Accounting on wheels: Bus tour gives students a look at real-world work
October 23, 2017
Accounting is so omnipresent it’s easy to overlook. But it’s always there -- an essential component of every business, school, nonprofit organization and governmental operation.
On Friday, Oct. 20, several dozen Cuyahoga Community College accounting students were given a window into how important accounting is, and the many ways in which an accounting degree can be utilized, as part of a daylong bus tour.
The tour included stops at Parker Hannifin—one of the largest companies headquartered in the Cleveland area; accounting and business services firm Meaden & Moore; and the student accounting department at Tri-C’s Jerry Sue Thornton Center.
“The tour was designed to give students an idea of the breadth of opportunities in the accounting field,” said Mike Johnson, Tri-C’s executive director of accounting and financial operations. “Whether it’s in the private sector, public sector or nonprofits, accounting is the language of business. Every organization has to know how it’s going to pay for the things it needs.”
After spending the morning at Parker Hannifin and lunchtime at Meaden & Moore, the contingent of students and faculty arrived at the Jerry Sue Thornton Center shortly after 1:30 p.m., where they were greeted by Johnson and seven other Tri-C employees from a variety of accounting and budgeting departments within the College.
The group escorted the students to a conference room for a series of short presentations on the hierarchical structure of the College’s accounting departments, an overview of the College’s financial operations and a look at various areas of specialization, including student accounting, planning and budgeting, and payroll.
Following the presentations, the group took the students on a tour of the Jerry Sue Thornton Center and finished with a brief Q&A session.
As the day wrapped up, members of the student contingent reflected on how the event helped shape their perception of the accounting field.
“I haven’t yet made a decision on an area of concentration, but it was good to see so many different types of accounting and how they’re used in the real world,” said second-year accounting student Daniel Morgan. “It shows how accounting isn’t relegated to just one kind of career. You can have many different types of careers working in accounting.”
“When people think of working in accounting, they usually think about big accounting firms or big companies,” said second-year student Samantha Scales. “We saw a lot of that today, but we also saw that there are lots of opportunities in other areas where you can work your way up.”
“Today solidified for me that I’m going on to get my bachelor’s degree,” said Krysta O’Brien, also in her second year in the Tri-C program. “I think Tri-C is a great option for that. You can do the first two years here, and Tri-C has partnerships with four-year colleges that can help you transition to a bachelor’s program.”
The tour group contained traditional college students as well as older students who returned to school to pursue a new career. Johnson was pleased to see such a variety of students willing to take a day out of their schedules to learn more about the accounting field.
“It shows they’re serious about pursuing this as a career, and it shows they feel empowered to do so by the education they’re receiving at Tri-C,” Johnson said. “One of the things I’ve always tried to emphasize is that a community college education is not second-rate. It opens the door to a lot of great things, and these students are proof of that.
“I hope today’s tour helps them realize that no matter where you come from, or whether you’re a traditional or nontraditional student, you can set a goal for your life and reach it.”
This tour was made possible through the efforts of the Tri-C Career Center in collaboration with Tri-C accounting faculty.