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        Alumni, Industry

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        September 27, 2022 By Troy Turner

        All News

        Harbert alumnus helps cultivate partnership with RSM; promotes diversity opportunities

        Editor’s note: This story is one in a series exploring corporate partnerships with Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business.

        Auburn alumnus Mike Mosquito (third from right), a director with RSM, is pictured with Harbert College of Business leaders and faculty (left to right) Joe Hanna, Edward Reynolds, Renee Pratt, Pankush Kalgotra and Uzma Raja.

        Auburn alumnus Mike Mosquito (third from right), a director with RSM, is pictured with Harbert College of Business leaders and faculty (left to right) Joe Hanna, Edward Reynolds, Renee Pratt, Pankush Kalgotra and Uzma Raja.

        Mike Mosquito graduated from Auburn University in 1992 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and his daughter Kailey is starting her junior year at Auburn studying visual design. He proudly points to both, a personal and a professional partnership with his alma mater.

        Mosquito works in Atlanta as a director for RSM, a global professional services company headquartered in Chicago with almost 50,000 employees worldwide.

        “RSM’s mission is to maintain its place as the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market,” he said, noting that RSM recently was named to the Fortune 2022 Best Workplaces for Millennials list.

        “My mission is to introduce the RSM Consulting practice to Auburn’s Harbert College of Business and provide a path for students to join our firm,” Mosquito said.

        Thanks to Mosquito, RSM has developed a robust corporate partnership with Harbert.

        His efforts go beyond just recruiting Auburn students. “I am also focused on providing direction and support, through funding and mentoring initiatives, for enablement for women and minorities,” he said.

        “Hiring Auburn’s Harbert graduates isn’t just a personal preference; it’s simply good business.”

        “A consistent theme for Auburn grads is that they are ready for client interaction and to be a value-added asset to their teams,” Mosquito said. “Auburn has always provided a high caliber of work- and industry-ready students. Harbert’s education and preparation is important for firms like RSM.”

        One example: “The students that presented during the Spring Poster Competition were exceptional and impressive. Their analytical presentations were impressive and advanced for students and at the level of aptitude above employees already employed in various industries.

        “This is where we as leaders need to be investing our time and support,” he said.

        Creating new scholarships

        RSM is leading by example, said Auburn’s Edward Reynolds, Harbert corporate and foundation relations officer.

        “The Harbert College of Business is grateful for RSM’s continued support. The company has been a longstanding investor in the college’s efforts to provide an exceptional learning experience for our students,” Reynolds said. “RSM has created scholarships in the School of Accountancy and supported our college’s National Association of Black Accountants student chapter. 

        “We are excited to see our partnership expand, as RSM recently made investments in our Business Analytics program. Because of this new support, the department was able to launch its inaugural student research poster competition earlier this year,” Reynolds explained.

        “Additionally, RSM provided resources that will help organizations like Women in Technology, and Minorities in Technology, recruit and retain students from underrepresented populations,” he said, “ultimately creating positive impact on the future analytics workforce.”

        Ready to be employed

        Promoting diversity and opening doors to opportunity are an important part of RSM’s partnership with Auburn and specifically Harbert College of Business, Mosquito said, and while his company previously had recruited Harbert for tax and audit professionals, he wanted to see expertise in consulting added to the list.

        “The RSM recruiter for Auburn, Hayley Thomas, has also been supporting me while providing funding and thought leadership,” he said. “I partnered with the RSM Foundation to provide funding to Harbert.

        “Dr. Uzma Raja (chair of Harbert’s Department of Systems & Technology), Dr. Renee Pratt (director of the department’s graduate programs) and I collaborated to introduce mentoring and funding to programs that promote business leadership and paths that are aligned with becoming a first-choice advisor at RSM.

        “With the help of Dr. Raja, Dr. Pratt, and Chuck Freeman, an RSM Foundation member, partner and Auburn alum, we were able to provide a three-year program to support our mentoring, innovation and collaboration initiatives.”

        Mosquito also praised Harbert’s wide spectrum in its educational approach.

        “Internships, networking and mentoring opportunities open doors; and experience, coupled with the right courses, delivers a student ready to be employed at a high-performing firm like RSM.”

        Learn more about RSM at