Ethics focus inspires accounting student’s job search

July 16, 2014 8:45 AM

Maggy Baccinelli

Before graduating from Tulane University in May, graduate accounting student Kelly Doucette had a few ideas about the kind of company she wanted to work for. Doucette found her fit at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, where she starts in an auditing role this fall. 

Kelly Doucette

Kelly Doucette was the recipient of the A. B. Freeman School of Business’s first graduate accounting fellowship. (Photo by Dominique Chauvin)

Doucette’s time at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane taught her that should ethical challenges arise in the workplace, culture greatly influenced how a company confronted those challenges. Finding her fit at a firm with a strong ethical foundation was a priority.  

As the recipient of the A. B. Freeman School of Business’s first graduate accounting fellowship, which requires students to submit an essay about ethics as part of their applications, Doucette says she has kept ethics top of mind since she started the program.  

When Dorothy Kincaid created the fellowship in memory of her husband, Hansel O. Kincaid, she included the essay requirement because it reflected her husband’s lifestyle. Having met as volunteer attendance clerks at New Orleans’ First Baptist Church in the late 1940s, the Kincaids endeavored to build a Biblically based ethic into their marriage.  As a CPA, Hansel Kincaid kept professional and personal ethics at the core of his practice for more than 57 years.  

Dorothy Kincaid’s vision for the fellowship aligned with the plan of business school dean Ira Solomon to further emphasize ethics in the business curriculum. Along with key administrators, Solomon is working on an innovative and integrated approach to weaving more ethical analysis and coaching into coursework. 

As for her graduate classes, Doucette says, “We talked about ethics all the time, whether it’s ENRON, rules of independence for auditors, or learning how to look at a financial statement and analyze trends to identify when something isn’t right.

“I know what I’ve learned at Freeman will inform my decisions as I uphold my ethical responsibility in this next chapter.” 

Maggy Baccinelli is a communications specialist in the Tulane Office of Development Communications.

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