For These Accounting Alumni, Scholarships Were a Stepping Stone
On a Drexel undergraduate student’s path to being job-ready by graduation, every class, co-op assignment and professional development opportunity makes a difference. For a distinguished group of LeBow accounting students, being recognized as a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholar and receiving a $10,000 scholarship provided a much-needed boost for their professional pursuits.
Since 2017, Drexel LeBow has been one of a select group of 230 colleges and universities with accredited accounting programs whose students receive PCAOB scholarships. Established by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which mandated new practices in financial record keeping and reporting, and funded by the collection of monetary penalties on public companies, the scholarship program aims to benefit outstanding students who are likely to become auditors and to make a difference to eligible students who might otherwise pursue a different career path. The PCAOB also encourages participating colleges and universities to give special consideration to students from populations that have been historically underrepresented in the accounting profession.
Drexel LeBow has had four students recognized as PCAOB Scholars, including our most recent recipient Gunnar Gale, a fifth-year student majoring in accounting and finance. We asked three LeBow alumni to share the impact receiving the PCAOB scholarship had on their time at Drexel and how it has shaped their careers since graduating.
Ankira Patel ’18, MS ’19 BSBA in accounting, MS in accounting with a concentration in business analytics
Current role/title and company: Senior Associate, Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory, PwC
How did receiving the PCAOB scholarship benefit you? Receiving the PCAOB scholarship gave me time and financial freedom to complete my CPA exams while pursuing my master’s at Drexel. I was challenged by the upper-level accounting courses – especially ones on tax, which has not been a strength of mine – and the PCAOB scholarship was a great stepping stone to post-graduate opportunities.
What has been your path since graduating from LeBow? After graduating from LeBow, I joined the PwC Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory team. I have enjoyed approaching transactions from a technical accounting perspective across a variety of industries. I have also gained exposure to data visualization and analytics tools like Tableau and Alteryx, and I hope to continue using them in the future.
What was the most rewarding experience you had during your time in LeBow? The most rewarding experience during my time at LeBow was co-authoring the annual FIC3 Case Competition. I participated in the case competition during my early years at LeBow, and it was refreshing to be on the other side. It was a great joy to sit in with the judges and watch the students artfully uncover the fraudulent hints and finances we had hidden within the case.
Joann Wong ’20 BSBA in accounting and finance Current role/title and company: Audit Associate, KPMG
How did receiving the PCAOB scholarship benefit you? The scholarship lifted a financial burden, allowing me to have a stress-free experience while studying abroad.
What has been your path since graduating from LeBow? Since graduating, I passed the CPA exam before starting at KPMG. I’ve been with KPMG for a year now and expect to continue growing my career with the firm.
What was the most rewarding experience you had during your time in LeBow? I had the pleasure of participating in student organizations, most notably [Ascend], which is a pan-Asian business organization. Being involved with Ascend allowed me to polish my professional skills, network with working professionals and mentors and bond with my fellow students and classmates.
Priscilla Liu ’21 BSBA in accounting and finance Current role/title and company: Associate in Trust Solutions, PwC
How did receiving the PCAOB scholarship benefit you? The scholarship allowed me to pay for my education and gave me the ability to focus on schoolwork.
What has been your path since graduating from LeBow? After graduating, I started working full-time at PwC, and I have since started pursuing my MBA part-time at Drexel.
What was the most rewarding experience you had during your time in LeBow? The most rewarding experience was meeting all of the many guest speakers and experiencing different work styles and cultures at various companies through my co-op assignments.