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Gabelli School Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholars Exemplify the Next Generation of Diverse Accounting and Taxation Professionals

| Dec 05, 2023 |

Inaugural scholars discuss the ways in which the funding they received has provided a path to academic and career success

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the Gabelli School of Business initiated a collaboration with the Deloitte Foundation, a nonprofit entity with a mission to accelerate equity, innovation, and excellence in education by the two organizations offering combined full-tuition scholarships to undergraduate students interested in pursuing a fifth-year M.S. in Accounting or Taxation. Participating in the program demonstrates the Gabelli School’s commitment to creating opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to pursue a graduate education in the fields of accounting or taxation. Both the M.S. in Accounting, offered onsite in New York City and the Online M.S. in Taxation prepare students to sit for the CPA Examination.

Three 2023 scholarship recipients shared their experiences and decision-making process for choosing to pursue an M.S. in Accounting or Taxation at the Gabelli School, and how the Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholars Program has opened up opportunities to pursue their career ambitions.

Dilson Rodriguez, a Bronx native who recently earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Manhattan College, aspired to study at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business even before he was offered the Deloitte scholarship. “Fordham is one of the best schools in the country,” he noted enthusiastically. “I first applied without the scholarship and I was weighing my options. I had actually committed to going to another top school and then found out I was accepted at Gabelli with the scholarship,” he commented. “I feel very welcome here. I am right where I’m supposed to be. A lot of people recommended the Gabelli School M.S. in Accounting program and the scholarship gave me the chance to stay in New York, close to my family, without taking on the financial burden.” Rodriguez has taken full advantage of the excellent networking and internship opportunities the accounting program offers, participating in a summer internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)—one of the Big Four—and has already secured a full-time job, post-graduation.

Alexander Chavez Sanchez, GABELLI ’23, was born in Peru but has lived in New York for the past nine years, and now considers the city his home. As an undergraduate studying applied accounting and finance at the Gabelli School, he made the most of the opportunities to get involved in the student community and was very active in student government. He also benefitted from an internship at UHY, a connection he made at a Gabelli School career fair. “I really enjoyed the students, the professors, and the community and I always felt comfortable here, so when I started to apply for graduate school, I was leaning towards Fordham,” he asserted. “The Deloitte Scholarship definitely played a significant role in making my decision to commit to the Gabelli School, as it helps ease the financial burden.” His professors also provided the guidance that ultimately swayed his decision about whether to pursue a career path in accounting or tax, steering him towards a second internship with PwC as he began his M.S. in Accounting. “I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to apply for the Deloitte Scholarship. It shows that there is a real commitment to equity and diversity here at Fordham,” he noted.

For Sabrina Tamay Barbecho, GABELLI ’23, the cost of a graduate degree was one of the most important factors in her decision to pursue an M.S. in Taxation at the Gabelli School. As an undergraduate, she received assistance through the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) program, of which Fordham University is a participating school, and says she has always felt like she was a member of a very supportive educational community at the Gabelli School. “When I was thinking about graduate school, I didn’t know what to expect,” she explained. “My family is from Ecuador, so as the first generation here, I was nervous about how much it might cost. While I was an undergrad studying at the Gabelli School, Professor Stan Veliotis told me about the Deloitte Scholars Program and encouraged me to apply. I feel there is a very diverse community at the Gabelli School—I’ve met a lot of people just like me,” she added.

Professor Stan Veliotis, Ph.D., area chair for Accounting and Taxation, and program director of the M.S. in Taxation, believes the Deloitte Scholars Program has attracted talented students from diverse backgrounds who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to come to the Gabelli School. “This Scholarship helps ensure our pipeline of talented students is diverse and equitable, and provides us with the means to attract the best students into our M.S. programs,” he noted. Kelly Ulto, associate clinical professor in accounting and taxation, who serves as the program director of the M.S. in Accounting, added, “We are always here to raise awareness among existing undergraduate students who may want to apply for the scholarship.”

For application information for the 2024-25 academic year, visit the Gabelli School Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholars Program website.

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