Jerry Weiss Scholarship Recipients Filled with Gratitude
In December 2023, Montaser Takrouri graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago’s business school with a degree in accounting. He is currently studying for his CPA exam and has a job offer from Big Four firm starting this summer, the same firm he interned with last summer.
While he was a student, he commuted about 50 minutes from his home in Mount Prospect to campus. There were train and bus expenses and plenty of textbooks to purchase. But rather than worry about those fixed costs, Montaser’s stress was reduced because he applied for and received one of four Jerry Weiss Scholarships during his last semester at UIC.
“The scholarship really resonated with me because of my financial need. It made a big difference. I am very appreciative,” said Montaser.
Scholarship Allowed Him to Reduce Part-Time Work Hours
Another student who received a Jerry Weiss Scholarship is Krish Thakkar, a senior with only one more semester to go until graduation.
Krish said, “The best part about the scholarship was that it allowed me to reduce my part-time work hours. I was able to spend more time studying. My grades improved–-I got a 3.8 GPA this past semester. I live off campus and support myself working as a customer service representative for an insurance company. The scholarship really helped me.”
Krish will graduate with a double major in accounting and finance, and a minor in management data science. He has had two internships over the past year at Big Four firms and received job offers from both. He hopes to take the first three sections of the CPA exam while still in school, then complete the exam over the summer.
A Way to Honor Jerry Weiss
Jerry Weiss Scholarships have been awarded annually since 1995. Dan Fortman, Managing Partner at Weiss & Company, was hired by Weiss in 1981, when the firm had no more than 25 employees.
Fortman remembers Weiss as “very bright, patient, and a great leader. He enjoyed teaching and developing his staff. He was extremely well liked and respected by everyone he worked with, both clients and staff.”
Sadly, Weiss died from pancreatic cancer in 1994 at age 58. It was a tragic and huge loss to his family and friends. His colleagues, friends and family sought to honor his legacy as the firm’s founder in some tangible way and decided to fund a scholarship in his name.
Although Weiss had graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in accounting, that undergraduate program no longer exists. The University of Illinois Chicago was an appropriate alternative, and the school was delighted to help the firm set up and administer the scholarship.
The scholarships have been awarded since 1995. In the past, the amount of the scholarships varied depending on how much was in the account. In 2023, the school awarded four deserving students Jerry Weiss Scholarships worth $2,000 each. Fortman anticipates future scholarships will be larger based on recent contributions to the UIC account.
Deadline to Apply is Jan. 21, 2024
Joey Maman, lead academic advisor for student involvement at UIC Business, shared that to be considered for the scholarship, students must be full-time undergraduates in their junior or senior year and majoring in accounting.
Interested students apply through UIC’s website for scholarship and awards program. Preference is given to those interested in public accounting, and awardees are selected based on academic merit and financial need. The application also requires an essay about the student’s career and academic goals.
The deadline for UIC students to apply for scholarships for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters is January 21, 2024.
Montaser was emphatic about the importance of the Jerry Weiss Scholarship on his academic journey. He said, “The financial assistance provided by the Jerry Weiss Scholarship played a pivotal role in enabling me to attain my career aspirations. I am very fortunate.”
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