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Ethics in Job Search: Selling Yourself Without Overinflating

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Interviewing for a new job can be a stressful and confusing process. You may not know what to wear to an interview, which positions interest you most or even how to be an ethical leader once you land a new job. But before you get the job, you must ace your interview. A natural instinct may be to overinflate your experience, interest in the position or your preferences. However, you must resist that urge and answer honestly and ethically.

During the interview experience, you are sure to be asked a number of questions about yourself. This pressure may cause you pause as you try to decide how best to answer. Remember, you don’t actually know what the interviewer wants to hear. Interviewers would like for you to be candid and honest about any weakness you may have as it shows you are human and not some kind of robot.

If you find yourself at a crossroads in your job search, don’t rush to make the wrong choice. Rather, ask questions to help you understand. Asking questions shows that you’re interested in the job and that you’re willing to learn. Sometimes employers ask tough questions to see how you handle pressure, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have all the answers.

The urge to overinflate can be strong, but your desire to remain ethical should be stronger. If you find yourself overinflating your past experience, bring the conversation back to specific examples from your background and previous roles. By returning to actual events and moments in your past, you have the opportunity to be honest and precise. After reviewing the job description, think of work you’ve done in past jobs, achievements you’re most proud of, clubs or volunteer positions that show you have experience and success doing the work they require. Keep these tips in mind before, during and after your interviews and you are sure to remain ethical and an ideal candidate.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Marketing or Deceiving? Communicating Ethically

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Marketing to your audience entails strategy, clear vision and repetition. However, while reaching your audience, you must be sure you are not deceiving them. It is all too easy to include false information and misleading communication. The American Marketing Association (AMA) commits itself to promoting the highest standard of professional ethical norms and values for its members (practitioners, academics and students). According to the organization, “as marketers, we recognize that we not only serve our organizations but also act as stewards of society in creating, facilitating and executing the transactions that are part of the greater economy”. In this role, marketers are expected to embrace the highest professional ethical norms and the ethical values implied by our responsibility toward multiple stakeholders (e.g., customers, employees, investors, peers, channel members, regulators, and the host community).

So, how do we avoid unethical pitfalls in branding? One way is to be cautious when working with paid sponsorships. When running an ad or article, it is important to note who is receiving compensation and for what. Advertorials, native advertising, sponsored content, paid links and other forms of “pay-for-play” content must be disclosed, based on content platforms’ requirements (such as Google’s terms of service) or the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines for native advertising.

When in doubt? Be honest. A cornerstone of ethical behavior is honesty. Honest companies use marketing communications to provide factual and unexaggerated information about the functionality and impact of their products and services; they advertise without attempting to mislead.

In addition, a few general guidelines to follow for ethical marketing include attracting customers through transparency with accurate, honest information, avoiding deceptive marketing or advertising practices, practicing safe production and use of products, and ensuring the privacy of customer data and information.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Ethics in Career Decision Making

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The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, an organization dedicated to the enhancement of the regulation of accountancy, is uniquely qualified to house an Ethics Center. Many state boards of accountancy require the passing of an ethics examination or the completion of ethics courses prior to licensure. The CPT takes the next step in this process – the linking of the theoretical to practical. Business ethics should consist of more than testing on the code of ethics but should enhance business practices.

During the span of your career, you will be tested and challenged. It is important to remain vigilant and ethical in your decision making through the years. At times, this may seem difficult. But it is nonetheless important to you and those that view you as a role model.

When discussing ethical decisions, you will want to familiarize yourself with these terms: Obligatory, Impermissible, Permissible and Supererogatory. According to Brown University, these are important terms used in making moral judgments about particular actions. Understanding these terms will help you assess situations.

The scenarios, people and resolutions will always vary. Therefore, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to how to act. We encourage you to always use your best judgement, trust your gut and act in the most responsible, honest and ethical way. In addition, you may want to incorporate these steps: identify the facts, lay out all possible options, sort options by implication and weigh your considerations.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

SLC – See You In 2023!

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

One of the best things to come from the StudentCPT Leadership Conference (SLC) was the opportunity for people to meet and connect face-to-face. Business connections were made and forged between the student attendees, NASBA board members and industry leaders. It is safe to say that both students and participants used the multi-day event to ask questions, and learn about trends in higher learning, in the boardroom and in offices around the country. The CPT staff is excited about the SLC in 2023, and welcome your support and participation at next year’s conference.

STUDENT NEWS

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

Within StudentCPT chapters, courses range from being taught fully in-person, hybrid a few times a week or strictly virtual. These circumstances are ever-changing and sometimes force students to go from virtual to in-person within the same month. Communication, trust and guidance have taken a new role when tying ethics in business and navigating life. Email, phone calls and virtual meetings demand a new respect in being accountable and reliable when the next time seeing a coworker or fellow student may be unknown. The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) is seeing students express themselves through the Ethics in Action competition with video topics that relate to working remotely or The Being a Difference Award going to students and faculty who lead and encourage their teams to take the new normal head-on and become innovative in building engagement.

University of Guam’s Program

The University of Guam is a prime example of a StudentCPT chapter that communicates, is creative and always executes. With Guam’s time difference being about 15 hours ahead, most of the CPT’s interaction with Guam is via email. With time just being one of the many differences, members of the Guam chapter still find ways to work around adversity and turn in StudentCPT chapter reports on time, gather fellow students and faculty to submit an Ethics in Action video for competition, and send two students to their first StudentCPT Leadership Conference (SLC) in Colorado. Katrina Tahimik and Sheena Miranda were able to attend the SLC this year while stopping in Japan, San Francisco, and had extra time to stay a few days after the conference to explore the state of Colorado.

Congratulations to the 2022 Ethics in Action Video Competition winners!

Students from across the country were invited to submit commercials and short films for a chance to win up to $1,000 in prizes. The competition was split into two judging sequences; Viewer’s Choice – where peers, family members and CPT supporters voted for their favorite videos and Judge’s Choice – where volunteers were asked to review videos and score them based on originality, clarity, relevance and critical thinking skills. This year, 64 videos were submitted and over 500 votes were cast during the Viewer’s Choice Voting Week.

SHORT FILM CATEGORY (1-3 MINUTES)

Judge’s Choice Short Film (1-3 Minutes)
1st Place Grand Prize ($1,000)
Retaliation in the Workplace, University of New Mexico
Runner Up ($500)
The Time Thief, Texas State University

Viewer’s Choice Short Film (1-3 Minutes)
First Place ($700)
The Bribe: What Would You Do, Texas State University
Runner Up ($300)
Facing Pressure from your Superior, Colorado Mesa University

COMMERCIAL CATEGORY (59 Seconds or Less)

Judge’s Choice Commercial (59 Seconds or Less)
First Place ($800)
The Big Dilemma, Maryville University
Runner Up ($400)
Gender Discrimination, Marshall University

Viewer’s Choice Commercial (59 Seconds or Less)
First Place ($500)
Respecting Gender Identity in the Workplace, New Mexico
Runner Up ($200)
Favoritism in the Workplace, Tennessee Tech University

2022 StudentCPT Leadership Conference

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

The 2022 StudentCPT Leadership Conference (SLC) was held in Colorado Springs, CO, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort,
June 6-8, 2022. This year’s conference theme was “Climbing the Mountains of Leadership,” reiterating the importance of the many levels and foundations to leadership. The SLC was held in conjunction with the NASBA Western Regional Meeting, and marked the first in-person conference held since 2019.

A total of 21 schools were represented, with 36 students in attendance. This was the first year the University of Guam was able to attend an in-person SLC and students ranged in age, areas of study and academic classifications, from having a StudentCPT on campus to hearing about what the CPT does with ethics for the first time. It was important to take an opportunity, like the SLC, to hold open discussions on where ethical dilemmas are found, how to overcome them in life and in the work force and, most importantly, how to navigate the new normal that students have to face on campus and remotely.

The CPT was honored to host guest speaker Jennifer Bouchard with Meta, who broke down different leadership styles and discussed what they look like in all aspects of life. Sedrik Newbern, a professor at Western Kentucky and a consultant for the CPT, touched base on leading from any level. Deborah Lederman, CPT Operations Manager lead a networking strategies workshop that prepared students to converse with NASBA members attending the Western Regional Meeting. CPT President Alfonzo Alexander honed in on strengths-based leadership and what that looks in the new world. Jasmine Jenkins, CPT Student Programs Manager lead students in team building and guided students in presenting case studies to judges on their last day.

It was an honor to have NASBA CPT board members Donny Burkett, David Costello and Cynthia Cooper serve as judges for the students’ competitions and give words of encouragement throughout the conference. NASBA Chair Mike Fritz closed the conference with insight on ethical dilemmas he faced early-on in his career.

Meet the New CPT Staff

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

NASBA’s Center for the Public Trust (CPT) is excited to introduce its newest staff members, Deborah Lederman, Jasmine Jenkins and Brandi Taylor. The CPT staff offers continuous guidance and support throughout the year. We are privileged to have these leaders share their knowledge and professional experience.

Brandi Taylor serves as the executive assistant to the CPT president and as administrative support to the CPT Team. In this role, she helps with all administrative needs for the CPT president and staff including calendar management, appointment scheduling, follow-up activities and special projects as needed. She is self-motivated and goal-directed with positive energy, initiative, and focus. She also brings keen insight into the needs of others, the ability to listen, identify problem areas and form innovative solutions and articulate them in presentations and meetings.

Taylor had a career in higher education, prior to joining the CPT. She has also served as an executive assistant for other companies and nonprofit organizations such as the ECS Group, The Legacy Foundation, Man Up Men’s Health Initiative, and The College Consultant. Her experience within the higher education, entertainment, creative arts, and the sports industries have cultivated her skills in event planning, promotions, recruitment, and communications. She prides herself in having a special talent at engaging customers/clients, building relationships, and providing excellent customer service.

Outside of the CPT, Taylor spends lots of time with family, loves to travel, and read.

Deborah Lederman serves as the CPT operations manager. In this role, she works closely with the CPT president to grow the organization’s presence across the country and to ensure quality delivery of all CPT programs and services. Lederman joins the CPT with more than 15 years working as a program manager and administrator in academic and professional organizations.

She has been instrumental in managing the fulfillment of larger organizational goals and coordinated activities between multiple projects. She provides detailed attention to program strategy, project delegations and program implementation. Lederman has also played an active role in nonprofit fundraising. She has planned and executed events featuring some of Nashville’s biggest artists, such as Allison Kraus, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and Joy Williams. She is adept in cultivating relationships with donors, creating and implementing fundraising programs and working closely with organizations to achieve fundraising goals.

When not at CPT, Lederman can be found volunteering at her daughter’s high school store, taking a yoga class, and trying to teach her dogs, Taffy and Frances, to not bark at squirrels.

As Student Programs Manager, Jasmine Jenkins is responsible for all CPT student-related programs and events such as the StudentCPT Chapter Program, Ethics in Action Video Competition, Campus Being a Difference Awards, Ethical Leadership Certification Program, Lead with Integrity series, and the StudentCPT Leadership Conference.

Prior to joining the CPT, Jenkins worked at Mercedes-Benz, where she helped improve engagement and relationship building to recapture customers and drive retention. She also worked at Kaiser Permanente as a hospital courier manager, preparing over a hundred drivers for their daily route. While at Mercedes-Benz and Kaiser Permanente, Jenkins created strategic plans and led trainings focused in areas of public relations, risk management, recruitment, and leadership development.

A California native, Jenkins was a collegiate student-athlete at the University of Nevada, Reno while receiving a Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies. In Jenkins’ free time, you can find her playing ball with her two boys or exploring Music City.

 

LEAD WITH INTEGRITY: My New Discovery: Lead with Empathy

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

Leading is one of the most challenging undertakings any of us can experience. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding and impactful endeavors. Next month, I will celebrate my 31st year in a formal leadership capacity as a professional. Ironically, I am still learning how to lead, and I see more reasons for my style to be flexible as I continue to learn and grow.

One key quality I now realize is more important than ever before, is leading with empathy. The variability in which we must operate or get to operate within today is tremendous. The pace of change is much greater than it has been in recent history. This evolving environment causes us, leaders, to practice and process change-management, even in our typical, daily activities. Because of all the change, we must show a greater level of empathy with the people we lead. Everyone does not process and respond to change at the same pace. We are better served to lead in a way that acknowledges this fact.

Empathetic leadership… easier said than done, right? I agree. This is not natural for most of us. However, it is important. We have to be intentional about getting to know the people we lead and to understand how they are dealing with the changes life is bringing them. As empathetic leaders, if we understand the needs of others, and are aware of their feelings and thoughts, we stand to be more effective.

As a fellow leader, I challenge and encourage you to invest time understanding your people and their needs. Get to know how they feel about things related to work and beyond. I am now making this investment. Join me on this journey. You and your people will be better for it. As always, Lead with Integrity.

Is the ELT for Me?

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

Are you looking for a way to bring ethics training to your professionals? Have the practitioners in your state been leaning into the gray areas of ethical behavior? Have there been violations of your state’s accountancy laws and regulations? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Ethical Leadership Training (ELT) program offered by the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) is the answer.

The ELT is the remediation of choice for 14 State Boards of Accountancy as part of their settlement agreement with professionals that have violated their state’s rules and guidelines. The ELT program is designed to help professionals identify ethical issues, resolve ethical dilemmas and create an environment that promotes the highest standard of ethical behavior in their state.

The ELT program provides tools and resources to guide ethical decision making and encourages changes in behavior for those who participate. Easy to implement, the ELT carries no cost to the state board as the participant pays all the related costs. The training experience is structured as a standard three module program, with an additional customized state-specific module available. The tracking and reporting components provide boards with accurate information on an individual’s pass rate as determined by the State Board of Accountancy or over three attempts. Upon completion, the participant receives a certificate indicating their success.

Ethical decision making in the workplace can be challenging. It requires clarity of values along with accountability, critical thinking skills, professionalism, and trust. Let the CPT help train your practitioners as they strive for ethical behavior in business.

GOOD NEWS: Solar Panels to be Sold at Ikea

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Ethics Matters

August 2022

In recent news, IKEA U.S. announced that it joined forces with SunPower to offer home solar solutions in the United States. The Swedish retailer and SunPower Corp., a leading residential solar technology and energy services provider, announced that they were teaming up to make solar energy more accessible for everyone. A goal of the partnership is to help customers generate and store their own renewable energy and live more sustainably. Home Solar with IKEA is expected to launch in select California markets in Fall 2022.

“At IKEA, we’re passionate about helping our customers live a more sustainable life at home. We’re proud to collaborate with SunPower to bring this service to the U.S. and enable our customers to make individual choices aimed at reducing their overall climate footprint,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S. “The launch of Home Solar with IKEA will allow more people to take greater control of their energy needs, and our goal is to offer the clean energy service at additional IKEA locations in the future.”

The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) loves to hear about organizations that aim to make sustainability more accessible for everyone. If you have more Good News, please share by emailing the CPT at info@cpt.org.