Accounting was rarely the topic of discussion in the Mawn household. Yet, five of Lawrence and Marlynne Mawn’s seven children have become or are studying to become accountants.
“Now, the dinner table is turning more to accounting and numbers. It never used to be like that,” explained Melanie Mawn ’10.
Lawrence Mawn, who started his career at Deloitte & Touche in 1984, says he never pushed his children to pursue the profession. In fact, two of his daughters considered other careers before enrolling in Rider’s Accounting program. Melanie studied art for two years. Meanwhile, Laura Mawn ’12 thought about becoming a teacher. Son Russell Mawn ’14 is a sophomore Accounting major at Rider.
“Most people think that my dad had a lot to do with my choice and all my siblings’ choices to become accountants. Personally, my dad has influenced me, but never directly, and ‘you should be an accountant’ never came out of his mouth,” Laura explained. “I was influenced by him because I see that he really enjoys what he does and has a great life because of his career choice.”
With more than 25 years of accounting experience, Lawrence Mawn continues to exhibit a tremendous passion for the profession. He has served as the president for the Central New Jersey Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and currently chairs its Academic Relations Committee. Through his affiliation with IIA, Lawrence approached various area colleges and universities about expanding opportunities for their students to study internal auditing. He said Rider was very receptive to the idea.
“What drew me to Rider was its great track record in accounting, coupled with that style of professionalism,” he explained. “The Accounting professors are accessible, lively and engaged with the students on a personal level. They push their students to succeed. That was the difference. This is a really special university.”
Soon, Lawrence developed a strong connection to Rider’s Accounting department, which has allowed him to share this vast knowledge in the field and recruit students. Since 2007, he has served as a member of the University’s Accounting Advisory Council. He also serves as a guest speaker for the Internal Auditing class and at various Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting events on the Lawrenceville campus.
When Melanie was looking to return to college, Lawrence suggested that she take a look at Rider. As Melanie puts it, she was out of school for five years and did not think she was going to go back. However, her father helped alter her routine, arranging an interview where Melanie could meet Dr. Marge O’Reilly-Allen. Two weeks later, Melanie was enrolled in the Accounting program.
“They kind of helped me see accounting as a good career path. You can pretty much do anything. They guide me and showed me the opportunities available,” she said. “Because of Rider, I had three different internships. I was able to really see different things. I liked the versatility of the Accounting degree.”
Melanie participated in Deloitte’s Mentor Program, held an internship with Motorola and held a co-op with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Currently, she is an auditor at Deloitte’s Parsippany, N.J., office.
“He loves his career. He’s always big on helping others and giving them opportunities. He is a great mentor,” said Melanie about her father. “He has given me a lot of insight into the industry and a lot of resources.”
Laura, who is interning at Deloitte’s Philadelphia office this summer, said that since she declared her major, her father has stressed the importance of ethics, continuous learning, and interpersonal skills in the accounting field.
“Some of my favorite advice from my dad comes from articles he reads in Investors Business Daily. When he reads something that he thinks is important and will contribute to my success, he clips it out and leaves it on my desk,” she said.
Laura reflected on her father’s visibility at Accounting Advisory Council meetings and other accounting events on campus.
“He is a role model to me and being able to listen to what he has to say in a professional setting, and to watch how he interacts with other professionals, is how and where I learn the social norms of people in the accounting field. It is all about interpersonal skills and being able to articulate yourself, and he unknowingly guides me,” she said.