Drexel LeBow Student Awarded AICPA Scholarship

Junior accounting and finance major Andres Vivas Lopez has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from AICPA – the American Institute of CPAs. He accepted this award onstage at ALPFA’s national convention in Orlando, Fla. He serves as the president of LeBow’s ALPFA chapter. KPMG sponsored four LeBow students to attend the event, which included a case competition.

Andres says the experience was amazing. “The fact that I was on that stage made people recognize me during the convention – other students and professionals would walk up to me and say congratulations!”

A recent transfer student from Community College of Philadelphia, Andres is currently doing his first of two co-ops at Grant Thornton, working within the firm’s business advisory services department. Part of his job there requires him to serve as a liaison for audit projects in Latin America – he’s bilingual, so that’s an asset.

He moved here from Colombia at the age of 8. He says the move was “A little shocking. Everything I knew completely changed.” His English wasn’t that good at first, but by the time he made his way through middle school he was excelling, and was accepted into Philadelphia’s Julia R. Masterman High School, where he competed at the state level running track.

He’s currently on track to become a CPA and says he really loves accounting. “On the one hand it can be black and white,” balancing numbers and so forth. “But it’s really so much more than that. As an accounting firm, you’re really selling an experience, values, personalities.

“People think accountants are sitting in a dark room crunching numbers. I’ve been [at Grant Thornton] for months, and what I see are people testing, analyzing and engaging in client relations, making sure we understand the clients’ need and how to meet them.”

Little Known Facts

Andres loves sports – especially soccer. His favorite team is FC Barcelona. His favorite restaurant in Philadelphia is Chima Brazilian Steakhouse.