Robert Mangum works toward inspiring other African-American students to pursue jobs in accounting

In the world of accounting and auditing, the number of African-American employees is scarce. Alcorn State University junior, accounting major Robert Mangum plans to be part of the change by pursuing a career in the field.

Robert is on his way to being one of the few African-Americans to obtain a career as an accountant. He began an accounting internship at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in Jackson at the end of June.

According to The National Association Of Black Accountants, Inc. website,, the U.S. Census reports that only 9 percent of African-Americans are classified as accountants or auditors. Robert is actively chasing his accounting dreams not only for himself, but also for other African-American students who desire accounting careers.

“My goal is to become one of the few black, male accountants in the field because African-Americans are a minority in accounting,” said Magnum, a Jackson native. “I want to learn as much as I can with hopes of inspiring those who are younger than me to pursue accounting careers.”

The internship has shown Robert new things about the field. So far, he’s enjoying the challenges that are being presented to him.

“The experience has been great. I’ve gotten the chance to see how finances at a state agency are handled. I also get to see the difference in what we’ve been taught in the classroom and what actually happens in the field.”

Robert said that the love of mathematics isn’t his reason for entering the field. He’s more interested in analyzing the company’s transactions and how they are used.

“In the profession of accounting, it’s not a lot of complicated equations or formulas, but it’s more about analyzing and keeping up with the numbers. I really enjoy keeping up with certain transactions and number trends.”

Robert credits his mother for introducing him to accounting. He praises his instructors at Alcorn for teaching him to work hard and be the best that he can be.

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