Associate Professor, Department of Accounting
As a certified fraud examiner who teaches financial accounting, Aru Rao teaches students to look below the surface to discover fraud and accounting discrepancies in organizations. She uses those same talents as a First-Year Experience Advisor to look beyond students’ classroom performance to help them achieve success as accountants.
“It is all about helping students grow and become more confident,” says Rao, who has advised Beta Alpha Psi, TU’s honor society for accountants and is an active member of the American Accounting Association.
With 30 first-year advisees under her watch, Rao makes sure each student gets a taste of what the accounting field is all about. For two years, each advisee was paired with a mentor in the field to learn firsthand about the profession. “This was a totally new experience for the majority of students,” explains Rao, who charged students to contact their mentors and arrange a series of three meetings, culminating in a group meeting with all students and mentors at a TU basketball game last year.
Rao also works with students on building resumes and attending job fairs each fall. “Our students rival accounting graduates from top-tier institutions. They are well prepared to prosper in the profession,” she notes.
Under her guidance, TU students hosted the annual Atlantic region meeting of Beta Alpha Psi in Baltimore last year, attracting representatives from more than 50 colleges and universities. “It was a great opportunity for students to take on leadership roles. The meeting drew the highest number of attendees ever and was an enriching experience for everyone,” says Rao.