Delta State University standout master’s student Shelby Irby keeps picking up accolades. A few days ago, she won the Memphis Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors’ fall 2019 Student Day Essay Contest and a $1,000 scholarship from Robert Half accounting and finance staffing associates. Irby, enrolled in DSU’s Integrated Master of Business Administration Program, was one of two students to receive the honor at the chapter’s daylong Professionals and Students Day at the Holiday Inn, University of Memphis, on Oct. 10, 2019.
Entrants had up to six typed pages, double spaced, to answer the following topic: “Internal Auditor: Trusted Advisor or Traffic Cop?” Both, Irby wrote. “Trusted advisors and traffic cops can perform objective assurance functions to evaluate risks, controls, and opportunities to improve an organization’s objectives,” she concluded. “Trusted advisors can do so in a way that gets Internal Audit a seat at the table before a new process is rolled out or an audit is conducted. Whereas, traffic cops become the dreaded police that deliver the bad news when something goes wrong. However, auditors can overcome the stigma by becoming business partners through careful and intentional communication and collaboration.”
This type of insight from Irby doesn’t surprise her mentor Dr. Michael B. Amspaugh, associate professor of accounting at Delta State. “Her essay captured the essence of what internal auditing is all about and clearly was a winner,” he said. “She wrote an amazing essay and is an outstanding student.”
When majoring in business marketing and management as an undergraduate at Delta State, the then-senior earned one of four junior audit associate internships with FedEx last spring—competing with a dozen other applicants from the Southeast during the on-site interview round. Earlier on, Irby was named an outstanding new member of Kappa Delta sorority in 2016. This past spring, she was inducted into the DSU Student Hall of Fame.
Irby, from Madison, Miss., is grateful for the scholarship and for Delta State. “I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue my education at Delta State and for Robert Half for choosing me as their scholarship winner at the Institute of Internal Auditors Student Day event,” she said. “The exposure I have had to Internal Audit at FedEx allowed me to write a winning essay that, in turn, is allowing me obtain my MBA. This is a huge stepping stone that will ultimately allow me to gain further certifications and advance my career. This chain of events started with the faculty and staff at Delta State University. So thank you!”