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Member Spotlight: Jayda Watkins

May 16, 2023

Jayda Watkins

Private Company Individual Focus Tax Associate – RSM US LLP

Photo of Jayda Watkins during her study abroad program in Costa Rica.

You are studying for the CPA Exam while you work at RSM. Do you have any advice for other future CPAs who may be in a similar situation?
Make a study plan and stick to it. Discipline is one of the most important factors in the process. It also helps to accept the fact that you will miss out on various events in order to study. Others around you may not understand it, but you must focus on your “why” for taking the CPA Exam and use that as motivation. Also, be patient with the process. This journey shouldn’t be rushed. Taking your time to learn and understand the material will be beneficial to passing the Exam. The return on investment, both financially and professionally, will be more than worth it in the end.

What is your favorite part of your job?
That feeling of accomplishment I get when I have worked on a return and finally get everything to tie out to the workpapers I prepared. After taking time to iron out any issues that arise, I almost feel invincible!

You studied abroad in college and lived in San Jose, Costa Rica. What is your favorite memory from that experience?
My favorite memory was the homestay. During my three-week visit, I stayed with a host mom. It forced me to improve my Spanish-speaking skills because she didn’t speak much English. I also enjoyed the meals she made for us each day using fresh ingredients.

Are you involved with any other organizations?
I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Being part of this organization is important to me because it allows me to connect with black professionals in the business world. I have gained a community outside of the workplace with people who can relate to accounting. The percentage of certified black accountants is small and this organization is working to bring awareness to the field and the opportunities it has to offer — I enjoy being part of that effort.

How do you unwind after a busy day? Any hobbies? 
My favorite way to unwind after a busy day is to turn off all electronics, dim the lights and sit in the quiet. I also coach the Butler University Women’s Club basketball team. When I attended Butler, being part of that team was important to me, as basketball has been a part of my life since I was five years old. It gave me a way to reduce stress and connect with others on campus.

What is the best thing you’ve read recently?
“Quiet Guys Can Do Great Things, Too: A Black Accountant’s Success Story” by Frank K. Ross.

What is your favorite podcast?
It’s not a podcast, but I love Tabitha Brown’s YouTube channel, especially the series with her husband called “Fridays with Tab and Chance” and with her daughter called “Very Good Mondays.”

Would you like to be featured as the next Member Spotlight in Connect? Contact Katie Kirkton, INCPAS Creative Manager, at for more information.


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