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Ashlynn Bara, Harbert's Fall 2023 graduation marshal
An internship with Ernst & Young, one of the big four accounting firms, isn’t the only thing that sets Harbert College of Business’s Fall Class of 2023 graduation marshal Ashlynn Bara apart from the rest.
Graduating with degrees in both accounting and information systems management, and a minor in business engineering technology, Bara’s positive attitude and ambition have contributed to her success.
As graduation marshal, Bara will carry Harbert’s banner at the December 9th ceremony in Neville Arena. However, Bara plans to stay in Auburn this spring to take the CPA exam and will then move to Atlanta where she has accepted a position with Ernst & Young’s technology risk consulting division, which was the primary focus of her internship this past summer.
“I'm very excited to learn and continue growing,” said Bara, “because I do feel like I'm very prepared to do that.”
Both the School of Accountancy’s Meet the Firms and Harbert’s Office of Professional and Career Development (OPCD) were great resources for Bara when she was looking for her internships and career options. Bara recalls how Meet the Firms helped her find the opportunity that was the best fit for her, but the OPCD was helpful in preparing her for Meet the Firms.
When she came to Auburn in fall 2019, Bara knew she wanted to study information systems management. But, after excelling in both the required principles of accounting, with Senior Lecturer Jennifer Cornett, and managerial accounting courses, Bara decided to give accounting a second thought.
“I’m very grateful for the way the College of Business sets up their classes,” said Bara, “because I benefited greatly from exploring something I didn’t even know existed.”
A dean’s list recipient since her first semester of college, Bara’s information systems management courses have taught her about the technological side of business in addition to learning how to explain it all to business stakeholders. Business engineering technology has helped Bara learn more about entrepreneurship while also getting craft world certified, 3-D print certified, and even wood shop experience.
“I didn’t expect Auburn to give me as much as it has,” said Bara, “so that has been super great to see.”
Bara recalls her tour of the College of Business with fondness, sharing that her own tour guides from the Executive Society inspired her to join Executive Society once she got to Harbert. Last year, Bara took on the role of vice president where she coordinated social media pages, LinkedIn groups, and planned socials for the members of the society.
“You have a place to belong within the college,” Bara said in relation to the community Executive Society provided her with.
Bara was also a council member of Beta Alpha Psi, where she assisted the organization to recruit new accounting majors, and was project coordinator for IMPACT, where she was able to organize volunteer opportunities for herself and other Auburn students at the local Food Bank of East Alabama.
Nominated by Executive Society, Bara was a Top 20 finalist for Miss Auburn, running her campaign on international students.
Bara’s welcoming personality and passion for people also served her well in her role as an undergraduate student assistant in Harbert’s Academic Advising office where she worked the summer after her sophomore year. In addition to many administrative tasks, Bara hosted virtual sessions with incoming students attending Camp War Eagle. Drawing on her own experiences in college, Bara was able to prepare students for the realities of college life.
Although Bara herself never had the opportunity to study abroad, she has always been interested in the international scene. It is a dream of hers to work in Ernst & Young’s headquarters, located in London, England, or on one of their international rotations.
“I will go anywhere in the world they will send me; I just really have a dream and a passion for working internationally or cross-culturally,” Bara said about her desire to help and connect with people around the world.
One philosophy that has taken Bara far and into the position she is in today is as follows:
“A no is just a yes to something else,” said Bara, “that yes just hasn’t come yet.”
The Harbert College of Business which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Raymond and Kathryn Harbert's transformational naming gift, is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. Our world-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while our research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice across business disciplines. The largest college on Auburn's campus, Harbert enrolls more than 6,900 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.