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Accounting Student Earns Prestigious Scholarship

by Web on August 23, 2018

Millsaps College student Erica Berg considered taking classes to satisfy requirements for medical school but decided instead to give accounting a try.

“When I discovered it was something that came naturally to me, I declared my major and continued down that path,” said Berg, who received a B.B.A. in accounting last May and is taking classes to earn a master’s degree in accountancy that she expects to receive in May 2019.

She already has a job lined up with Ernst & Young in New Orleans as an audit staff accountant, starting in September of 2019.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board recently recognized Berg’s commitment to accounting by naming her the recipient of a $10,000 merit-based scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The scholarship is intended to encourage accounting students to pursue careers in audit and advance investor protection.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that monetary penalties imposed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in its disciplinary proceedings be used to fund a merit scholarship program for students in accredited accounting degree programs. The board created its scholarship program to identify students eligible for the scholarships and award the funds through the students' educational institutions.

“I give credit to Dr. Guy McClain for nominating me and to all of my accounting professors and all of the staff in the Else School of Management at Millsaps,” Berg said. “They've made 100 percent of this possible for me.”

Accounting is the language of business, said Berg, a resident of Pearl, Mississippi, and that’s one reason it interests her. “It has laid the foundation for me in the business world, and an accounting degree will always be a valuable tool to have,” she said.

Berg, who works as a graduate assistant in the Else School of Management at Millsaps and also as sales coordinator at Big River Capital Management, recently studied in London, Florence, and Dublin, where she took classes in “Capitalism/Socialism/Communism—Choices” and “International Leadership.”

Berg said she chose Millsaps “on a whim” and is glad she did. “The small class sizes and ability of professors to personally know each student allowed me to be more motivated to accomplish more than I would have at a large school, where the classes are too big to be as personal,” she said.

As an undergraduate at Millsaps, she was in the Psychology Club and a member of the Else Business School Student Advisory Council. Berg was inducted into three honorary societies: Beta Gamma Sigma, Beta Alpha Psi (for which she served as vice president), and Psi Chi. She worked as a research and technology assistant in the Millsaps-Wilson Library and as a student worker for the Else School.

In July of 2016, Berg received the Robinson Scholarship and studied abroad in London, Florence, and Munich as part of the class, “The Psychology of Fear and Terrorism.”

The summer before her senior year, Berg completed a finance internship with C Spire.

“It was an eight-week, four-department, rotational program,” Berg said. “Throughout those eight weeks, I was exposed to the following departments: financial analysis and budgeting; network finance; corporate purchasing; and sales, use, and property tax.”

The spring semester of her senior year, Berg completed a winter audit internship with Ernst & Young in New Orleans.

To get a jump on graduate classes, Berg enrolled in the Early Start Program at Millsaps, which allowed her to enroll in graduate courses at Millsaps during her senior year as an undergraduate.