Rising University of Delaware senior Breanna Steele has been selected as a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholar and will receive a scholarship in the amount of $10,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year. Breanna was nominated for the program by two of her professors from UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Chairperson for UD’s Department of Accounting and MIS and Accounting Professor Carolyn Levine and Associate Professor of Accounting and Department Advisor Jackson “Jeff” Gillespie.
“Breanna is an extremely conscientious, hard-working student and very deserving of this scholarship award,” Gillespie noted. “Not only does she carry a GPA above a 3.75 in our challenging accounting major, she is usually working at least two jobs. She serves on the Accounting and MIS Student Advisory Board and will be working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms after graduation.”
According to the program website, “the PCAOB Scholars Program benefits students who are likely to become auditors and to make a difference to students who might otherwise choose a different career path. The PCAOB Scholars Program is merit-based, but the PCAOB encourages educational institutions to give special consideration to students from populations that have been historically underrepresented in the accounting profession.”
Steele, an accounting major from Monroe Township, New Jersey, spoke with the Lerner College about her interest in the field of accounting, how it felt to be named a PCAOB scholar and her plans for the future.
Q: How did it feel to find out that you were chosen for the PCAOB Scholars Program?
Steele: I felt extremely excited and grateful that I was chosen to be a part of the PCAOB Scholars Program. This opportunity allows me to lessen the financial burden of my tuition on my family and will allow me to spend more time focusing on my academic career while pursuing more opportunities within my program.
Q: Why do you want to pursue a career in accounting?
Steele: I am eager to be able to work within a team of professionals, as well as with clients to aid them in bettering their businesses and making sure they are in accordance with regulations. I am excited and looking forward to exploring the many interesting sectors within the accounting field.
Q: What is the most valuable thing you have learned so far from the Lerner accounting program?
Steele: The many skills and lessons I have learned throughout my education at Lerner thus far will be invaluable assets in helping me succeed in the accounting field. I have been able to develop a four-year plan to accomplish certain goals upon graduation and have been presented with various networking and interviewing opportunities. I am grateful for all the helpful and dedicated professors within the program that have helped me become a confident business professional.
Q: What are your goals for the future after you graduate from UD?
Steele: After graduation, I will start my career as an audit associate at KPMG in Short Hills, New Jersey. I plan to continually work on building my professional network and would also like to be a mentor to younger accounting students as many others were to me.