It reminded me of a short essay I wrote in 2007 in response to a question for my business school application to Kellogg: What do you consider to be your greatest personal accomplishment and why?
In 2004, I was given a book called A White-Collar Profession: African-American Certified Public Accountants Since 1921 at the AICPA leadership conference. It chronicles the historical struggle of African-Americans in the accounting profession. I always found accounting interesting and wanted to pursue it as a professional, but it wasn’t until I read that book that I knew I had to be a CPA. Having that designation is a big achievement professionally but it meant even more personally knowing the history of people like me and the obstacles they faced in reaching this goal. The achievement stands out more for me because I didn’t just pass the exam; I passed it on the first try. Less than 1% of CPA’s are African-American and less than 10% of candidates pass on the first attempt. That puts me in 2 elite groups and is something nobody can ever take away from me.
Back then, I wished that I had someone close to me who I could relate to on this particular aspect, someone with whom I could just think out loud and use him/her as a sounding board. Hopefully, this blog/post will provide someone the encouragement/example/sounding board they need to continue driving to achieve the impossible difficult.
This post is just one example of the many ways in which I identify myself, and I’m looking forward to connecting on those experiences as well.