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Lessons Learned That Make Success Possible

RIC grad student Kevin San

RIC grad student Kevin San

Rhode Island College graduate student Kevin San ’08 recently was asked to write an article for the “Strategic Finance Magazine” by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). His story, entitled  “Hard Work Pays Off,” offers lessons he has learned as a RIC accounting major. 

San, who will complete his Masters of Public Accountancy (MPAc) degree at RIC, said three strategies helped advance his career:  joining the Rhode Island College Student Accounting Association; joining the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA); and getting involved in internships.

In his first year as an undergraduate at RIC in 2008, San joined the Rhode Island College Student Accounting Association with the encouragement of fellow accounting students, who were also members of the association, as well as his advisor, Jane Przybyla, professor and chair of the undergraduate accounting program, and Lisa Church, director of the MPAc program and Accounting Association advisor.

Shortly after, he was named president of the association and remained so throughout his undergraduate career. San said, “It was a very valuable experience because I was able to attend IMA meetings and network with professional accountants from many different firms.”

As president of the student chapter, San also became a member of the Providence Chapter of IMA. By attending IMA Leadership Conferences locally and nationally, he had opportunities to "network" with other people in the profession. San said he believes networking should be a priority for both students and professionals.

“It’s imperative in today’s world,” he said. “An accounting student may be very smart and studious, but networking with other professionals could be the thing that lands them a job.”

Internships, he said, are another good way to jumpstart an accounting career. While an undergraduate, San interned at Liberty International, Inc., a worldwide freight and transportation logistics company. He worked in the internal audit department, where he was able to interact with clients around the world and sharpen his communication and networking skills. He also interned in the Diocese of Providence’s accounts payable and accounts receivable department, where he learned how the nonprofit industry works. During the 2012 tax season, he interned at Barba & Associates Certified Public Accountants. Jeff Barba, owner of the company, is also a RIC alum, Class of 1997.

As a graduate student, San works full time as assistant controller of the Rhode Island State Lottery Commission while taking classes at RIC in the evening.

He said he will complete his MPAc degree this summer and then plans to take the uniform CPA exam. Prospects, he said, look good.