Merrimac teen completes CPA program

Caelyn Waite

MERRIMAC — A Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School junior got a jump-start on her accounting career by attending the Accounting Career Awareness Program this summer.

Merrimac resident Caelyn Waite began her junior year at Whittier last week and said she discovered she had an interest in accounting while taking a business and marketing class early in her sophomore year at Whittier. But Waite said she wanted to know more.

It was Waite’s business and marketing teacher, Linda Sarno, who told her about the Accounting Career Awareness Program administered by the Massachusetts Society of CPAs.

“I wanted to learn what accounting is like in the real world as opposed to what we are learning in the classroom,” Waite said. “That’s why I wanted to do the camp.”

Although accounting is something Waite “had to learn along the way,” she picked it up fairly quickly and was one of only 30 students in the state chosen for the program.

The 16-year-old spent a week, July 29  to Aug. 2, commuting from Merrimac to Fisher College in Boston, where she learned about accounting careers and other business-related professions.

Waite also participated in an etiquette lunch while at Fisher as well as mock interview sessions, panel discussions and firm visits with the program’s sponsors, Deloitte and RSM US LLP. “Obviously, some of accounting is just common sense and understanding people,” Waite said. “A lot of it is learning terms and the language of actual business, which is really fun to do.”

Students in the program also competed in a weeklong case study with a focus on entrepreneurship and spoke with the Museum of Science’s accountants and marketing managers.

“They taught us about the real world of accounting, auditing and all about the different sections of accounting,” she said. “That was definitely a good experience, instead of just entering numbers into a computer like we do at school. We got to learn the real logistics of accounting.”

Accounting is a multifaceted trade that allows for plenty of flexibility, according to Waite. “Accounting doesn’t necessarily have to be your only interest,” she said. “You can go into accounting, no matter what your interests are. You can find a job related to what you are interested in in accounting.”

Waite is also a competitive equestrian in her free time and enjoys art. The Merrimac teen admitted she’s not quite sure what she wants to do when she goes to college but remains open-minded.

“I plan on taking opportunities like this to learn everything I can as I move forward,” she said. “I’m thinking I will be more of a business major in whatever school that may take me. But, we will see as I go along.”

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