How NABA Changed My Life and Career
I was a young, nervous, excited, and anxious freshman when I walked into a college classroom and saw a bunch of faces that looked just as anxious as mine. Unbeknownst to me, this National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) interest meeting would change my life forever. I grew up in a household where I was not exposed to the corporate American culture. So, my childhood dreams of being an accountant were limited by on my lack of knowledge about the profession. Through my involvement with NABA, I obtained the necessary knowledge and guidance to become successful.
As President of the NABA Student Chapter at UNC Charlotte, I developed my leadership skills and built my network by attending events such as the Fall Day with NABA, the Southern Region Student Conference and the NABA Charlotte Scholarship Reception. These events are designed to help students improve in areas around networking, interviewing, personal branding, business etiquette, and public speaking through engagement and support from the NABA Charlotte Professional Chapter. Establishing relationships with members from the NABA Charlotte Professional Chapter provided me with role models to observe and emulate. These role models were a driving force for my aspiration, as they were from similar backgrounds and were leaders in their respective companies.
Upon graduating from UNC Charlotte, I attended North Carolina State University for graduate school, moved back to Charlotte and was eager to volunteer in the community, which is where my journey as a professional member began. Fast forward to today, I have served on the NABA Charlotte Professional board for four years, spending two years as Student Member Services Director and two years as Vice President. I have also served on the Board for the Southern Region of NABA as Student Member Services Director, overseeing the activities of more than 40 universities.
The love and support I have received from NABA has exceeded my expectations. I now have a vast network of like-minded individuals and mentors that truly care about me. If it wasn’t for this organization, I would not have met the amazing people I worked with at DHG. Furthermore, my involvement with NABA students helped me discover my passion for people and recruiting, which gave me the courage to venture away from my role as an accountant to later become a campus recruiter for DHG.
I have had the pleasure to witness the impact of NABA from various perspectives- from a student member to a professional member to later a corporate partner. It was a privilege to work for a firm like DHG that is passionate about diversity and fostering strong relationships with organizations like NABA. DHG has even won awards from NABA, including the 2016 Corporate Partner of the Year award and several Corporate Partner awards within various local professional chapters.
I never thought that walking into that interest meeting nine years ago would change my life forever. NABA truly embodies its motto, “Lifting As We Climb.”
Latesha Byrd is a member of our DHG Alumni Network; she was a Campus Recruiter in Charlotte. She joined DHG in 2015 and worked with universities across North Carolina and Florida.