Accounting club serves students beyond the classroom
At the core of everything UNIBusiness does for students, helping them achieve real-world work experience while in school is at the very top of the list. Extracurricular activities go a long way toward helping students network and gain valuable professional and personal skills.
The UNI Accounting Club takes these goals to heart and adds many learning opportunities along the way.
"We want students to meet with professionals from the accounting world," said Tim Lindquist, adviser for the club and UNI accounting professor. "These are fun things to do, but they are also opportunities to network and get acquainted with professionals. We do fundraising. We bring in different speakers to talk about different topics of interest - current topics that are trending in the accounting world."
The accounting club offers many networking opportunities to meet professionals from the big four accounting firms in the United States: EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC. The most popular accounting club event is the quarterly golf outing, which brings students and professionals together in a fun environment.
Lindquist took over the club in 2003. Since then, it has grown to about 120 to 150 active members. But Lindquist would like to get even more students, especially considering the fierce competition facing accounting students today.
Accounting firms are recruiting employees at a younger age. It’s come to the point where they ask Lindquist about new freshmen joining the group. By that point, some new students have already reached out to accounting firms, even while in high school.
"It used to be that we wouldn't even really encourage kids to get involved until they were juniors, but now the firms are recruiting freshmen and younger," Lindquist said. "We joke that pretty soon it's going to be in sixth grade. It's really crazy. By the time we have our first couple of events, the firms come to me and go, 'Who are the good new freshman?' It's hard to know at that point - they're only freshman."
Lindquist and Jake Vollmar, the previous club president in the spring and fall semesters of last year, think recruiting freshmen to the group is crucial to help students find success.
"Getting freshmen involved as soon as possible is important," said Vollmar, who is on the CPA track at UNI and plans to work at RSM in Des Moines when he’s finished. "In accounting especially, the earlier you get into networking with the firms, the more opportunities you have. I think that's the key for their success while they are here at UNI and when they leave UNI."