Taniayah Johnson receives Wylie Scholar in Accounting

As a Mary T. Wylie Scholar, senior Taniayah Johnson received a head start on her dream of becoming an accountant. Though Knox does not offer a traditional accounting major, Johnson, who studied integrated business and management, utilized resources in the Bastian Family Center for Career Success to blaze a trail in that field. 

Sponsored by the Illinois CPA Society, the Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program is an award-winning, all-expenses-paid opportunity that gives minority accounting students access to training, resources, and mentorship. After the program, students interview with well-known employers for a variety of paid internships that could lead to full-time positions. 

After finding out about the program via her connections from working in the Bastian Family Center for Career Success, Johnson applied—with some hesitation, because the program took place on school days, she said, as well as her uncertainty over whether her studies at Knox were comparable to those of accounting majors at other schools. Because of this hesitation, she was especially shocked to hear of her acceptance. “I felt good about myself.”

As a result, Johnson was able to interview with two major accounting firms in Chicago for internships after graduation. She expressed her immense gratitude to the program: “Everything was great. Being able to bring my Career Center [working] background to the program was exciting for me because I didn't think that I was a professional,” she said. “Once I got it, that kind of opened my eyes [to the fact] that I am a good candidate, and that I have the characteristics to be successful within the business world.”

Johnson gave advice to other students looking to pursue careers in business and encouraged them to utilize the Career Center. “They’re there to help you and make sure that you are successful,” she said. “Just go for it.”