B-Real Talks: From Campus Organizations to EY with Brandon Cabraie

B-Real Talks are authentic conversations with employers, students, alumni, staff and faculty. We’ll discuss how to navigate various workplace dynamics, and how our guests have overcome challenges related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Get ready to hear genuine career and professional development advice that stems from the real-life experiences of our guests!

In this interview with Brandon Cabraie, a junior majoring in Accounting, we explore his experiences in campus organizations and how they have equipped him to obtain an internship with Ernst & Young (EY).

What inspired you to become a part of the Black Student Union and NABA?

Being apart of the BSU Fashion Show last Fall allowed me to gain a better sense of belonging on campus, as I was surrounded by people who looked like me and had similar backgrounds as me, which inspired me to run for an executive board position. As for the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), I noticed that there was not a lot of representation of Black people within the business community, so I joined to ensure that people of color on campus had equal access and opportunity within white-dominated spaces.

How have you grown from your experience in these organizations?

Being in these organizations has helped me to become more expressive. I used to be more bottled up last school year, however being around people like me and with similar interests helped me to open up. They required me to communicate with other leaders on campus, voice my opinions as well as learn how to work in a team.

I know that you’ve had experience interning with Ernst and Young this past summer! Tell me a bit about your time at EY.

I worked in the Midtown Manhattan Office, where I did a rotational program. For three weeks, I focused on tax, and the following three weeks I focused on audit. In both of those teams, we worked with a client of EY. Within tax, I learned about notices, which involves different updates on accounts within either state or government tax departments, and we worked to settle those notices. Within audit, we worked with each client’s financial statements. It was an enriching experience and it helped me to learn about my major and to meet peers within my field, who I am still connected with.

How has your experience being on campus organizations helped you to be successful as a Launch Intern?

As a member of an executive board, an essential skill to obtain is how to communicate and work with a team. I learned when to listen and when to share my ideas, which allowed me to apply this skillset to my internship. Additionally, networking with other campus leaders is a skill that spilled into my experience at EY, which I practiced when meeting other aspiring accounting majors.

To watch our B-Real Talk, check out the video on the Fleishman Center’s Instagram @bingfleishmancareer! Be on the lookout for when it is shared.

By Melissa Hewitt
Melissa Hewitt Student Director of Diversity