Hailing from Grand Forks, North Dakota, Sarah Smith ’12 B.A., ’13 M.S.A., had wanted to get out of the Midwest for several years. So, completing the Master of Science degree in Accountancy program at the Opus College of Business this summer and taking a job in Seattle, Smith is finally achieving her dream. It was her experience in the accountancy program that helped her reach it.
Considering the 150 credit hours needed to obtain CPA certification, Smith saw completing the M.S.A. program and getting a master’s degree as an added perk on top of having to pay for the credits either way. For Smith, there was also no overlooking a paid internship–a component that’s sometimes part of masters programs, but not always built-in like at St. Thomas. “Lots of the time you’re expected to go find them yourself and here you’re guaranteed an internship,” Smith says. “With those other programs, if you don’t find one, you don’t get one.”
For Kyle Dahl, graduating this summer from the 11-month Master of Science degree in Accountancy program at the Opus College of Business, the experience has been at times intense, but always full of opportunity.
Dahl embraces all aspects of the integrated curriculum, especially the small class size of 22; he considers this optimal for growing a network base of other young professionals within his profession. Perhaps the hallmark of the UST MSA program is the three-month paid internship at a company students are matched with through site visits, interviews and with assistance from their director. The first UST MSA student to intern at Cargill, Dahl worked at Cargill Salt in the accounting and finance department, primarily handling issues with the business unit’s trade promotional accounting.
By Professor Richard S. Sathe, EdD., CPA
A team of three St. Thomas accounting students, Diana Matveychuk, Erin Moore, and Robert Polacek recently completed a project to assist a local nonprofit organization with an accounting project. River Valley Riders (RVR) provides therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving in the St. Croix River Valley for children and adults with special needs. Benefits include improvement of balance, increase of core strength, development of self-confidence and improvement of social skills.
The students assisted RVR with financial statement presentation, detailed accounting records, RVR’s use of Quickbooks, and banking.
Cohort 7, Winners of the MSA Alumni Scholarship Fund drive kickoff
Back row: John Gummerson, Nick Maiers, Erik Gusaas. Middle row: Anne Blee, Megan Leners, Lauren Felmlee, Lindsay Huppert, Jody Meyer, Kristen Hindt, Ker Kight.
Front row: Pasu Chu, Teresa Koves, Allie Bruflodt.
Members of the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Alumni Committee, MSA alumni, faculty and staff gathered at the 8th Street Grill on September 25th to celebrate the results of the first MSA Alumni Scholarship Fund drive. The drive raised a substantial amount of money, exceeding the goal of raising an initial $1000 – the amount needed to start a fund – through great participation and matching funds from alumni and MSA faculty.
To spur on the fundraising effort, a competition was established between all 7 MSA cohorts. Based on percent participation, the winning cohort was the class of 2011 with 48% of their cohort members contributing to the scholarship fund.
The celebration continued when many of those attending the celebratory happy hour went on to cheer the Twins against the Yankees at Target Field. The group couldn’t have asked for better weather and a better outcome – the Twins beat the Yankees 5-4!
The MSA Alumni Committee worked with UST’s development office to set up the scholarship. The committee discussed the idea of building a legacy and thought that a scholarship would be the best way to make a long-term and lasting impact on students’ lives. Future scholarships will be awarded to applicants who best answer the question, “How will you give back?”
We wish to thank all those who participated in making this scholarship possible.
Even though the devastating earthquake in Haiti occurred over two years ago, thousands of people are still struggling to get their lives back to normal. Luckily, people like Kris Sharockman, director of the University of St. Thomas MS in Accountancy program, are still willing to pitch in and help those in need.
Kris traveled down to Haiti with a group of people from Eden Prairie, MN, as part of Healing Haiti, a Minnesota faith-based organization. The group chronicled their trip in a blog. This article in Eden Prairie News details her trip and the effect her group’s efforts had on the people they encountered. Kris’ actions are a great example of how helping others, even on a relatively small scale, can make a huge difference and fulfill the St. Thomas mission of working to advance the common good.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help Haiti earthquake victims, visit: