This experiential learning strategy engages students to increase awareness of professional core competencies recommended by various professional organizations. Aimed across the accounting curriculum, this activity allows individuals to explore competencies recommended to bridge the professional skills gap and develop a plan to acquire these necessary skills. The strategy activities include (1) initial class discussion of perceptions; (2) personality test for a personal SWOT analysis, (3) research of a professional competency framework; (4) personal assessment of competencies, including demonstrative examples, analysis of personal skill development experiences and self-rating of skills; (5) reflective group discussion to identify gaps in the individual student's skills assessment; (6) individual competency development plan for underrated skills and (7) summary discussion for strategies for how to acquire/improve skills towards career success. This experiential learning opportunity benefits students by increasing awareness of necessary professional competencies and creating a skills development plan. The result of this strategy is that students are introduced to a process they can use throughout their academic and professional careers to facilitate the acquisition of necessary skills for success as an accounting professional. This project has been piloted for over 12 years at seven universities with students ranging from freshman to graduate levels across five core areas of accounting and can be scaled to any class size.

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