Research Symposium

22nd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Paulina Adkins She/Her/Hers Poster Session 2: 10:00 - 10:45/Poster #50



Paulina Adkins is a second-year student at Florida State University double majoring in Finance and Risk Management/Insurance. She has been conducting research under Dr. Zimmerman to evaluate which factors lead FSU accounting alumni to success. Paulina plans to continue researching alongside Dr. Zimmerman and stay active in UROP by becoming a leader next year. In addition to UROP, she is currently a member of Women in Business and the Financial Management Association as well as Vice President of Professional Development of Pi Sigma Epsilon.

Factors That Lead FSU Accounting Alumni to Success

Authors: Paulina Adkins, Aleksandra Zimmerman
Student Major: Finance and Risk Management/Insurance
Mentor: Aleksandra Zimmerman
Mentor's Department: Department of Accounting
Mentor's College: College of Business
Co-Presenters: Maiqi Zhang


The field of accounting is one of the most predominant areas in business. Since 1975, over ten thousand students have graduated from FSU with undergraduate or graduate degrees in accounting. Decades have passed, and accounting methods and fields have changed, but the factors that determine the outcomes of those FSU alumni have yet to be analyzed. In a study orchestrated by Dr. Aleksandra Zimmerman, researchers collected the background and career information on alumni who graduated in accounting through websites such as LinkedIn and from FSU’s university records. Utilizing the method of surveying, researchers also reached out to alumni with research questions regarding their gender, race, employment history, salaries, and other related and defining experiences. Following the survey results and various data collection, researchers utilized univariate tests and multivariate regression analysis to determine which factors are significant determinants of the career success of FSU accounting alumni. In terms of the study, success was loosely defined as having a higher salary, a higher position in a company or public accounting firm, and the opportunities to work internationally. Researchers found factors such as participation in college activities and being male to lead to a higher salary. Being female, utilizing alternative work arrangements and age led to lower salaries. Whether alumni spent their years in public accounting or not, salaries were not affected. However, those who spent more years in public were more likely to become a partner, and those who spent more years outside public accounting were more likely to become CFOs.

Keywords: Business, Accounting, Success