Like many members of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), Ryan Houck ’19 first heard about the organization during his first year accounting course. Upon hearing that BAP is an international honor society for students studying accounting, finance and information systems, his interest was sparked. However, it was shortly after, when Professor Christie Novak reiterated the immense potential BAP had to help launch his career, that Houck knew this was an organization of which he truly wanted to be a part.
Flash forward about a year, and today, Houck, a dual accounting and finance major, is serving as president of BAP, and has big plans for reshaping and growing the organization.
First on his agenda is revamping BAP’s recruitment efforts. While the Syracuse University chapter of BAP has traditionally focused on recruiting accounting majors, Houck and his team want to make a concerted effort to recruit and accept more finance and information systems students into the organization. Not only will this effort breed a more diverse skillset within the group, Houck said, but he also believes that it will help boost membership numbers at an impressive rate, raising average pledge class sizes from about 38 to 50 new members.
Another project about which Houck is extremely passionate is making BAP more than just a line on members’ resumes. “Beta Alpha Psi has helped me meet a lot of people I don’t think I would have met otherwise,” said Houck, adding that many of his closest friends are people he met through the organization. By launching fun activities, such as trivia nights, Minute to Win It games and a cornhole tournament, the BAP e-board is hoping to give every member the chance to form their own genuine friendships with likeminded people.
Houck and his e-board are also working to tweak the application process. The basic coursework prerequisites will remain intact, such as the requirement that accounting majors have already taken and passed ACC 252. However, changes have been made to the questions being asked of applicants to get a better feel for each applicant’s individual personality and goals. This personalization of the recruitment process is aimed to make it more exciting and yield higher quality long-term results.
None of these exciting changes, however, would be brought into reality without the tireless help of the chapter’s advisor, Professor Ginger Wagner. “To have someone as dedicated as [Professor Wagner] to help guide us in certain situations is absolutely amazing,” Houck said.