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Real Success from Virtual Internships


Accounting MOVE Project special presentation: Course 2 of 4
Course Description

In the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, accounting and advisor firms quickly revamped their internship programs from onsite to online. Internships for 2021 are following suit as firms navigate unfamiliar processes to re-open offices safely while still cultivating emerging talent. Strong local chapters of The Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) partnered with firms in their areas to help fill the gaps created by the pivot to virtual. This session outlines successful tactics that AFWA chapter leaders deployed to provide relationships essential to young women’s first career experiences.

Key Points: 

  • The pivot to virtual internships came at a cost: promising students had few opportunities to meet peers and experienced accountants

  • Firms must be proactive in offsetting the professional connections lost via virtual internships to pave the way for hiring

  • Virtual and hybrid internships created a fresh opportunity to collaborate with local chapters of professional associations like the AFWA 

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine how to collaborate with local professional chapters to expand support and career relationships for accounting students

  • Recognize new ways that firms can solidify and expand mentors for young women accountants

  • Recognize how firms and professional associations like the AFWA can mutually invest in young accounting talent to attract more women to the profession

About the Mini-Summit: The Accounting MOVE Project presents the 2021 Recovery Reset

As firms quickly regain momentum in the COVID-19 recovery, they have a chance to re-center diversity, inclusion, and equity priorities and programs to accelerate the advancement of women and women of color. This fast-paced, practical mini-summit equips firm leaders, talent development staff, and advocates for women with tactics they can use to win women back and forge new ways of working that can permanently strengthen women’s careers and firm stability and performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • How leading firms are adapting their diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts to have a voice in the national conversation is increasingly fraught, fragmented, and urgent

  • How firms that are recognized innovators in designing careers in sync with women’s priorities have retooled to retain key talent

  • Tactics that are working now to draw women back to the partnership pipeline

  • How to use virtual and hybrid internships to strengthen first career experiences for diverse talent

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Anna Raney

Polston Tax Resolution & Accounting
Director of Leadership and Culture Development
(405) 857-3987

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Anna’s diverse background and professional career enable her to speak with many different groups about various topics and participate in leadership capacities in a variety of organizations. A dedicated part of her community, Anna also serves on the board of a non-profit that helps business owners get established and grow. She is in the process of developing a state-wide mentoring program to help bridge the generational gap in the professional world to ensure that every woman is not only mentored but can also mentor the next generation.

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Susan began her second career as a CPA after graduating from the University of North Texas in 2004 with HM&M. Before joining HM&M, Susan worked for a large corporate retailer for 18 years. In this capacity, Susan worked in various divisions of the corporation. She served in different managerial positions within the corporate accounting departments.  During her tenure, she was project coordinator over a major accounting software conversion. Susan provides detailed consideration to each of her clients. During her tenure with HM&M, Susan has worked with various industries, including oil and gas, private client groups, retail, and real estate. Susan has extensive experience serving private companies and is a trusted adviser to her clients. Susan is the Past Chair of The Foundation of Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance. She is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs and is past President of the Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs. Susan serves as an Accounting Advisory Board Member at the University of North Texas.

About Our Sponsor

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The mission of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance is to enable women in all accounting and finance fields to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their profession. Founded in 1938 to increase the opportunities for women in all fields of accounting and finance, members of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and their companies benefit from resources that accelerate their professional growth.