Accounting Students Team Up with Alumni at Kimberly-Clark

In an effort to give accounting students in the SBE more hands on and real world experience, Dr. Larry Davis has established an ongoing working relationship with Kimberly-Clark.

SBE: Tell us about the project in detail.

LD: Students interact with the Kimberly-Clark Tax Center of Excellence to gain an understanding of the business processes within the Center of Excellence. This is done via office visits and conference calls. Students then prepare graphic and narrative descriptions of those processes with the objective of facilitating improvements in those processes. Part of the process involves Kimberly-Clark personnel coaching students both on the actual work being performed and on general appropriate professional behavior.

What the students get out of this is exposure to a real business process and to professionals, a realization that the accounting that they study in school is the accounting that real professionals perform daily – albeit at much higher level. They gain an understanding of what is expected of tax professionals both from the perspective of the quality of work performed and interactions with other professionals.

SBE: Are we working directly with any SBE alumni at Kimberly-Clark?

LD: Dave Bernard, the VP of Tax, was the major facilitator for starting this. We also work with Rich Beauvais. Both are MTU accounting alums.

SBE: Who came up with the idea to start the project? Has this been done in the past? Do other universities work on a similar project or is this experience unique for MTU students?

LD: I did. I have been looking to start an accounting consulting group ever since I came here. We have in the past done work for some of the engineering enterprises and local businesses to ‘get our feet wet.’

I would not say it is ONLY done here – but it is not done at very many places. I would say that it is fair to say that it is a distinguishing characteristic of our program.

SBE: Are only accounting students involved? How many total students are on this project? How did they get selected for the project?

LD: There are always accounting students involved, but we bring in folks from other disciplines as needed to form cross-disciplinary teams. So far the Kimberly-Clark project has always involved both accounting students and information systems students given the nature of the work. It is not clear if IS students will continue on this particular engagement or not.

We have had about 40-50 students work on the project. Students are selected via application to the faculty supervisor.

SBE: When will the project be completed? What is the biggest advantage for students who are on this project?

LD: From one perspective…hopefully never. I would like to see this as a permanently ongoing relation as projects arise. On the other hand, our initial work documenting their Tax area systems should be done within a year, if not sooner.


Top Students Join Honor Society

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Only the best business students in the world, and the professionals who earned the distinction of “the Best in Business” during their academic careers, can claim membership in Beta Gamma Sigma. This year’s Beta Gamma Sigma inductees from Michigan Technological University’s School of Business & Economics have certainly earned that title.

Michigan Technological University and its School of Business & Economics congratulate the 20 students who have earned invitations in the 2006-07 academic year. They join an expanding worldwide network of more than 560,000 outstanding business professionals who have earned recognition through lifetime membership in Beta Gamma Sigma. Students ranking in the top 10 percent of the baccalaureate and top 20 percent of graduate programs at schools accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business are eligible for this invitation.

Beta Gamma Sigma lifetime membership is truly an international honor. With the expansion of accreditation by AACSB International, membership is no longer limited to those who have studied in the United States or Canada. Beta Gamma Sigma has installed collegiate chapters and inducted students on five continents. The most outstanding Michigan Technological University students are eligible for the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in an undergraduate or master’s program at a school accredited by AACSB International.

The following students were inducted into the Michigan Technological University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma at the Spring 2007 ceremony held April 17, 2007:

Graduate: Kallie Derouin, Katie Granlund, Nicholas Martin, Fan Ning
Seniors: Robert Frankovich, Jill Garrity, Allissa Kasprzyk, Mark Malekoff, Monika Malinska, Amanda Rosenberger
Juniors: Nichole Cholette, Brett Girard, Susan Mattila, Danielle Norton, Shannon Pennala, Kate Rogers, Mairi Smith-Risk, Duane Stephenson, Amber Tarver, Tiffany Tervo

Beta Gamma Sigma was founded as a national organization on Feb. 19, 1913. The first national honor society in business was a merger of three separate societies established to honor academic achievement in business at the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois and the University of California.

With collegiate chapters on five continents, Beta Gamma Sigma today is truly an international society that remains dedicated to recognizing the most outstanding students of business and management. The Society serves business schools accredited by AACSB International in the 21st century knowing that its membership of more than 560,000 comprises the brightest and best of the world’s business leaders.

(Story courtesy of the Michigan Tech Lode)


SBE Student Wins MTU’s President’s Award for Leadership

Each year, one student is chosen from an outstanding group of nominees that have provided leadership for their peers in their activities while a student at Michigan Tech. This year’s winner is Elizabeth Molnar.

Elizabeth is a 4th year, Information Systems student. During this leaders time at Tech they have been involved in a number of academic, student and community organizations, USG, Association of Information Technology Professionals, Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honorary, Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Blue Key Honor Society, Intramural sports, Circle K, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, England Cadet Exchange Program, a TA for UN1010, a LeaderShape participant as well as an On-Site Coordinator this past year, an OTL for three years, and Army ROTC… to name a few.

Molnar attributes most of her leadership growth to the Army ROTC program. As a recent Cadet Battalion Commander responsible for everything in the battalion during the Fall 2006 semester, she improved the current program to include training that had not been previously provided. This training focuses on areas that the cadets are evaluated on at a national level during a month long, mandatory training camp in Ft. Lewis, Washington.

Currently she is serving as the Training officer which sets her with the task of planning and coordinating Army ROTC’s Spring Field Training Exercise. On top of this she assisted in the coordination of the Military Ball this past March, had cadets perform inspections of vehicles before extended breaks to ensure they were suitable to drive home, required cadets to report midterm grades to assess if cadets needed help with time management or class work, and she also is the Color Guard Commander whose job is to lead the group of cadets that post the Colors at football games, commencement, and who lead the Parade of Nations.

Elizabeth spent two years on the Undergraduate Student Government, one year as the sophomore representative and one as the Vice President. During her time on USG she helped with the start of the ASMTU campaign for the restructure of the student government by holding open forums and making presentations to student organizations as well as general education classes. She also served on University selection committees to hire a number of staff and faculty here on campus.

While serving as President for Association of Information Technology Professionals, she planned and coordinated a Career Fair Dinner for SBE students so they had the opportunity to meet recruiters looking for SBE students for full-time, intern, or co-op positions before the Career Fair. She also coordinated a programming competition for local high school students not only to recognize the talent of young individuals today but also so they could learn more about Michigan Tech.

She says she plans on utilizing all of the leadership experience she has obtained here at Michigan Tech while serving as a recently selected Military Intelligence Officer in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant, scheduled to receive her commission in May 2007.

Congratulations Elizabeth Molnar!


Fan Ning Awarded Kauffman Foundation Internship

Fan Ning, who will be graduating from Michigan Tech this spring with an MBA, has accepted a seven-week intern position in finance with the Kauffman Foundation.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, it is the 26th largest foundation in the United States, with assets of approximately $2 billion. The foundation focuses on advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.

The internship is awarded competitively by the foundation. Fan was contacted for a phone interview based on the resume he submitted after learning about the opportunity from Sonia Goltz, MBA Director and Associate Professor. The recruiter was impressed with his grade point average, previous work experience in China, and communication skills.

Ning received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Jilin University and worked at the Henan General Construction Investment Corporation in China before coming to Michigan Tech, where his goal has been to learn Western management and financial methods and apply them when he returns to China. “I worked for a year in China with finance and investments,” said Ning. “And to speak good English in China is not common so there are minimal language barriers for me.”

The Kauffman internship will provide Fan with additional experience in US finance, particularly in terms of how private foundations operate in a capitalistic economy. Fan is looking forward to this internship because it will provide him with valuable working experience in the states. He anticipates comparing the experience with those he had in China.

“This type of foundation is not common,” said Ning. “Its philosophies and values are different. This experience will help me learn more about this industry. I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges with this internship, and using what I’ve learned in the classroom at Michigan Tech and what I’ve learned in daily life.”


APMP Wins Value Category at RISE Competition

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The Applied Portfolio Management Program’s Gold Team won the seventh annual RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) conference, the largest North American student investment conference. The APMP won the “value” category with the highest risk-adjusted return for 2006 in the undergraduate division at the national investment competition.

Held in Dayton, Ohio, the competition and conference was March 29-31, 2007. This is the second year that the APMP has won top honors at RISE and continues the APMP’s record of superior placement at the conference.

At this year’s conference, the APMP reported a 2006 annual return of 20.96% with only a 2.31% standard deviation in monthly returns.

Representing the School of Business and Economics at RISE were Kelly Guzzardo-Plewa, Adam Michaud, Josh Vehring, Devin Magnuson, Mark Malekoff, Lorn Randell, Molly Bush, Lee Warlin, Tyler Skworchinski, Shawn Granlund, Ted Simonson, Cody Meier. Associate Professor Dean Johnson is the Founding Director of the APMP.

RISE is a student investment strategy symposium hosted by the University of Dayton. Modeled after the World Economic Forum, RISE connects investment students and faculty with Wall Street professionals in interactive discussions.

More than 1,700 participants from 218 colleges and universities, representing every state and continent, attended this year’s RISE symposium.

RISE included presentations by some of the biggest names on Wall Street and business, including Ralph Alvarez, President and COO of McDonald’s Corp; Paul Atkins, Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Peter Coors, Chairman Molson Coors Brewing Company; Dr. Hatzius, Chief U.S. Economist Goldman Sachs; Knight Kiplinger, Editor in Chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; and Dr. Ortiz the Governor of the Bank of Mexico.

The conference also included portfolio management workshops; career strategy sessions; and networking opportunities.

The New York Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TIAA-CREF, the United Nations and Deutsche Asset Management sponsored the event.

The APMP manages over $1 million in the equity and fixed income markets. APMP designated donations to the Michigan Tech Fund from alumni and friends provide support for student travel and scholarships. For more information on the Applied Portfolio Management Program please visit: http://www.apmp.mtu.edu