Thursday December 22, 2016

Accounting Students Get an Edge

A couple years ago, Rick Stover, full-time lecturer in the Department of Accounting, decided to run with an idea generated by accounting Professor Marsha Keune, developing what has evolved into the UD Accounting Major Bootcamp.

A couple years ago, Rick Stover, full-time lecturer in the Department of Accounting, decided to run with an idea generated by accounting Professor Marsha Keune, developing what has evolved into the UD Accounting Major Bootcamp. On the first Saturday of the 2016 fall term, approximately 125 junior accounting majors attended the 2nd annual Bootcamp. The overarching goals of the program are to provide students with a competitive edge as academic learners in the major, help them understand the significance of responsibility and accountability in the profession, and prepare them for a successful fall recruiting process. Knowing that our accounting graduates are aggressively recruited by over 100 organizations that visit annually to conduct on-campus interviews, the goal of the department faculty is to focus on the long-term, and develop students for successful careers.

Using proven approaches and techniques from his 35-year career as a senior partner at PwC, Stover has passionately championed the Bootcamp program. In the four-hour assembly, attendees gain insight into the public responsibility accountancy requires in the global marketplace. Students begin to appreciate the “language of business” and discover the many career options open to accountants. In one exercise, students learn that many famous people, including Mick Jagger and Nikki Haley, started out as accountants.  

This fall’s opening speaker, Julie Roach, focused on an “Alum’s Viewpoint” and addressed topics such as seizing both academic and professional opportunities, utilizing resources, and working to ensure a stand-out resume. A ’93 UD accounting grad, Roach spent 19 years at Deloitte before joining J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where she is Assistant Treasurer and Head of Valuation Oversight.

Janet Leonard, Assistant Dean and Director of the SBA Undergraduate Advising Office, and Sylvie Stewart, Assistant Director of UD Career Services, spoke on academic preparation and career planning. Accounting Professors Marsha Keune and Sarah Webber focused on matters relative to the profession, including integrity and ethics, and previewed the 2017 launch of the new Master of Professional Accountancy program.

Between speakers, two cases were conducted by Stover addressing accountants as a brand and ways for students to be successful from an academic standpoint. Stover also discussed faculty (and recruiter) expectations of students new to the accounting major, and provided guidance on how to access various resources needed for success.

A student panel of senior and 5th-year (MBA) UD accounting students closed out the program, sharing their perspectives and tips for success. Panel members also emphasized that recruiting for accounting majors begins at the beginning of the fall semester for 3rd-year students.

As an added feature for the 2016 Bootcamp, 18 recent graduates of the UD accounting program joined the students for lunch and shared tips on recruiting and career opportunities and discussed the ever-more-global accounting marketplace.

According to Dr. Donna Street, department Chair, “Students who embrace the messages of the Bootcamp will be rewarded with the opportunity to achieve great success following one or more of a plethora of career paths.” Stay tuned to see what UD accounting majors will accomplish now that they have been given the edge!

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