Accounting Counts: Sara Elhusseiny Internationally Recognized, Leads Student Chapter
Accounting senior Sara Elhusseiny is balancing her workload for four courses while working as a teaching assistant for three classes, preparing for her Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam and heading her newly founded club. But none of this weighs on Elhusseiny, who loves immersing herself in her academics and hopes to become an accounting professor herself one day.
“I had a lot of those sleepless nights of studying, grading and preparing quizzes and lectures for students,” Elhusseiny joked. “I might look like a zombie some days, but all of this is what makes me happy!”
Shining as a Leader
All Elhusseiny's hard work has not gone unnoticed. She was recently nominated to attend two Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) conferences: the annual Student Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas and the 2018 Leadership Experience in San Diego, California.The conferences are organized by the Association of Accounting and Finance Professionals in Business and invite student leaders from all over the globe to network with other accounting whizzes, hear about job opportunities and learn more about the importance of the CMA exam. Elhusseiny and her AUC accounting peer Ahmed Dahawy were the first to represent AUC at the initial student conference, which hosted 650 participants of whom only six were from the Middle East. At IMA’s Leadership Experience conference, Elhusseiny was the only student from the Middle East and was presented with an award in recognition of Inspiring Future Innovation in Leadership and Governance within the Accounting Profession.
“This conference was the best experience,” said Elhusseiny, upon returning from her first conference. “It widened the way I think about things and made me so much more confident in myself. Most importantly, it exposed me to many different professionals in the field I am most passionate about – accounting. Seeing a different side of the accounting field was really interesting for me. I got to see how it actually works.”
Elhusseiny claims to be shy, but notes that the conference really pushed her to open up more. When she returned, she continued to step outside of her comfort zone, giving a lecture in AUC's Moataz Al Alfi Hall to share what her experience at the conference was like with other students and highlight the importance of the IMA.
Being one of the first students to represent AUC at this international conference gave Elhusseiny a sense of pride in her school. “I am proud that I am an AUCian,” she said. “I am proud to be taught by the most professional professors in the accounting field.”
“I am proud that I am an AUCian,” she said. “I am proud to be taught by the most professional professors in the accounting field.”
In San Diego, Elhusseiny was able to speak with the CEO of IMA, among other important figures in the organization. Being selected to attend the Leadership Experience conference was a huge honor for Elhusseiny and a testament to her impressive work as an accounting student leader. ”This one was mainly important because they allow us to attend the Board of Directors meeting,” she said. “It was also more exciting in terms of the networking I did.”
While at her first conference, Elhusseiny realized that AUC did not yet have an IMA student chapter even though the University is IMA-endorsed. Seeing this as a great opportunity to engage her accounting peers, she quickly got moving on a proposal and recruited 10 members to establish the chapter this spring. The chapter celebrated its opening just this week.
From Student to Teacher
Elhusseiny set herself apart as a passionate and clever student. Initially an engineering student, she had to buckle down and work hard to catch up when she finally discovered her love for the accounting major. “Working hard for a year and half was very hectic, with a lot of projects, no breaks and a lot of stress,” she remembered. “But it was an enjoyable process because I got to dig more into the accounting field.”
Now, she’s hooked.
Elhusseiny is filled with hopes and goals of continuing down the academic path of accounting so that she can become a professor herself. Her mastery of her courses has already earned her the chance to work as a teaching assistant for several courses in the accounting department. “I like teaching,” said Elhusseiny. “And I like helping others. I hope to continue with my educational career and get a master’s, PhD as well as CMA and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants certifications.”
What’s more, Elhusseiny is eager to meet all of these goals at a young age. It’s clear that such an aim is not out of reach for this young academic. “I might be a bit slow sometimes in doing tasks I am assigned, but I always have to finish them in the same day,” she explained. “I always prefer to be different and unique in anything I am involved in.”
Her ambition stems from the support of her father and professors, Elhusseiny noted. “Mohamed Basuony and Mohamed Hegazy are my main mentors at AUC,” she added. “I cannot be more thankful and grateful for these professors.”