Senior accounting major Claire Shannon receives Legacy Scholarship from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants


Headshot of Claire Shannon
Claire Shannon

Claire Shannon, a senior accounting major at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, received a $4400 Legacy Scholarship from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), an organization created by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  

While Claire was looking for scholarships, this prestigious award was not one that she applied for.  

“I applied for the AICPA women scholarship, but when you enter you submit for all of them, which is super cool,” says Claire, who transferred to Wayne State after receiving her associate degree from Washtenaw Community College in 2022. 

“I was looking to pursue further education, and I love the city lifestyle and Wayne was the most welcoming,” says Claire. “I was so excited to go.” 

Pursuing another degree also means financing that degree, which sent Claire to Wayne State’s Scholarship Universe application portal.  

“Since I moved to Wayne State this is the first time since I was sixteen that I haven’t had a job,” says Claire. “Money is tight, but I finished this year with a 3.97 GPA because I was able to focus on my studies. This scholarship is going to help so much.” 

Most of the scholarships Claire applied for only required her to submit some basic information. This one was a little different.  

“I went to the website and realized I was going to need letters of recommendation, I was going to have to write essays and at first that was very daunting,” explains Claire. “I got three beautiful letters of recommendation from professors here at Wayne State that helped me get in. I owe a lot of this to them.”  

Those professors were assistant professor Basma Bekdache, associate professor Deborah Jones, and associate professor Deborah Habel, who herself is a member of the AICPA. Along with funding for her education, Claire is now a member of the AICPA, which comes with its own rewards and responsibilities. 

“Part of becoming a legacy scholar means that you are going to be dedicated to working with them [AICPA] throughout your career, and give them feedback on the accounting world,” says Claire. “Once you get your CPA you stay super involved with them.”  

The membership will certainly be beneficial to Claire as she pursues a career as a CPA. 

“I start an internship at Plante Moran, a public firm doing auditing which I got from the career fair here,” says Claire. “The resources at Wayne State are great, they got me this job so fast, which I got in November. It’s been a bit of a waiting game, but after I graduate, I definitely want to take the CPA.” 

As Claire begins her career, she credits many of the opportunities that came her way to the people and resources made available to her through the university. 

“The doors that have opened since I’ve joined Wayne State’s student body have been amazing. I’ve been able to network and I’ve found those three teachers who wrote my letters, they are three mentors that I’m going to have for the rest of my life,” says Claire. “The support at Wayne State is incredible. If you have a professional goal and you want it, everybody here is going to help you get it.” 

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