The new CBIZ & MHM Diversity Scholarship Fund will help fill a gap in the diversity of professionals represented in the field of accounting by providing a scholarship to a full-time Bryant University student from a minority background.
“The whole profession is striving to be more diverse and inclusive,” says Scott Wragg ’84 ’90MST, Senior Managing Director of CBIZ & MHM New England. When he graduated and entered the field, he says, “there wasn’t much diversity at all.”
“And there still isn’t anywhere near as much diversity as there should be,” he adds, which is why he says providing this scholarship fund fits so well into his firm’s diversity strategy.
With more than 100 offices and 5,000 employees throughout the United States, the top accounting and advisory provider has signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion initiative, a coalition of business leaders committed to expand diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.
We’ve had such great success with graduates from Bryant. The Bryant education produces a very high-quality candidate for us to hire.
In the New England region, the company recruits many of its young associates from Bryant, Wragg says. “We’ve had such great success with graduates from Bryant,” Wragg says. “The Bryant education produces a very high-quality candidate for us to hire.”
Wragg has strong personal ties to the University — he met his wife, Lori (Soscia) Wragg ’85, at Bryant, and their son, Ryan Wragg ’17MBA is also a graduate.
Wragg has been an engaged alumnus at Bryant, co-teaching a class in the Master of Professional Accountancy program in the early 1990s, and currently serves on the committee that organizes the President’s Cup Golf Tournament each year, raising significant scholarship money.
Scholarship recipient grateful, excited about a future in accounting
Inaugural CBIZ & MHM Scholarship recipient Vitoria Pereira ’22, an Accounting major and a Legal Studies minor, says she’s pleased with the company’s commitment to encouraging diversity and inclusion in the industry.
She’s known since high school that she wanted to enter the field of accounting. When a favorite teacher at her Peabody, MA high school encouraged her to take a college-level elective class she did well and was launched on her professional path.
The excellent reputation of Bryant’s Accounting program — along with many of the University’s other qualities and benefits — led her to put in an application, and she says she made the right choice.
“I’ve really enjoyed the program here. The professors have been so helpful with academic decisions, career decisions, life decisions…” she says. “They’re always there for us.”
She participates in the Accounting Association on campus and is a captain of the Cheerleading team — a sport she’s been passionate about since the age of 9.
“Being of Brazilian heritage and being a first-generation college student, I’m very grateful for this scholarship,” she says. “My parents were so happy when we found out!”
Pereira spent a day at CBIZ & MHM in her sophomore year of college, listening to managers from different departments and sitting in on meetings. She says she enjoyed the experience.
She went on to complete an internship with John Hancock in her junior year, and says she’s thrilled to have recently received a job offer from them for after graduation next June.