF, Manager, Fraud, Forensic & Litigation, Horne LLP, Leadership Academy class of 2014

“Leadership Academy helped me come to know myself better and understand how I could leverage that knowledge to make a bigger impact on the world around me.  The people that I met through Leadership Academy are truly exceptional. Although it has now been seven years since I participated, I still maintain relationships with many of my classmates. The Academy gives you access to an amazing network of talented, caring individuals.” – Dan Griffiths, CPA, Director of Strategy & Leadership – Tanner LLC, Leadership Academy class of 2010

“Being accepted to the AICPA Leadership Academy is an amazing accomplishment for any up-and-coming leader, and the training and skill development sessions are top-notch. But what makes this program a life-changing experience is the access to some of the best and brightest leaders in our profession – many of whom are your fellow classmates. Over the course of a few days, personal and professional relationships are formed, which will last forever. I call on those relationships time and again to help me solve professional and technical issues. You will likely see the people you meet here doing great things in the profession for years to come.” -  Bobby Schroeder, CPA, Tax Manager – Ericksen, Krentel & LaPorte, Leadership Academy class of 2011

Additional information that applicants need to know:

Q: Who should apply?

A: Are you a young CPA between the ages of 25-35? Do you have three or more years of experience in the profession? Are you a voting member of the AICPA and a member of your state accounting association? Then you are good to go.

Q: When and where will it take place?

A: October 1-5 at the picturesque Washington Duke Inn in Durham, NC

Q: What is the cost?

A: While the skills you’ll learn and connections you will make are priceless, there is a cost associated with the Leadership Academy. $925 will cover program facilities, learning materials, meals, social events, four nights’ accommodation and attendee CPE.

Q: Sign me up! How do I apply?

A: The application process includes uploading:

  1. Professional photo (press release style head-shot)
  2. Current resume or vita
  3. Two professional letters of reference (reference form)
  4. Two essays:
  • Essay #1 (500-700 words): What leadership competencies and characteristics will be essential to successfully lead the CPA profession in 2025?
  • Essay #2 (250-500 words): Why do you want to attend the AICPA Leadership Academy? 

The application deadline is May 31, 2017

Still have questions? Feel free to join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #AICPA_LDR. We look forward to hearing from you! 

James A. Schiavone, Senior Manager – Public Relations, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

Photo: AICPA Leadership Academy Class of 2016

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