News release

RSM Welcomes 100+ Students to Inaugural Class of RSM Excellence Academy

Unique program’s goal is to enhance diversity within the accounting profession

Jul 14, 2022

Kimberly Bartok, Enterprise Public Relations Leader,, 212.372.1239
Andreia DeVries, Enterprise Public Relations Manager,, 954.449.8096
for media use only 

RSM Welcomes 100+ Students to Inaugural Class of RSM Excellence Academy

Unique program’s goal is to enhance diversity within the accounting profession

CHICAGO – (July 14, 2022) – RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – is pleased to announce that more than 100 students recently completed the first of the inaugural class events for the RSM Excellence Academy (the Academy), a multi-year early identification professional development and skill-building program for college students majoring in accounting, business technology and related fields.

The Academy teaches students about careers in professional services and introduces students to RSM’s workplace culture. While it will be inclusive of a variety of underrepresented student populations with similar inaugural sessions for each, it is initially being piloted primarily with Black students, as the idea was borne by RSM’s African American and Canadian Excellence (AACE) employee network group (ENG).

“The goal of the Academy is to meaningfully engage first-year underrepresented students in valuable programming and networking that exposes them to careers in public accounting while familiarizing them with and introducing them to RSM’s inclusive workplace culture,” said Florence Holland, director of culture, diversity and inclusion with RSM US LLP and architect of the RSM Excellence Academy. “The broader program will encompass minority student populations including Black, Latin American and Asian students, as well as students outside of the U.S. in future years. The hope is that when these students graduate, they will enter the accounting profession and consider RSM as their employer.”

The RSM Excellence Academy kicks off a series of opportunities for students that will take them through their associate year at RSM. The program includes assigned mentors and  internship opportunities prior to participants’ last year of college. Students who meet the Academy’s established criteria will also receive job offers with RSM after they graduate.

“At RSM, we understand that a diverse employee population leads to more innovative thinking and cutting-edge solutions that help our middle market clients succeed,” said Tracey Walker, national culture, diversity and inclusion leader with RSM US LLP. “Engaging with students early in their educational careers opens their eyes to the wide variety of possibilities in our profession and introduces them to potential career opportunities they might not otherwise have considered. We are excited to offer this first-of-its-kind opportunity to students and look forward to building relationships that will help students succeed in their future careers while also enhancing the long-term viability of our profession.”

“I think it’s really cool that RSM supports their employees,” said Bitiyah Asalifew, RSM Excellence Academy participant. “It’s super important that employees can show up as their authentic and full selves. I’m proud of the fact that I am a first generation college student, that I am Ethiopian and that I am a woman. All of these things are important to me, and will benefit any company I go into in the future, such as an amazing one like RSM!”

“This was an opportunity of a lifetime – for the students who participated in the inaugural session of The RSM Excellence Academy, and for RSM as well, as it built relationships early with incredibly talented students,” said Aureon Herron-Hinds, a principal with the firm’s Washington National Tax team and national leader of RSM’s AACE ENG. “This program provides us with a unique opportunity to ‘lift as we climb.’ To do that, of course, students have to reach out to us. And with more than 600 students applying for the Academy, they’re clearly reaching out. We’re honored to help them on their journeys, and are excited to think that one of the next leaders of our firm and/or of the industry might have participated in the Academy.” 

To learn more about the RSM Excellence Academy, visit our website.


RSM is the leading provider of professional services to the middle market. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Our purpose is to instill confidence in a world of change, empowering our clients and people to realize their full potential.

RSM US LLP is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent assurance, tax and consulting firms with 64,000 people in 120 countries. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on X and/or connect with us on LinkedIn.