NABA trade in numbers for poetry

Florida A&M University’s National Association of Black Accountants proved their members were good at more than just crunching numbers after hosting a spoken word event for students to showcase poetic talents, on Feb. 19.

The event, which was held in the School of Business and Industry’s North Wing, was also coupled with an educational panel discussion that offered helpful tips on success for students. The panel also gave students a brief history on how far blacks have come in corporate America.

This was one of several events that highlighted N.A.B.A’s week, which kicked off Feb. 16. The week began with a presentation on “How to Be Successful in Today’s Economy” and concluded with a social event on Friday called “Black Hollywood.”

The Pricewaterhouse Coopers Accounting Firm, who has been a partner and recruiter of SBI students for several years, sponsored N.A.B.A.’s spoken word competition.

Andrew Wallace, a partner from the Fort Lauderdale based company, said he spends 200 hours a year on FAMU’s campus looking for new talent and uses events like spoken word showcases to lure in potential employees.

“It is a recruitment tool and incentive to show that P.W.C.  is not all about working hard but you can also have fun as well,” Wallace said.

Kim White, the recruiting manager for P.W.C., said a fun-filled event helps students and the company.

“We wanted to do something different where students can tie in P.W.C’s values to an event that would entertain as well as enlighten students making our company standout amongst others,” White said.

White also said the company has a scholarship called “Exceed” that awards eligible students with a minimum grade point average of 3.4 with $3,000 and an internship.

However, the spoken word competition really dug deep into the creativity of FAMU’s students.

Several contestants wrote pieces relative to the panel discussion, touching on points like investing and building relationships.

Natasha Britton, 22, a senior accounting student from Fort Lauderdale recited poetry about a saxophonist from her hometown named Cannonball Adderley. Adderley was a jazz music director at FAMU many years ago.

In Britton’s piece, she also mentioned the first black male and female certified public accountants, John Cromwell Jr. in 1921, and Mary T. Washington in 1943.
The winner of the spoken word competition, Danielle McKinley, received a $1,500 scholarship from P.W.C.

McKinley said she entered the contest to reach out to others.

“I heard about the competition through an e-mail and felt inspired by the prize money, but more importantly, I felt that I had something to contribute to the common knowledge of my people,” said McKinley, a freshman MBA student from Augusta, Ga.

McKinley  said she spent this past summer in Africa and realized there is more to  black history than what is exposed in books. At the end of her poem she said, “Black history did not start here it just continued from when we were over there.”

Membership Chairman Kehinde Moore, 23, a graduate accounting student was optimistic about the future.

“We plan on making this event annual and move the location to a bigger venue such as Lee Hall,” said Moore, a Pensacola native.

Bibitayo Olayiwola, a junior accounting student, said she heard about the event from a professor.

Olayiwola, 20, from Ede, Nigeria is a non-active member but said that she joined the organization because they perform a lot of community service and have plenty of opportunities available in the form of internships.