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students at accounting expo

By: Megan Nash

As the curtain falls on the 2nd Annual VCU Accounting Expo, held on November 9 in Snead Hall, it leaves behind debunked stereotypes and a renewed perspective on the role of accounting in diverse professions – all while having a blast. With 365 participants, the expo transformed the traditional accounting scene into a vibrant, carnival-style event that captured the attention of business students and other majors across campus.

Organized by VCU Business’ Department of Accounting, the expo was not your typical suit-and-tie affair. Against a backdrop of lively attractions, the expo featured 30 exhibitors, games, prizes and a scavenger hunt designed to introduce students to the practical side of networking.

Charlotte Torrence, Program Coordinator for Accounting and Economics at VCU Business, noted, “Our goal was to make networking easy by turning it into a game with the scavenger hunt and prizes. We hope that students will have an easier time striking up professional conversations in the future after having this experience!”

Highlighting the broader applicability for accounting, Lindsay Andiola, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Accounting at VCU Business, emphasized the event’s main takeaway: “We’re breaking the stigma of accounting. Accounting can often attract a certain type of individual and with the profession evolving, we’re taking a fresh perspective and focusing on the bigger picture –providing students with the information they need. In many cases, academic majors boil down to making a hasty decision, we aim to break down barriers, ensuring that every student has the knowledge to make an informed decision about their future.”

A part from breaking stereotypes and amusements, the expo connected students with industry professionals, accounting experts and VCU alumni. Ghazi Alawy ’22, an Audit Associate at local RVA firm Keiter CPA, shared his post-college experiences, underlining the practical importance of accounting in the business world. “If you know accounting, you know how to run a business. Without accounting, businesses can’t run properly,’ said Alawy.

The expo’s impact extended beyond the Business School, welcoming all undergraduate and graduate students regardless of their intended major. Marcos Saeed, a VCU student and member of Beta Alpha Psi, emphasized, “Accounting is more than just numbers. You don’t have to be an accounting major to benefit from this event; even accounting firms have marketing and HR departments.”

Molly Wash, CAE, Academic & Diversity Outreach Director for VSCPA [Virginia Society of CPAs], commended the event, saying, “It’s low pressure, no suit required and helps with networking skills. I encourage other firms and companies to participate next year and beyond.”

In its departure from traditional academic events, the 2nd Annual VCU Accounting Expo not only highlighted accounting as an essential tool for success in various organizations and professions, but also provided a unique platform for students to explore real-world applications. As the expo concludes, the invitation remains open for students to redefine and apply the practical applications of accounting in their career journeys.

For further course and program information, students can contact VCU Business’ Accounting Department at, visit the VCU Accounting website or consult with their academic advisor.

For companies interested in exhibiting at next year’s Accounting Expo, contact

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