During spring break, Manhattan College’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi took a trip to Wilmington, DE to compete in the 2018 Atlantic Coast Regional Meeting.
The meeting was held from Mar. 16-17. Ahmed Goma, Ph.D., brought eight members of the honor organization for financial information students and professionals to the meeting.
“Our mission is simple for Beta Alpha Psi,” said Andreia Ferreira, a graduate student and the current president of the chapter. “We try to inspire and support excellence by providing opportunities for service, professional development and interaction among members and financial professionals, along with fostering lifelong ethical, social and public responsibilities.”
Beta Alpha Psi has been a staple at MC since being granted a chapter in 2006. MC accepts accounting, finance, and CIS (computer information systems) students. That differs from other colleges which only accept accounting students.
For a student majoring in one of those three fields to be accepted into the prestigious honor society, they must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, take at least one upper-level course in accounting, finance or CIS toward their major and log a required amount of hours by participating in the chapter’s professional and service activities.
“We do have an hour requirement that you have to go to, but you can check your hours [and] the majority of students do go to more than they need to go to just because it’s interesting and it’s beneficial,” junior Michelle Lapreay said.
The fact that the students are not only willing, but eager to participate in these activities is something that stands out to Lapreay.
“The people in Beta Alpha Psi are there because they want to be there,” Lapreay said. “They don’t just do the hours because they have to. They want to work hard and that’s a great environment to be apart of.”
Beta Alpha Psi helps these students get acclimated to the professional world while they’re in college and before they’re officially apart of it. By the end of their college careers, BAP members often get jobs with help from all the professional events they learned from, all the volunteer opportunities they grew from, all the network events they made connections at and all the skills they picked up from their presentations at conferences.
“BAP is a club and an honor society and what makes it great is that there’s so many events throughout the year that BAP sponsors or co-sponsors with other clubs,” faculty advisor Aileen Farrelly said. “You can see that students are really getting a lot out of their college career, because not just are they going to classes, but they’re going to these events.”
The chapter puts a lot of work into all their events as well as in their preparation and participation in the Regional Meeting.
The preparation begins in September when MC submits three abstracts to the international organization of BAP. While the abstracts are due in January, MC makes sure to get them in early by four months.
If the abstracts are approved, they get an email notification to let them know which categories they will compete in for the Regional Meeting. Once they know what they’re competing in, they go over the guidelines of what they’re looking for and then create a presentation that is eight minutes long with two minutes for Q&A.
Last year they competed in three categories and came out with one second place finish and one third place finish.
This year they competed in two categories: Launching Into the Next Century and Branding Your Chapter. Out of a total of 10 colleges, they ended up placing third in the Branding Your Chapter competition.
“With all that hard work we ended up placing in third in the Branding Your Chapter category which we were very proud of since we competed against nine other colleges and universities who were very good in a very competitive environment,” Ferreira said. “And it all goes to show that hard work really does pays off.”
From her time as faculty advisor for BAP, Farrelly is able to see just how much the members of Beta Alpha Psi grow from the time they join.
“The growth of the students is astronomical just from being involved, and in the beginning all they have to do is show up,” Farrelly said. “But you can see them grow dramatically. And these presentations and these conferences, it’s unbelievable what they can do.”