Fulbright Scholar Makes His Dream Come True Studying Accounting at the Whitman School
Ibrahima Kaba '23
Master's in Professional Accounting
My experience earning a master’s degree in accounting and finance at the Whitman School is certain to make a difference in my future and has been a real milestone in my personal development,” he says. “I’m very proud to have received a Fulbright to study at the Whitman School. The experience has made my dreams come true.
A native of Guinea in West Africa, Ibrahima Kaba ’23 M.S. always hoped to study abroad but, due to cost, couldn’t make it happen. That was before he received one of only two Fulbright scholarships given out in his country last year. The scholarship covered tuition and expenses, allowing him to come to the U.S., where he chose to pursue a master’s degree in professional accounting at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.
Kaba already had an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Kankan in Guinea and a master’s degree in accounting and finance from Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, in Ghana. He also had ten years of experience working in the accounting field, most recently as assistant manager of accounting in the mining industry at Guinea Alumina Corporation. Still, he wanted the opportunity to study and live in the U.S., and knew it would give him a professional advantage once he returned to his country.
After applying to a couple of schools, he was ultimately drawn to Whitman. “Everyone was so friendly and good about interacting with me,” he says of the admissions process. “And when I researched the Syracuse area, I was very impressed, so I chose to come here.”
When he arrived last July, Kaba found that the educational system was very different from what he knew in Guinea. “The blackboard that I’m used to is the one hanging on the wall, but here Blackboard is an online tool to keep track of my classes. The systems were different, and some of the concepts in my classes were new to me,” he explains, “but the quality of the courses and the backgrounds of the professors were so impressive. And, Syracuse University has a lot of resources — all that I needed to succeed.”
And he did succeed, in two semesters each with six courses, from twelve very, very good professors” to accomplish the work he needed to complete his master’s degree in a year. He particularly credits Professor of Accounting Practice Joyce Zadzilka for helping guide him along the way.
After graduation, Kaba plans to study for the CPA and is certain he will succeed. He intends to return to Guinea and the Guinea Alumina Corporation, where he will likely receive a promotion and salary increase for completing additional training. Being a CPA will also allow him to be a board-certified accountant in his country. One day, he hopes he might set up his own accounting firm and work for himself.
“My experience earning a master’s degree in accounting and finance at the Whitman School is certain to make a difference in my future and has been a real milestone in my personal development,” he says. “I’m very proud to have received a Fulbright to study at the Whitman School. The experience has made my dreams come true.”