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Becky Seavey

Reaching the next generation of CPAs

August 28, 2023

Becky Seavey

The gap between the increasing demand for CPAs and the decreasing number of new people entering the profession has plagued the industry for the past several years. Discussions around the issue often return to a few key questions: How is the profession being perceived by younger generations? Should the industry be introduced to students sooner? How can we make accounting more of an enticing career for current students?

For Becky Seavey, CFO of Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union, the answers to these questions are a resounding yes. And this conviction stems from her own personal experience.

“I actually became interested in the accounting profession as a high school student myself!” she said, laughing.
In Becky’s case, it was her grandfather who first introduced her to the industry. One day he handed her a list of careers he had come across that laid out what jobs would be in high demand in the 21st century.

“I looked through this list and tried to decide what I was interested in. Accounting just resonated with me the most,” she said. “I already knew I was interested in math and analytical thinking, so this career seemed like the best fit.”

Becky went on to take an accounting class during high school, cementing her interest in the profession that led her to an accounting major in college, receiving an MBA and, of course, earning her CPA license.

Revamping the CPA image

Passion for the profession is clear in how Becky talks about her career path.

But her passion manifests through more than just words. From the beginning of her career, she has put her passion into practice through volunteer work, focusing on reaching out to students. Early on, Becky volunteered through Talk to the Students, one of the MNCPA’s outreach programs specifically directed at high school students. Volunteers present to classrooms to increase interest in the profession and to dispel any assumptions or stereotypes students may have about CPAs.

Becky describes speaking with students is a balancing act; it can be easy to fall into industry lingo or your own particular expertise and be greeted with — in her words — “a lot of glazed looks.” However, over time she has honed her skills. Now she keeps her ideas higher level to capture interest from a wide range of students.

Specifically, Becky likes to highlight the unexpected opportunities available for students to combine multiple interests in their professional lives.

“Every field needs accounting,” she said. “Maybe a student has an interest in health care, but they don’t want to be a doctor or maybe medical things make them queasy. Instead, they can be an accountant in the area they are deeply passionate about and still have significant impact in another way.”

The importance of volunteering

When looking back at the questions students bring to Becky the end of her presentations, it becomes clear that exposure matters. Some students are immediately drawn to hearing more about her path from public accounting to business and industry, while others seek more granular advice on what classes to take in high school or college to get them on the right track to earning CPA certification.

Becky has found that once students have a chance to see the profession in action, there are many who want to learn even more.

As a self-described extrovert who loves sharing her work and her experiences, Becky also noted that there may be other CPAs who feel intimidated by the thought of presenting in a classroom. Even so, she is quick to encourage others to volunteer. During her first forays into volunteering with Talk to the Students, she relied on the slide decks that the MNCPA provided to help guide her presentation, adjusting the material slightly to directly reflect her career experience.

“We are still having a hard time getting people into the accounting profession, so I try to think about what I can do to make an impact and what I can do to get students excited about the industry,” she said. “It’s a way for me to use my skills and my experience to give back, not just to students, but to the profession as a whole.”

Becky has maintained her volunteer work through Talk to the Students, returning to in-person presentations in the past year, and she continues to share her knowledge and passion with students.  Without exposure to the profession, many students — high school-aged Becky included — would never discover how varied and meaningful the work of a CPA can be.

Topics: Member Profiles

Julia Shiota

Julia Shiota is the MNCPA’s communications coordinator, bringing her passion for storytelling to members through content development, media relations, and covering member accomplishments and events. Outside of her work with the MNCPA, Julia enjoys knitting, reading, and keeping track of all the birds she encounters on nature walks. You can reach Julia at 952-855-5533 or at

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