From industry visits to mini golf and Dairy Store ice cream, high school students kicked their summer off receiving a taste of the College of Business and a future in accounting. The School of Accountancy hosted the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Accounting Summit where high school students came to Howard L. Hawks Hall to learn about careers in accounting. Selected through an application process, which required a GPA above 3.0, completion of algebra II and status as a rising senior, the college accepted ten students to attend the summit, held from May 30-June 1.
Students spent their time working on various accounting projects, learning the ins and outs about a college career in accounting at Nebraska and potential careers in accounting after graduation. Led by Jill Trucke, assistant professor of practice in accountancy, the students also went on a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, to visit Deloitte and Mutual of Omaha and Kawasaki in Lincoln. Students toured each company and sat down with professionals to discuss their careers in accounting.
“The students really took to what the professionals at Mutual of Omaha had to say. Their main focus was when you leave college, you have a vision of how you want your life to look, but you have to be able to adjust to what life throws at you,” Trucke said. “They talked about how having an accounting degree gave them a variety of options, which I believe was reassuring for some of the students to hear.”
Completing her undergraduate degree in accounting this past spring, Gabby Williams wasted no time in furthering her education. Now a graduate student pursuing her MPA at Nebraska, Williams assisted Trucke with the summit. She felt she could relate to the students because it was not long ago she was in their shoes.
“I wanted to make sure they got a feel for what life at Nebraska and as an accounting student is like. I loved being able to help the students on projects, and help them learn more about accounting in different contexts,” she said. “The accounting program at Nebraska helped me become more aware of the world around me, which is something I wanted the high school students to take away.”
Trucke looked to dispel any myths or stereotypes of accounting out there. She hopes the students’ perception of accounting differed than when they first arrived at the summit, and they walk away more prepared for their college careers.
“We wanted to emphasize you have to be proactive with accounting because companies tend to hire ahead of graduation, a lot coming from internships. So it is important to get involved early in your college career,” she said. “When it comes to accounting, you need to understand the importance of written and oral communication and critical thinking. There is more to a degree in accounting than just numbers or careers in tax and audit, and we wanted the students to see that.”