By Alejandra Hernandez
The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) is a nonprofit club that helps lessen the opportunity gap for students of color in Accounting, Finance, Consulting, Information Technology, and other related business professions at York College. Students can attend the NABA national convention, which connects students with the nation’s top accounting firms where internships and employment possibilities are open.
The main goal of the NABA is to connect students to resources that will expand their academic career and professional development. Whether it’s helping students with interview coaching and practice interviews, helping with resume reviews, professional etiquette, or learning about the industry and different career pathways. The club holds biweekly workshops inviting professionals to share their experiences with students. NABA is a National Organization tied to chapters in several colleges.
The 2022-2023 NABA President is Othia Salman, a senior Accounting major. She is also the Student Government Association Secretary at York College.
Salman remembers back when she was an undeclared student; she had a lot of friends who were Accounting majors at York but never considered becoming one herself.
“I guess I always thought that Accounting was an introverted career path that involved crunching numbers or a lot of math. Then, one day I accidentally walked into a NABA meeting to say hello to some of my friends, and I saw everyone huddled around a student dressed in a suit. I was so incredibly inspired by the energy I felt in the room,” said Salman. “I asked someone what was happening and found out he had an interview with a Big 4 Accounting Firm. That was the day I realized how involved, extroverted, and supportive the community of Accounting majors is. As I networked more, I realized that the same level of support and encouragement also existed in the profession.”
That day Salman was inspired to declare her major in Accounting. She felt passionate about meeting and supporting as many NABA students as possible. She thinks back to those late-night Zoom sessions preparing friends for an interview with their dream Accounting Firm.
A year later, Salman found herself on the NABA Executive Board being cheered on by the NABA community for the same internship with the Big 4 Accounting firm. She secured the internship and got full-time job offers from all of them.
“Everyone that I have met and grown with in my classes each has their unique journey with NABA, and I continue to be inspired by my peers,” said Salman. “Over 30 students have gotten internships from [the] 2022-2023 [semesters] alone, and those internships with top Accounting Firms and Big Banks typically led to full-time jobs for our students.”
Salman wishes to see NABA continue to thrive and bring opportunities to York students. As graduation approaches, she knows the NABA club will be a community she is forever a part of and hopes to be able to give back to.
The NABA club is open to all students. Students have the freedom to choose which events they will benefit from. Most students who attend the workshops about Accounting Career Pathways are mostly undeclared and Accounting. But there are also workshops about Public Speaking, Professional Etiquette, Personal Branding, and many others where a diverse group of majors shows up. NABA promotes financial literacy and professional development that is transferable between a variety of industries found at York College. Students can join the NABA club simply by filling out a form.
In April, the NABA has a “Classroom to Corporate” Workshop with an Accounting Firm named Withum, where students can improve their resumes, learn interview skills like the STAR Method, and learn how to network with professionals. They also have a “Career Talk” event to navigate conversations about career pathways and pivots for students in the Accounting & Finance and Business & Economics Departments. Some staple NABA events every year include the “Interview Prep Workshop” and “Professional Bootcamp.”