Hanson Lam, an upperclassman at Central High School in Knoxville, knows he wants to go into business. What he doesn’t know is the major he’d like to pursue, which is why he attended the Accounting and Information Management (AIM) Academy at the Haslam College of Business in July.
“My sister is an accountant, and so I wanted to learn more about the field,” Lam says. “The academy has been great. It’s helped me explore different aspects of business and learn how to best present myself. I feel better equipped with new tools and know more about the accounting major.”
Lam, who hopes to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, added that his favorite part of the AIM Academy was the wrap up Jeopardy-style game. During the game, students competed with one another to demonstrate the knowledge they had gained.
“I’m a pretty competitive person, so it was fun for me,” Lam says.
Gaining entry into the AIM Academy also is a competitive process. The program’s goal is to provide access to the accounting world for underrepresented students, and participants are selected based on their transcripts, essays and letters of recommendation.
For Tierra Gwinn, a junior at Austin East Magnet High School, the AIM Academy provided an opportunity to prepare for a career in either accounting or real estate.
“This was a great way for me to learn the basics, regardless of which direction I go,” Gwinn says. “I wanted to learn about different aspects of business and get prepared for college and my career. I also met new people and saw what they value in planning their futures.”
Destiny Sirivong, coordinator of pre-collegiate programs at Haslam, says the AIM Academy provides a first point of contact for students considering an accounting major at UT.
“We’re proud of what these talented students have accomplished during their high school careers,” she says. “We look forward to a good number of them joining us here at the Haslam College of Business in the future.”
Sponsored by Dixon Hughes Goodman, a top 20 public accounting firm, the AIM Academy is open to rising high school juniors.