Not only do these students have a Robins School education under their belt, but they are hosting panels, offering mentorship programs and sharing stories of success.

The Accounting Society is one of the many student-run organizations at the Robins School. It is open to anyone interested in accounting and they currently have about 70 members. The mission of the organization is to “support and provide opportunities that encourage meaningful interaction among the University of Richmond students, alumni, and business professionals in the community,” states president Cathy Shi. The driving force behind this mission is the executive board.

The executive board is comprised of senior Nathanael Paimanta, director of professional development, juniors Cathy Shi, president, Selmira Avdic, vice president, Michelle Gobar, secretary, and sophomore Julie Zhu, treasurer.

Nathanael Paimanta, '16 will be joining PwC in New York upon graduation as an audit associate. “I am passionate in accounting because this subject helps me understand the dynamic and global business environment that is ever-changing,” says Nathanael of his reasoning for joining the Accounting society. His role as director of professional development is to teach those interested in the field of accounting about career paths and networking, including interview skills and resume building.

As for president Cathy Shi, ’17, she is double majoring in accounting and mathematics with a concentration in finance. She has completed the PwC Elevate Program and attended the Deloitte National Leadership Conference, with whom she is a Battle of the Beltway competition finalist. She has also participated in the EY Emerging Leaders Program and will intern with Ernst & Young this summer. As president, she collaborates with Career Services and professors to develop professional skills and promote research opportunities for the organization.

Selmira Avdic, ’17, vice president, is seeking a dual degree in accounting and religious studies.  “I am an energetic and adaptable individual who is always seeking opportunities to learn, grow, and assist others,” Selmira expressed. She has participated in five externship programs with large and small accounting firms. She has also received six internship offers, accepting the internship offer with Deloitte in Richmond. 

Secretary Michelle Gobar, '17 is driven by her desire to make her family proud. While at Richmond, she founded Kappa Delta Sorority. Michelle joined the Accounting Society executive board to learn more about the accounting program and career field. She will be internship with Ernst & Young this summer.

Xinyi “Julie” Zhu, '18 has found that being fundraising chair for Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, has helped her to become more familiar with the process of budgeting and be a better treasurer for the accounting society. “All of these experiences help me build stronger interpersonal communication and teamwork efficiency,” she expresses of her time at Richmond so far.

As a board, they host recruiters, business professionals, and alumni to help advance the student’s professional networks.  At the beginning of each semester, they connect freshman and sophomore students with juniors and seniors for a mentorship program. The goal of this program is to encourage and facilitate networking opportunities and to provide the mentee with advise on how to succeed as an accounting major. Throughout the semester, the board holds a ten-week career development program to teach members about resume, cover letters, networking, and interview preparation.

After mid terms and students return from spring break, they will hold two panel discussions. The panel topics will be internships and externships. The board has reached out to students that have successfully completed one, or both, to give guidance and answer any questions members may have. The executive board’s largest program for the year will be a speaking engagement from an employee at one of the “big 4” in the accounting industry.

The initiative of these five students is the perfect portrayal of the Robins student body.

If you’re interested in participating with the accounting society programming, feel free to contact President Cathy Shi at