Mississippi’s first accounting camp continues to thrive at MSU

Contact: James Carskadon

Anna Darty, a high school senior from Birmingham, Alabama, raises her hand during a discussion with Mississippi State Office of Admissions and Scholarships personnel as part of ASAP (Accelerating Students into the Accounting Profession) Summer Camp. The innovative accounting program is hosted by MSU’s Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy. (Photo by Logan Kirkland)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—This week, 20 rising high school seniors from across Mississippi and neighboring states are getting an inside look at the world of accounting and university life at Mississippi State.

Now in its fourth year, MSU’s Accelerating Students into the Accounting Profession (ASAP) summer camp is the first of its kind in Mississippi. The camp was created by Krystle Dixon, academic coordinator for MSU’s Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy.  In addition to gaining a new perspective on the accounting field, students will hear from professionals and take a tour of a local firm to obtain a first-hand look at audit, tax, corporate accounting and advisory services.

“I did some research and saw other accounting camps around the nation,” Dixon said. “I knew it could be done here. The faculty were very receptive and supportive. The first year we had 10 students, and then it went to 20. I feel like it will continue to grow.”

ASAP participants are creating their own businesses and pitching their companies during a “Shark Tank” style competition. This year, the camp is partnering with the MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach on the endeavor. If camp participants enroll at MSU and major in accounting, they will get priority admission into the CEO’s Venture Catalyst program, as well as $500 to work on their business idea.

“They have to create their own business and get ready to present it the next day,” Dixon said. “It’s stressful but it’s really good for them to get their feet wet.”

The camp provides workshops on professional development, teambuilding and leadership. Participants take part in an etiquette dinner and are shown examples of appropriate business attire. Dixon said she wants to show that accounting can be fun while highlighting different career options in the field, as well as giving students a preview of what it will be like to study accounting at MSU.

Housed in MSU’s College of Business, the Adkerson School of Accountancy is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world’s largest business education network and longest-serving accrediting body for business schools with undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. The school boasts a 100 percent job placement rate among its graduates.

“The ASAP camp is a wonderful way for high school students to learn about accounting careers and the premier accounting programs offered at Mississippi State University,” said Shawn Mauldin, professor and director of the Adkerson School of Accountancy.

For more on the ASAP summer camp, visit www.business.msstate.edu/asap/.

More information on MSU’s Adkerson School of Accountancy can be found at www.business.msstate.edu/programs/adkerson/index.php.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.