Accounting club counts for club members

Amye Buckley

Last fall, Aaron Millsap was a senior accounting major at Missouri Southern finishing his second degree.

His girlfriend, then vice-president of the Accounting Club, talked him into going to a mixer the club was having with BKD, a local, public accounting firm.

This year, Millsap was one of the company representatives at the same meet-and-greet.

The Accounting Club claims to be one of the largest student organizations on campus. Their first meeting of the year boasted more than 100 students in attendance. More than 30 junior and senior students took at least part of the evening to meet BKD staff members.

“The main focus of the club at this point is to tie in with your career focus,” said Jill Smith, associate professor of accounting, and adviser to the group. She says the club gives students a combination of information needed to decide what type of accounting they will go into and the contacts to get them started.

Members of the club receive professional development points for school, but most of the students were there for personal reasons.

“It’s good interaction,” said Rachelle Sadler, junior accounting major. She currently works with a small, private firm, but came to the meeting ready to find out more about public accounting and how it differs from what she does now.

Network, network, network,” said Chris Runion, Accounting Club president and senior accounting major.

The group focuses on bringing mentors together with students and the BKD meeting is an annual event.

“We do it as a networking opportunity once a year,” said Caleb Head, Accounting Club vice president and senior accounting major.

Mike Gray, senior member of the group, led the BKD delegation. Gray listed several positions open to student: full-time positions, internships and part-time tax positions during the spring.

Millsap started with the company in January as a new hire. When his turn came to address students he told them to work on their practical skills.

“Just a word of wisdom,” Millsap said. “Start working more with Excel.”

While he values theoretical knowledge, Millsap, now a staff accountant/auditor at BKD, says a little computer experience helps.

“Work on your technical proficiency, everything is going to laptops and a paperless environment,” he said.

The Accounting Club will be holding two accounting panels and an accounting reception during the Oct. 3 Career Development Day in the Billingsly Student Center.