One-On-One with Noel Abdur-Rahim

Noel Abdur-Rahim is the keynote speaker at the RISCPA's upcoming Annual Dinner Meeting, to be held on April 27 at the Providence Marriot Hotel.

A Michigan native, Abdur-Rahim is a Senior Associate in the Assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Detroit. She currently serves as the President of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, and is involved in a variety of other volunteer and mentoring programs within the community.

WHAT COUNTS: What will be the general theme of your address at the annual meeting?

NOEL ABDUR-RAHIM: My plan is to invigorate the audience by describing the differences and similarities of the “seasoned” and younger CPAs. My generation is eager to get involved, but lacks the experience to make an immediate impact.

WC: What drives your active involvement in mentoring and other community service programs?

NA-R: Throughout my childhood and career, I’ve always attached myself to other people. Sometimes it was through formal coaching arrangements, but mostly because I noticed a trait or characteristic in that individual that I wanted to emulate. I realize that the only way to progress is to create room for others to grow. You never want to be a team of one. My goal is to inspire someone at each position, role or organization that I’m involved in.

WC: Who are your mentors?

NA-R: As I mentioned, I like to attach myself to great people! I have mentors who don’t even recognize that they’re teaching me. I’ve created a personal mentor team. This team consists of friends, colleagues, bosses and family members -- formal and informal mentors. They all have qualities that help make me a better person. I think it’s good to have a wide range of advisors who can be both honest and resourceful.

WC: What are three simple tips for being a good leader?

NA-R: 1) Passion. As a leader, you don’t always have to be the smartest member of the group, but you have to be the one with the most passion about the project or goal. 2) Humility. A leader does not search for the most individual recognition, but seeks the best outcome for the group. 3) Vision. Oftentimes, leaders must have the vision of success before they ever reach it.

WC: Have you ever been to Rhode Island before? What are your impressions?

NA-R: No, I’ve never been to Rhode Island. I’m excited about going to Rhode Island and getting closer to my goal of travelling to all 50 states.