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Student Spotlight: Brooks Lackmann

By Sarah Spreadbury

Brooks Lackmann

Brooks Lackmann started his freshman year of college at the University of Florida as an architecture student when he decided to pursue a degree in business.

"I always tell people that I didn't choose accounting," he said, "but that accounting chose me." After transferring to USF, Brooks originally declared finance as his major and wanted absolutely nothing to do with accounting, but after his enjoying first Principles of Managerial Accounting course with Jennifer Cainas he was encouraged to look into it.

When starting classes as an accounting major Brooks was introduced to the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy's international honor organization, Beta Alpha Psi.

"Beta Alpha Psi gives its members so many incredible tools and opportunities to be successful in both the accounting world and the business world." He said, "Whether it be networking opportunities, professional development, resume & interview critiques, or lifelong friendships, there are so many benefits to joining Beta Alpha Psi" and in the spring 2016 semester Brooks was nominated as the Beta Alpha Psi vice president. As the Vice President he was given the opportunity to with work with the incoming candidate class and after a great impact on the chapter, he was voted in as president in fall 2016.

In December 2016, Brooks graduated with his undergraduate degree from the USF Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy as well as an internship with Ernst & Young that started soon after graduation, in January. Along with the USF King O'Neal Award that Brooks was awarded at graduation for his 4.0 grade point average, he also received earned the prestigious Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) scholarship for $10,000- a prize offered to fewer than 100 students nationwide. Brooks was not the first USF student awarded with this scholarship though, Luke Richardson, who now teaches in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, also received the award a few years ago.

After an exciting internship with Ernst & Young, Brooks will start the program for his master's degree in accountancy this summer.

The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy recently had Brooks take a break from his hectic schedule for a few questions:

  1. What college subjects did you like least? Most? Why? Of course I've enjoyed all of my accounting courses (especially Cost I and Audit I – shout out to Professor Katie Davis and Dr. Terry Engle!), but I've also always enjoyed anything involving math. I enjoy the problem solving and analytical procedures involved in accounting and mathematics, and would prefer to do calculus or statistics over chemistry or history any day. For a brief time period, I considered majoring in Statistics. I've taken 3 statistics courses and have loved all of them. My family loves baseball, and I thought it would have been cool to be a statistician for a Major League Baseball team!

  2. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? From the time I could hold a pencil and a piece of paper in my hand, I always wanted to be an architect. I loved to draw houses, buildings and floor plans, and was probably the only little kid who built houses out of Legos, rather than "normal" things! However, as it became time to start applying for college, I wondered if I had limited myself by only considering a degree in architecture and was no longer 100 percent confident with my decision. Ultimately, I still chose to attend the University of Florida to major in architecture, but it was there that I finally realized that architecture was not the career path that I wanted to pursue. However, architecture is something that I will always admire and appreciate!

  3. How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you? I think (and would hope) that my friends and professors would describe me as hard working and dedicated. Whenever I am involved in something – whether it be a project, organization, etc. – I am fully committed and am willing to do whatever is necessary to be successful. I believe that I bring that same passion and dedication to being an officer in Beta Alpha Psi.

  4. How were you inspired to join BAP? And what made you want to be president? Honestly, when I declared accounting as my major, I was not convinced that I would join Beta Alpha Psi and wasn't sure if it would be worth the time commitment and effort necessary to be a member. At the time, I had good grades and a part-time accounting internship, so I thought I was "set" when it came to being ready for the real world & the accounting world come graduation. However, I quickly came to realize how wrong I was! Beta Alpha Psi gives its members so many incredible tools and opportunities to be successful- you may even secure a job or internship while being a member, which is a big bonus as well. After serving as vice president during the spring 2016 semester, I knew that I was not ready to stop giving back to Beta Alpha Psi. As the vice president, I dealt primarily with the candidate class (our newest members), but didn't have the opportunity to fully serve the entire chapter. I am so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that I have been afforded being a member of our chapter, and I wanted to continue giving back by serving as the next President. During the spring, I sent out a survey as VP to the candidates asking what they wish they would have known about joining Beta, and one candidate replied by saying that it "was the best decision [he's] ever made." I wanted the opportunity to help other members have those same feelings about being a member of our incredible organization!

  5. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why? As of late, there are two accomplishments that have given me a great deal of satisfaction. First off, I am so incredibly honored to have been elected by my peers to serve as the next Beta president. Although I was VP in the spring and was very involved, my opponent was also very involved and very charismatic. I don't see myself as charismatic, so I really had to make sure that my commitment and passion for Beta was evident through my speech during officer elections! After hearing my opponent's speech, I was convinced that he had won – he had done a great job! However, I was incredibly excited when my name was announced during the results. Another accomplishment that I am proud of is securing an Audit internship with EY (Ernst & Young) starting January 2017. I went through the recruiting process with several firms this spring and received several offers. I enjoyed all of the firms that I recruited with, but I ultimately felt that EY was the best fit for me. I am so incredibly excited to work alongside some of my best friends and so many other wonderful people to help "build a better working world!"

  6. Where do you see yourself five years from now? Although I'm a big "planner," I don't have a very concrete 5 or 10 year plan. However, in 5 years, I'd love to see myself working as a successful auditor for EY after completing my Master's and passing all four sections of the CPA exam! As far as the rest of my life is concerned, I'm not really sure what will come of it, but I'm excited to see where the future takes me!