Sister Act

Sisters Anam Khan ’12 and Iram Khan ’12 found that Rider’s Accounting program catered to their very diverse interests and career goals.
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Soon after Anam Khan ’12 joined her sibling Iram Khan ’12 at Rider three years ago, they were dubbed the “Khan Sisters” by professors and students alike.

It’s no surprise that the collective name caught on, considering their common traits. Both sisters were inspired by their Hamilton High School West teacher, Jay Fishman ’91, M.A. ’99, to enroll in the Accounting program. Both have excelled in and out of the classroom, taking on leadership roles and working closely with Rider faculty. Both have interned at a Big 4 audit firm. And both will walk together in the undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 11, before beginning the Master of Accountancy program in the fall.

Still, while the sisters find the nickname endearing, lumping them together as one overlooks their very unique personalities and interests. Fortunately, Iram and Anam found that Rider’s College of Business Administration exposed them to a variety of career opportunities in Accounting.

For example, Iram says she has had an interest in law enforcement well before CSI even became popular. So, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that she could mix her interests in law enforcement and accounting when she took Dr. Dorothy McMullen’s ACC 325: Fraud Examination and Business Forensics during her sophomore year. Later that spring, Iram participated in the Internal Revenue Service’s Adrian Project, a daylong mock criminal investigation on the Lawrenceville campus. That experience has connected her to IRS special agents Rob Glantz and Rob Erickson ’88, who have given her invaluable guidance. Iram plans to work in public accounting before pursuing a career in government.

“It would be my dream come true to be an accountant with the gun and badge.” said Iram, who was drawn to the career’s adventure and ability to help others. A daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she would also be breaking a cultural mold. “Pakistani women don’t really go into law enforcement.”

Meanwhile, Anam, who is exactly one year younger than Iram, acquired enough AP credits in high school to graduate from Rider a year early. She plans to work in public accounting, but is also considering a doctorate in Accounting, so she can eventually teach.  It was Dr. Marge O’Reilly-Allen, Accounting department chair, who suggested that she consider the academic route.

“I like teaching my friends about accounting. I like the fact of the constantly learning,” Anam explained. “Accounting allows you to give back to your community. As accountants, we have a really big responsibility to prevent scandals like Enron from happening. I think it’s a fulfilling career in that sense.”

Through Anne Mandel, associate director of Career Services for CBA, Iram gained professional experience during a six-month co-op with Johnson & Johnson and an internship in the auditing department at KPMG. She was offered a full-time offer to begin at KPMG in the fall of 2013. Anam also interned with KPMG last summer, and will pursue a tax internship with Ernst & Young this summer.

“I’m not pushing her at all,” said Iram, with a smile, about her sibling potentially receiving and accepting an offer at the same firm.

As aspiring accounting professionals, Iram and Anam have certainly left their mark on the Rider community. They are familiar faces in the Accounting department as student workers and have held officer positions in the Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi, the business honors fraternity. They were recently recognized for their scholastic and leadership achievements during the University’s Awards Banquet on April 28. Iram received the Federation of Schools of Accountancy and AACSB Award for making the most significant contribution to the Accounting program and showing the greatest potential to contribute to the accounting profession, while Anam was presented the Leonard A. Olson Alumni Award for displaying the greatest promise for success in the accounting field.

Iram and Anam decided to continue at Rider to pursue their MAcc degrees through graduate assistantships because of their familiarity at Rider, its professors and class size. Iram will work in the office of Bill Roell, senior associate vice president for Finance, and Anam will conduct research for faculty members in the Accounting department.

And as for their younger sister, Komal, a student at Hamilton West?

“Mr. Fishman thinks she’ll be the third Khan to study at Rider,” they say with a laugh, adding that they could see their creative sibling studying art or education instead of taking the business route.

For the Khan family, it sounds like a promising third act.  

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Sisters Anam Khan ’12 and Iram Khan ’12 will walk together in the undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 11.