Alumni / January 3, 2022

An Accounting Journey: From Student Employee to CEO

Anoop Mehta ’84

An Accounting Journey: From Student Employee to CEO

When it comes to navigating the business world, Anoop Mehta ’84 understands the power of a network.

“During my time at Smith, I was heavily involved in a variety of campus-wide organizations, such as the International Student Association and the Indian Student Association,” Mehta says. “Being around a diverse group of people and learning how to network and collaborate with them helped propel me into my future career.”

As the former CEO of Science Systems and Applications Inc. (SSAI) and current chief strategist for Analytical Mechanics Associates (AMA), Mehta became involved in the accounting profession early on.

As CEO, he led SSAI to a 160% increase in revenue. He had worked for the company as a Smith undergraduate student, working full-time during school breaks and part-time during the school year. Mehta joined SSAI on a full-time basis after graduation, rising through the ranks to become CFO and then CEO.

During his tenure at SSAI, Mehta also joined the board of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) in 2008, eventually becoming chairman of the board in 2012. His involvement in this professional organization led to him being nominated as chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in December 2020.

Recognizing the important role networks played in his 40-year-tenure at SSAI, Mehta now dedicates his time outside of work to helping others build their own careers and giving back to the profession he deeply cares for and is passionate about.

“Helping others to continue to grow their careers excites me,” says Mehta. “I am here because of the help others offered me in my career.”

Recently, he joined Smith Dean Prabhudev Konana’s Advisory Board, working with Professor Michael Kimbrough and others on the accounting and information assurance department's advisory council.

“I would love to see my alma mater continue to excel,” Mehta says. “A lot of changes are coming to the CPA exam and the profession is evolving, and I’m working with current professors to determine how we can infuse these changes into the accounting department. My main role as an advisory board member is to help the Smith school in preparing the students to be future-ready.”

His personal and professional goals for the future, Mehta says, are very intertwined.

“I look at success in terms of how many people I was able to help in advancing their career and become leaders in the profession.”

To current students looking to advance in business, Mehta offers this advice: “Get involved with activities outside of class. The world has changed so much that it's more important than ever to stay connected and get to know people, lifting each other up when you get the chance to do so.”

– By Laura Hayes. Hayes is a 2022 MBA Candidate and a Forté and Smith Fellow. Originally from Gaithersburg, Md., Hayes worked in marketing roles for four years in the financial services industry before coming to Maryland Smith.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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