COBA Prepares for Summer Adventures Abroad!

by   |  05.06.15  |  Academics, Current Students, Study Abroad, Uncategorized

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This summer, COBA will have two groups participating in the study abroad program. Dr. Andy Little and Dr. Jim Litton will be taking a group of 10 students to China during the month of July. The group will be visiting three major cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Each city offers a different look at the Chinese culture, with Hong Kong and Shanghai evolving as the centers of business in Asia and Beijing, the country’s epicenter for cultural, educational and political matters. Students will earn course credit in Global Entrepreneurship and an Honors Colloquium for Business, Ethics, and Law. Dr. Andy Little is excited to expose students to an entirely new culture and learning experience. Dr. Little says, “China is quickly becoming one of the dominant players in the global business world. What better way is there to learn and understand the culture than to go visit and experience it? This learning experience will push students outside of their comfort zones, but in a safe, reflective, and healthy way.” The group will be touring several companies, participating in panel discussions, and going on numerous cultural visits, including the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City in Beijing.

COBA students enjoyed learning about the Chinese culture when they visited several summers ago.

COBA students enjoyed learning about the Chinese culture when they visited several summers ago.

Another group from COBA, led by Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden and Dr. Rick Lytle, will be studying in  Oxford, England in June. The classes that will be offered in Oxford include International Business and International Marketing. The group will visit and participate in active research with some of the world’s most renowned companies, including MINI Cooper, ExxonMobil, Johnson and Johnson, Oxford Analytica, Hearst Business Media, and Emerson Electric. They will also have the opportunity to hear lectures by local international scholars. In addition to the research and classroom work, students will be able to explore Europe. Students will have two free travel weekends, visit Normandy, France and see the musical, Les Miserables. Dr. Rick Lytle hopes that this trip will provide “global education which will broaden, challenge, and educate students’ minds and hearts.”

COBA students and Dr. Orneita Burton and Dr. Don Pope during last year's trip to Oxford.

COBA students with Dr. Orneita Burton and Dr. Don Pope during last year’s trip to Oxford.

Check back on our blog during the summer to read student excerpts from their travels around the world!

Tis the Season for Internships!

by   |  05.01.15  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Internships, Placement stories, School of Information Technology and Computing

COBA encourages students to go outside of the classroom and gain real working experience from companies in the business world via internships. In addition to classroom preparation for job and internship searches, the COBA Connections and Career Development team aids students by connecting them with internships to businesses and industries that the individual student is interested in. These internship experiences allow students to learn from experienced mentors and discover what field of work they may have a passion or interest for. Some of the companies COBA students have interned with in the last year include World Vision, Holt Lunsford Commercial, PFSweb, USAA, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Northern Trust.

Cason Ford, a senior marketing major from Burleson, TX, learned a lot about the oil and gas industry through his internship with Dunaway Associates, L.P., an engineering consulting services company. At Dunaway, Cason spent time working with a project manager in the office as well as working on a land surveying crew, learning about project management and the process of business operations. After graduation, Cason will work as a financial professional for AXA Advisors in Austin. With the help of the COBA Connections Career Development office, Cason was able to connect with an ACU alum who is on the AXA team in Austin. In addition to the Connections Office, Cason is also thankful for the experience he gained with Dr. Terry Pope and the STAR (Student Trading and Research) program, enabling him to learn the business terminology and financial knowledge that he will need for his career.

Cason Ford

“I feel confident entering this position because of the knowledge and skills I have learned while studying in COBA. I have learned the value of possessing and practicing with an entrepreneurial spirit, which is what I will need in my career,” says Cason.

Connor Osburn, a senior finance major from Southlake, TX, and the current President of Wildcat Ventures, has interned with both Holt Lunsford Commercial and Heil Trailer International. While at Holt Lunsford Commercial, he learned the ins and outs of commercial real estate, discovering how new developments can reflect the strength of a region’s economy and that location is key in any real estate investment. Going forward, Connor would like to pursue a finance role, specifically in analytics to identify young, promising companies. He is also interested in alternative energy/green technology and can see himself working with projects and companies in this industry.

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Connor says, “COBA and the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy exposed me to interesting new ideas, creative thinkers, inspiring entrepreneurs and opportunities to learn about all different types of career paths. I owe a lot to the COBA professors who have been more than willing to offer me advice or point me in the right direction.”

Natalie Lemieux, a junior from McKinney, TX, has excelled with her internship experience. Natalie is pursuing a major in information systems with a minor in international studies and information technology. Last summer, she interned with Lennox International as a Commercial Business Systems Intern. Her biggest takeaway from the internship was learning how to deal with project management and the flexibility within handling those projects. This summer, she will be interning with PricewaterhouseCoopers with the Technology Consulting team. Eventually, Natalie wants to pursue her MBA in international business. Natalie is grateful for the Connections Office and COBA professors, like Dr. Brad Crisp, who helped her find these particular internships.

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“COBA’s atmosphere really helped to prepare me to be in a professional environment. I know that I have set myself apart from many other applicants that have applied for these positions because of the relevant hands-on experience and projects I have done inside of the classroom,” says Natalie.

Cason, Connor, and Natalie are only a few of many students who have interned while at ACU. Through faculty and the Connections Office, COBA aims to provide students with internship opportunities in the specific career fields that students are interested in pursuing. Internships are the perfect way for students to gain exposure to different companies and industries, allowing them to gain an advantage when looking for jobs after graduation. Congrats to all students who have interned and are planning to intern this next summer.

AMA Gets AMAzed in New Orleans!

by   |  03.25.15  |  AMA, Academics, Current Students, Uncategorized

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 COBA’s AMA student organization attended the annual AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans on March 19th-21st. The theme for the conference this year was AMAze Yourself, inspiring students to find their passions and discover ways they can use those passions to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden and eight current and new student officers, including Cheyenne Rawlings, Allison Phillips, Neely Borger, Carolyn Heard, Bridgett Fuessel, Noah Bastable, and Josh Maday were able to see other AMA organizations that are active in their universities as well as hear from prominent speakers from across the country. Speakers were from leading companies around the world and included Jeff Schmitz and Rachel Lewis from The Hershey Company, Daryl Weber from The Coca-Cola Company, and Ian Dallimore from Lamar Advertising Company. The conference also included multiple breakout sessions each day, hosting discussions on topics such as social media management, resume building, networking opportunities, and suggestions for improving a university’s AMA chapter.

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Every year, AMA provides a case study for each AMA university chapter to compete with one another. Groups must provide a full marketing plan with objectives, strategies, implementation ideas, and a budget for the case study. This year, the product for the case study was Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water. At the conclusion of the conference, the chapters were able to see the winning team present their marketing plan, gaining insight and real experience for how a marketing plan should be implemented.

The AMA conference is a great event opportunity for students to learn, network, and find ways that they can set themselves apart in the marketplace. AMA is excited to be back on campus and working on future ideas to build their own personal brand as well as the brand of COBA.

“After going to the conference and hearing from other AMA organizations, I am really excited to get involved with the organization. I learned how important building my own personal brand really is,” says junior marketing major, Carolyn Heard.

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Renewal on the Mountain: Leadership Summit 2015

by   |  03.11.15  |  Academics, COBA Events, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Leadership Summit, Special Speakers, Uncategorized

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Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado

 

January 2-8, 2015, COBA held the 17th annual Leadership Summit at Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado. There were 139 students from ACU and 19 students from Lubbock Christian University who gathered to hear from professionals and well-known Christian leaders working in the marketplace. This unique opportunity offers a blend of dynamic speakers, practical application, skill building, and spiritual insight, all designed to equip students for leadership in the family, in their community, and in the marketplace. There were a total of 18 speakers and four mentor couples, as well as faculty and staff, on the mountain. Speakers included Mike Haley from Focus on the Family, Eric Pillmore (senior Vice President-Corporate Governance for Tyco International Ltd.), Elise Mitchell (ACU’s 2015 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and founding sponsor of Morris and Mitchell Advertising Agency), Walmart’s Stephen Quinn and John Aden, Jim Mhoon and Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family,  Michael Tremain , and Kent and Amber Brantly (ACU’s 2015 Young Alumni of the Year, medical missionaries for Samaritan’s Purse, and survivor of Ebola).

Kent and Amber Brantly

Kent and Amber Brantly

The Brantly’s spoke passionately about serving your community, whether that is locally or globally, with humility and service. Kent and Amber shared their story from courtship to marriage and how their desire to serve as medical missionaries became a passion that drew them together and continues to guide their decisions as a family.

Eric Pillmore

Eric Pillmore

Eric Pillmore led students through a case study of Tyco, narrating the rise and fall of the executives of the infamous company. As students played the parts of the key figures in the case study, Pillmore discussed the importance of ethics and standards in business practices.

Elise Mitchell

Elise Mitchell

Elise Mitchell shared the story of founding her company, Mitchell Communications Group, and the transitions that accompanied her decision to sell her company to Dentsu Public Relations where she now serves as CEO. She encouraged students to enjoy the journey and emphasized that it is not just about arriving at the destination.

John Aden

John Aden

John Aden inspired students to look at the journey of Moses as a guide for life. He explained that just as Moses had his Red Sea moment, a series of highs and lows in life, each of us would face our own stages in life where we have to push forward in faith even though we may be at a low point in our journey.

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Leadership Summit Students, Faculty and Staff

When surveyed after Leadership Summit, one student responded, ” It was great to hear from those big name people in the business world and to realize that they are people just like us. John Aden sat at my table on day during lunch and it was cool to talk to him and to remember that he is just a regular guy and that he had is struggles and how he used them to further his career and life. All of the speakers were just so humble and really encouraged us to pursue God above all else. Probably on of the best decisions I have ever made in college to attend Leadership Summit. ”

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Hayley Griffin, Carolyn Heard, and Butter Saowatarnpong

Carolyn Heard, a junior marketing major, loved hearing from powerful and influential leaders in the marketplace. Carolyn especially enjoyed listening to Elise Mitchell speak. She was inspired by Elise’s passion for public relations and her entrepreneurial spirit, and appreciated that she shared her success stories as well as her struggles. After coming down from the mountain, Carolyn felt refreshed and ready to start the new year with the right mindset of relying on God in every situation. She said, “There is this unique atmosphere at Summit; you’re basically in this community for a week that is looking to grow in their business knowledge as well as in their spirituality.”

Jessica Carrigan (right)

Judith Barajas, Carolyn Heard, and Jessica Carrigan

 Jessica Carrigan, a senior marketing major, is thankful for the unique opportunities she was able to experience at Summit. She says, “I loved building a community with people that I normally do not see every day. Because I am a senior, connecting with employers on a Christian level was inspiring for me. I feel empowered to enter the marketplace and be a stronger Christian leader.”

Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden

Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden

Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden said she truly felt God’s presence on the mountain this year. She was incredibly blessed to see how students soaked in every word the speakers had to say, asking difficult questions and seeking to learn how to deal with hard circumstances in life. “I was so inspired by these speakers’ powerful testimonies of loss, hardship, and success. God is using their transformational stories to touch the lives of students and people throughout the world.”

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Nancy Ndekwe, Rodney Johnson,  and Maya Triplett

Since 1999, Leadership Summit has built a special community for students, faculty, and speakers to feel God’s inevitable presence. Leadership Summit continues to empower students to find their callings, equipping them to be strong Christian leaders in the church, home, and community.

Sunrise at Summit

Sunrise at Summit



Three COBA Students Receive Accounting Scholarships

by   |  02.04.15  |  Academics, Accounting, Careers In..., Current Students, Placement stories, Uncategorized

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COBA is proud to announce that three of our Accounting students, including David Legler, Amy Morris, and Courtney Richardson, received scholarships from the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA). The Accounting Education Foundation of TSCPA has established a program to provide scholarship assistance to accounting students who plan to become Texas Certified Public Accountants and enter the accounting profession. In order to be considered for these scholarships, students must attend a university which participates in Accounting Education Foundation programs and be nominated by the chairperson of the accounting department, have completed 110 semester credit hours of college-level courses by August 31, have a GPA of 3.6 or higher, and have completed 21 semester credit hours with a B or higher in accounting courses required for accounting majors.

The scholarship recipients are currently in the MAcc program, and each student has accepted job positions with one of the “Big 4″ public accounting firms and will start after graduation in May. David Legler is originally from Austin, TX and will start with KPMG in Fort Worth. Amy Morris is from Richmond, TX and will work with PwC  in Oklahoma. Courtney Richardson will complete her MAcc degree in May and then will go on to work with EY in Fort Worth, TX. Dr. John Neill is extremely proud of these students, stating that they have consistently practiced excellence inside and out of the classroom. Congratulations to David, Amy, and Courtney on their well-deserved scholarships.  COBA wishes you the best with your future career paths!

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Courtney Richardson

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David Legler

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Amy Morris

 

Dr. Mark Phillips Earns Promotion to Professor

by   |  01.28.15  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Uncategorized

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 “COBA has played a major rule in my teaching development. With their supportive environment, I am incredibly grateful to be surrounded by such amazing students and colleagues.”

COBA congratulates Dr. Mark Phillips on his promotion from Associate Professor to full Professor. In the tenure process, teachers apply for promotion to obtain a new title representing a different rank of academic hierarchy. Faculty must meet specific criteria that the university  and their department sets forth in order to receive a promotion.  Because of his fit to the university and teaching excellence, ACU recognizes him as a senior faculty member.

After graduating from ACU, Dr. Phillips went on to gain his masters from Purdue University, worked for two years in industry, worked in full time church ministry for 10 years, and then spent three years earning his PhD from Oklahoma State University before returning to work for ACU’s College of Business. Phillips has been a COBA faculty member for 11 years.

Dr Phillips has been a key part of COBA’s academic success and progression, positively impacting the lives of students through his teaching, mentoring, and preaching over the last decade. Dr. Phillips was appointed as the new Department Chair of Management Sciences at the beginning of June, 2014. Phillips has done an excellent job managing this position while continuing to pursue his own teaching and research agenda. Dr. Lytle praises Dr. Phillips, saying that “his wit, his keen analytical ability, and his steadfast work ethic has accomplished much towards the mission of COBA”. Congratulations Dr. Phillips on your well-deserved promotion! COBA is blessed to have such a strong role model, professor, and mentor in our department.

Social Entrepreneurship Studies at City Square

by   |  01.22.15  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Social Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

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Sixteen ACU students had the opportunity to study Social Entrepreneurship at City Square in Dallas during a January short course. The class was taught by COBA professor, Dr. Laura Phillips. In the short one-week time period, the class covered a wide range of topics related to starting and running a social enterprise (nonprofit or for-profit that has a social mission at its core). Speakers who currently run these types of enterprises, as well as those who consult and advise these organizations, came to share with the class about their own unique experiences. In addition, the class included student presentations on various topics and case study discussions. Students were also taken on a tour of City Square, hearing about how the business operates and ways they are trying to expand.

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Many of the speakers were ACU alums, including Robyn Wise, Scott Orr, and Don Crisp. Scott Orr, an ACU and COBA grad, has served in many roles for nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit companies. He is currently the Vice President of Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments.

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Scott’s Mantra: Using strengths to accomplish greatness.

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Jerita’s Mantra: Bloom where you are planted.

Jerita Howard, an Abilene resident, also came to speak to the class. Jerita is the owner of One Smart Cookie, an online gourmet cookie and brownie gift package company. Like Scott, Jerita has also served in various roles throughout her professional career. Both of these entrepreneurs provided valuable insights on business operations and social enterprises.

DSC_6993Dr. Laura Phillips loved the broad mix of majors that were represented in the class this year. She says, “The class succeeds because of the knowledge, experience, and honesty of the 14 guest speakers. While not all of the students who took the class plan to start a social enterprise, I think all of the students benefited from the class.” After taking the class, she hopes students feel equipped to work with social ventures in the way that fits their life and career goals.

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Emily Adkins, a sophomore Pre-Physical Therapy major from Irving, TX, enjoyed taking the class at City Square. She feels like she has learned the basics of social enterprises and that she could comfortably work in this type of environment now. “This class really pushed me outside of my comfort zone in a good way! I love social enterprises and I can see myself working for one some day. Listening to these speakers opened my eyes to how these organizations help people in an effective way.”

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Startup Week and Elevator Pitch Welcomes Entrepreneurs!

by   |  12.09.14  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

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In November, the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy hosted the first annual Startup Week. The CEO student organization along with the Griggs Center were busy with several activities during the week, including an Alumni Entrepreneurship dinner on November 18, a CEO chapel on the 19th with guest speaker Toby Thomas, and ending with the final Elevator Pitch competition after the chapel. The goal of the Springboard Elevator Pitch competition was to get students to create and present their idea, giving them the opportunity to gain real experience working with entrepreneurs. Three weeks prior to Startup Week, participants presented their Elevator Pitch ideas in front of a group of local entrepreneurs and ACU faculty members and learned how they would be judged as well as the deadlines for the competition. At the dinner on November 18, the 10 finalists were announced. The next day, the pitches were heard and the winner received $1,500 cash for the idea.

The winner of the Elevator Pitch was COBA major, Colby Hatchett, a junior marketing major from Fort Worth. His idea was The Mullet, a restaurant concept where parents could enjoy a nice meal at the front of the restaurant while their children would be fully taken care of in the back of the restaurant. After the pitch, Colby said he was incredibly grateful to meet entrepreneurs working in the marketplace and gain real experience from the competition.

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Rudy Garza, President of CEO, was excited that students were able to meet and connect with ACU alums and other entrepreneurs. At the dinner, students were seated at tables with the entrepreneurs and were able to hear their stories and advice for those considering entrepreneurship as well as making valuable connections for potential career opportunities. When asked the effect of COBA with the Elevator Pitch, Rudy said, “Because the classes are smaller and the quality of the faculty is excellent, COBA students always excel in the Springboard Challenge competitions. The presenters are stronger and seem comfortable speaking in front of the crowd. Through the interactions between professors and students, students gain major insight into what entrepreneurship looks like, which is incredibly beneficial for them in this case.”

Overall, the competition was a great success. Some unique ideas were presented during the pitch and it was great to have so many ACU and COBA alumni back on campus. COBA is proud to see such amazing business and Christian leadership in the marketplace. Again, congratulations to COBA student, Colby Hatchett, on winning the competition!

 

“The Springboard Challenge is a great enhancement to COBA’s culture of ideation, creativity, and innovation. This competition pushes our students and culture in a good way!” says Dr. Rick Lytle, Dean of the College of Business.

Professor Spotlight: Dr. John Neill

by   |  12.04.14  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Faculty

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“The student professor relationship in COBA is unique and unlike any other university at which I have taught. The faculty and staff are outstanding Christian people that I enjoy working with every single day,” says Accounting professor, Dr. John Neill.

This year marks the 15th year Accounting professor Dr. John Neill has been with COBA. Dr. Neill grew up in Abilene, graduating from Cooper High School before coming to ACU. He graduated from ACU earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree and then went on to the University of Florida, where he earned his Ph.D.  Before coming back to ACU to teach, Dr. Neill taught at Florida State University and Chapman in Orange County, California.

Dr. Neill says that one of his favorite memories in COBA is the senior blessing retreat held a couple of years ago. At the blessing, he enjoyed all of the faculty and staff gathering together to send off the seniors. He feels incredibly blessed to be part of such an encouraging community, knowing he has made a difference in students’ lives. Dr. Neill describes COBA as cooperative, student-focused, and professional, seeking to serve God and meet students’ needs above all else. Compared to other state universities, he feels that students feel comfortable  in COBA, striving to learn and gain insight from experienced professors.

John Neill

Dr. Neill’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:37-39, which says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Dr. Neill’s life is a clear reflection of how he lives this verse out every day, serving those around him and pushing students to reach their potential and live out their God-given talents. COBA has been extremely blessed to have Dr. Neill in our community. Thank you Dr. Neill for your Christian example and servant leadership over the past 15 years!

EY Takes Tim Savage to Disney World!

by   |  11.06.14  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., Current Students, Internships, Placement stories

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COBA Interns at the EY Orlando Conference

 

COBA encourages and assists students in providing opportunities to pursue internships to gain real-world experience and learn hands-on applications from some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Tim Savage, a student in COBA’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program, interned with EY this past summer. Tim worked in the tax division and prepared multiple Texas franchise tax forms for large asset management companies. A large, global firm like EY offers many possibilities, allowing interns to tailor their career path based on their best interests.

EY also provided an all-expense paid trip to attend a firm conference in Orlando with about 3,000 other interns. At the conference, interns participated in workshops and team-building exercises, listening to executive speakers and learning from the top firm leaders. The interns were also given opportunities to have some fun! They went on excursions in Orlando and were able to spend some time at Disney World.

Throughout the internship, Tim learned how important it is to have a positive outlook and open mindset. By approaching his work with optimism, he believes he was able to build character and work diligently to be successful. After he graduates in May, Tim plans to take his CPA exams and  start working full time with EY in July or August. He is thankful for COBA and the mindset it instills into their students, preparing them for Christian leadership and development in the marketplace.

132109_10151251124561834_1923619158_o“COBA’s accounting department is top quality. Not only are the professors well-qualified and excellent at teaching, they invest in their students and help them grow them into being top-performers in the workplace. I feel like the specialized knowledge taught by the experienced faculty equipped me well to take on the challenging aspects of my internship,” says Tim Savage, a MAcc student.