On Campus: Josh Sanders

Josh Sanders is a Presidential Scholar and winner of the national KPMG Academic Award for Excellence.

On_CampusThe KPMG Award for Academic Excellence is given to the brightest in the field of accounting. How did it feel to win?

You have to have good grades, but you also have to be recognized by a professor as being an outstanding student. It meant a lot to me because it was my first year at Georgia State, so it says something for the quality of not only my work, but also of the professors and what they put in so that we could both have such a great experience for me to win this award my first year.

Besides accounting, you are also majoring in finance and Spanish?

Both of my parents are accountants, so I decided to go into accounting for that reason. I also like it because it’s very structured, like me. I fell in love with Spanish because I had a great teacher in high school who really brought the subject to life. I want to work in public accounting and do auditing at a big four accounting firm.

Have you studied abroad?

I went to Grenada, Spain, and studied at the University of Grenada last summer, and it was a really great experience. My favorite part of it was the laid-back culture. They are a lot less work-focused than we are here. Studying abroad gives you a good world perspective. You never know what’s out there until you experience it for yourself. I had read a lot about Spanish culture in classes, but nothing is the same as actually living it.

You were valedictorian in high school and have maintained over a 4.0 in college. What influences you to keep good grades?

I have always been pretty competitive, partly because I have an older sister and I always have to one-up her in everything. I had always done well in school because my parents pushed me to do well, but freshman year in high school I decided I wanted to be valedictorian. So I worked really hard and made it happen, and I haven’t slowed down since.

Are you a member of any organizations at GSU?

I’m a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honors fraternity. I’m a committee chair. Beta Alpha Psi really opens up a lot of doors to accounting recruiters and larger firms, some who only recruit from Beta Alpha Psi members, and you get a lot of exposure to the professional world.

What is your university assistantship, which is part of the Presidential Scholar program?

I’m the assistant to the director of the school of accountancy. I’m also working an internship for SunTrust with their internal audit department. Each group of interns is assigned an Atlanta nonprofit, and we help them with their accounting systems because a lot of times they don’t have adequate accounting systems or the people doing the accounting are not accountants. Right now I’m working with a theatre called Actor’s Express.