Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

Rutgers Business School graduate and reigning Miss Black NJ represents a new generation of accountant

Sally Kamara might just turn the world of accounting on its head.

The 24-year-old from Lawrenceville finished a master’s in financial accounting at Rutgers Business School in December just months after winning the title of Miss Black New Jersey.  (She earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Penn State University in May, 2012.)

"I’ve always been a big fan of numbers,” Kamara said. "Math is something I always had a knack for. It didn’t always come easily, but I liked the challenge.”

She is currently contemplating an offer from a mid-sized Philadelphia firm to work as an auditor and she has her sights set on competing in the Miss Black USA Pageant in August. Meanwhile, her master’s in financial accounting from Rutgers sets her up to begin preparing for the rigorous CPA certification exam.

"It’s going to be a very, very busy year,” Kamara said smiling.

Kamara, who entered her first pageant when she was in the seventh grade, is eager to take it on. She is already spending most weekends carrying out the tasks associated with her title of Miss Black NJ, namely helping to raise awareness of women’s heart disease and advocating mentoring programs for girls and young women.

She also has a platform of her own that focuses on helping other African-American women maintain healthy hair and scalps. She writes a blog on hair health called The Hairy Truth.

Kamara said the Rutgers program provided her with the 30 additional credits she needs in order to prepare to take the certified public accountant exam. But it also allowed her to take 15 credits worth of electives. "It was more well-rounded," she said.

Rutgers Business School Professor Daniel Stubbs said Kamara represents the look of the contemporary accounting professional.

"Being personable, dynamic and driven is essential to being successful, especially in public accounting,” he said. "It’s a profession that is steeped in communication skills, written and oral.”

Still, Kamara said people are often surprised when she says she's planning to be accountant.

"For me, it’s all about being the non-traditional accountant,” she said. "Accounting will be my primary career, but I don’t feel like I have to be limited to one career choice. The sky’s the limit.”

- Susan Todd