Experience in professional society program an asset for accounting student

When making career decisions, Adriana Torres grabs the bull by
the horns.

The Morton College student and aspiring accountant completed an
Internship Preparation Program last month through the Illinois CPA
Professional Society. The three-day, all-expenses paid program
honors Mary T. Washington Wylie, the first African-American female
to attain her CPA license. In 1939, she founded her own firm, known
today as Washington, Pittman & McKeever, in the basement of her
South Side home.

When most firms would not hire minorities, Washington mentored
young African-Americans and provided apprenticeships aspiring to
become CPAs. The initiative is designed to attract
African-Americans and other minority groups into the

According to the Illinois CPA web site, the program seeks to
develop future leaders in the CPA profession. Students will have
the opportunity to learn critical skills for an internship and
beyond; the opportunity to interview with accounting firms; and
share their new skills with students on their campuses.

"For me, it was an eye-opening experience," Adriana said.
"Sometimes, people are more focused on their jobs than school. You
don't realize that school should be your No. 1 job. It's important
to focus on school and get the best out of it.

"I'd encourage other students to participate in the program,"
Adriana added. "It was a life-changing experience and it helped me
in my career."

Torres became interested in accounting in high school. At Curie,
located on Chicago's southwest side, Torres participated in an
internship program through Northern Trust. Torres would attend
school in the mornings and then head downtown to Northern Trust in
the afternoons.

"I like accounting because it's challenging," Adriana said. "I
enjoy the business end of it."

Adriana has completed two accounting courses at Morton College -
Managerial Accounting and Financial Accounting. She plans on
transferring to UIC next fall to major in accounting