Category Archives: 2019

Maize and Blue recipient, cheerleader, and sorority sister lands incredible opportunity at PWC: September’s aMAIZEing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On September 26, 2019 11:20 am

Olivia Norfolk, BBA April ’18 in Accounting

Alumna, Olivia Norfolk, graduated from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a BBA in Accounting in April 2018. During her time at UM-Flint, Olivia received the distinguished Maize and Blue Award and the Plante Moran Outstanding Accounting Award in her graduating class. She also was involved with Greek life and a proud member of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Order of Omega. Olivia currently works for one of the Big Four auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, as a Risk Assurance Associate. Only one year after graduating from UM-Flint, she received her MBA and CPA certifications. As our featured Alumna, Olivia answers questions on why she chose UM-Flint, her path as a young businesswoman, and advice on how to pursue a career.

Why did you choose UM-Flint for your BBA?

UM-Flint gave me the smoothest transition from an out-of-state school as an incoming junior into the SOM. They worked with me to be able to stay on track to graduate in four years, and of course the Michigan name!

What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?

Going through sorority recruitment and meeting some of my best friends

Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?

I kind of fell into it. I had a high school teacher that thought accounting would be a good field for me because I’m very structured and disciplined. I declared it as my major as a freshman and somehow never went back!

What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?

Definitely passing all four parts of the CPA Exam while simultaneously completing my MBA.

What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in Management?

It’s okay to not know what exactly you want to do or where you want to work, but it’s not okay to sit back and hope that an opportunity magically lands in your lap. If you don’t know how to get to where you want to be, ask someone. You (or your financial aid) pays a lot of money to have a pool of resources at your feet that can make you successful. Use them! If you think your resume sounds dumb because you’ve never worked a “real job,” ask a professor or someone in the career services office to help you. Ask your newly graduated friends what different fields or jobs are available at their workplace. Utilize your resources and take advantage of the connections you might not even realize you have. 

Fun Facts!

I just moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I was a cheerleader for three years of my college career 

I was a bartender for five years before starting my professional career  

Za’Taia’s summer in 3 words back to school count down! Determined for Success.

By Alexis Menard On August 31, 2019 11:15 am

Hello everyone! I am Za’Taia Shelby, and I am a junior double majoring in Accounting and Finance.

My 2019 Summer was dedicated to building the foundation to becoming successful in the classroom, employment opportunities, and overall as a person. In life, there are many stepping-stones before you get to the points that you want to reach. This is why this summer I worked 53 hours a week and while being enrolled in spring and summer classes full time. I worked at Dort Federal Credit Union as a Video Teller while also pursuing an Accounting Internship at Amigo Mobility. During the internship, I have worked side by side with the General Accountant which has allowed me to gain experience in various accounting fields. I have worked with accounts payable and receivable, and briefly with creating financial statements.

Even though my schedule was jam packed, I did make time to travel to Las Vegas, Mississippi, and Ohio. In Las Vegas, I attended the National Association of Black Accountants Convention (NABA) with our new student led NABA Chapter at the University of Michigan-Flint. I had over ten interviews with top companies for accounting/finance internships for the summer of 2020. After receiving five internship offers, I have accepted the Internship for the summer of 2020 with Dow Chemical Company. This summer I learned the importance of time management and making sacrifices to better yourself for a great future.

For the fall semester, I am most definitely looking forward to indulging into my BBA courses since these will essentially help me build the skillset for my dream career- Forensic Accountant. Now that I have attended the NABA Convention, I know that I have the constant support from scholars, graduates, or professionals -that have been in my shoes or that are currently in my shoes- to make sure I make it to the top. Therefore, this Fall semester I will reach out to more students with accounting majors so that they can know that they have this support as well.

My advice to all college students is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If it’s a course, employment opportunity, or extracurricular activity that you want to pursue but you are nervous about it- put your best foot forward and do your best. Also, never be afraid to ask questions! Whether its questions about cheap textbooks, help with assignments, stuff to do on campus, or tips about surviving college, DO NOT be afraid to ask. By using this advice, it helps make the college experience easier to navigate through so that you can then help the next college student have a smooth college experience.

Lastly, if you’re planning to major in Accounting- join NABA and GO BLUE!

Danielle’s summer in 5 words back to school count down! Disney World. New Ideas. Scooters.

By Alexis Menard On August 29, 2019 11:15 am

Hello! My name is Danielle Struck and I am a senior studying Business Management.

I started the summer of 2019 in the magical place of Disney World exploring all things Mickey Mouse, Avatar and Olaf.  After soaking up the sun for a week, I returned to work Downtown at 100k Ideas located in the Ferris Wheel. I spend my days as a project manager helping people in the community move their ideas forward. Whether that be a product, service, software, or social impact, we’re always open for conversation. I was fortunate to work closely with our new satellite locations at the Flint Development Center and The Berston Field House to make our services more assessable to others in the community! One of the ideas I worked closely with this summer you may have noticed zooming around town. Did you hear about the new scooters coming to Flint? My coworker Peter Deppe and his friend Scott Spitler are the guys who are making that possible. Kuhmute is scooter rideshare that offers a universal charging hub for any rideshare. I’ve spent many days learning what really goes into entrepreneurship, feeling inspired by their dedication, and helping them any way I can.

For the upcoming Fall Semester, I’m excited to announce it is my final fall semester of my undergrad career! I’m ready for all the connections that will be made and to discover even more about myself as a student and as a professional.

For new students and incoming freshmen, my best advice:

1. Charlies’ Smokin’ BBQ at the Farmer’s Market is the best.

2. Foster’s iced coffee is always a priority.

3. Be active on your LinkedIn.

I hope you had a great summer! Let’s Go Blue!

Alexis’ summer in 6 words back to school count down! National Parks. Engaging and Innovating SOM.

By Alexis Menard On August 28, 2019 12:55 pm

Hi! My name is Alexis Menard and I am a fourth-year business student double majoring in Marketing and Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management. I am also the Web and Social Media Assistant for the School of Management!

I love to be outside and that’s what I did for summer vacations and time away from the office. In early June, my best friend and I drove to the most visited National Park in the United States: Smoky Mountains National Park. The scenic drive in the mountains was beautiful! It was both our first time in the area and it was easy to find our way around the park in Tennessee and North Carolina. Since it was early in the season, we got to see 11 bears and cubs. My favorite hike was going to the top of Mt. Le Conte, one of the tallest points in the Smoky’s. It is 6594ft above sea level and a round trip of 11.5 miles. It took us six hours to ascend and descend the 2700ft change in elevation. I recommend everyone to go to this national park because it has something for everyone: hiking, waterfalls, lazy river tubing, fishing, biking, wildlife watching, and more!

The other trip I just returned from was visiting Maine and Acadia National Park. My boyfriend and I went to visit friends in Rockport, ME. While we were there we went paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, shopping, and experienced all the seafood options they have. We also went to the famous Maine lighthouse featured in the Forst Gump film. Acadia reminds me of the Upper Peninsula with its rocky cliffs and huge waves. National Parks are one of the best things about the United States, and I’m excited I got to see two parks in a matter of months. It will be my goal to visit two national parks every year!

Lastly, the majority of the summer I have been working at SOM. I have been working there for a year and a half years and have been growing SOM’s presence on social media and activism within the Flint community. I have many duties at SOM like updating the website, posting on social media, writing articles, and planing and promoting events. Lately, I have been experimenting with different features like Faculty Fridays, aMAIZEing Alumni, Nichols & Dimes, Showcasing Success and now this wonderful summer feature for our amazing students! This summer I was able to make connections with a SOM alumni to set up a Huntington Weather Ball Tour with help from Antonio Riggs. The SOM staff were able to go see the Flint weather ball up close earlier this August and we are planning a date for a student tour. I am very lucky to have this position and to be able to connect with my peers and faculty members to highlight what it’s like to be in business at UM-Flint. I am planning on continuing to do more giveaways for students like the Egg Hunt winter semester and alumni participation contests. I’m always available to listen to new ideas, so reach out to me via email. I would love to chat and hear back from SOM’s audience!

My biggest advice to students is to get involved with SOM and follow SOM on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn! The School of Management offers great professional and networking events. I wish when I was a freshman that I was more involved and took advantage of opportunities that our school provides for students. Also, consider an employment opportunity on campus! I started out working the front desk at Human Resources when I was a freshman. I networked and made connections cross-campus which has opened many doors of opportunities within the Flint community and UM-Flint. If you ever need professional work guidance, speak to SOM’s student services coordinator, Antonio Riggs. He can help you with anything college throws at you like your first office job, elevator pitch, how you should present yourself to employers, and so much more!

Wishing the best for everyone this fall!

Ben’s summer in 7 words back to school count down! Business Internship Abroad. New Experiences. European Travel.

By Alexis Menard On August 27, 2019 11:15 am

My name is Benjamin Molter and I am a senior pursuing an International Business Major, a Marketing Major, and a German Minor.

For a long time, I knew that I wanted to pursue a study abroad of some sorts during my college career and I finally made my dream a reality this past summer. At the end of May 2019, I packed my bags and flew to Germany to begin my journey! Over the summer, I stayed at our partnering university in Germany and I successfully completed an internship with private universities in Germany and Luxembourg. While working with the universities, I learned how to communicate with coworkers from around the world, conduct research more efficiently, and write proposals and emails catering to the businesses’ needs and wants. I would highly recommend an international internship because of all the unique benefits you get out of it. You get to live in the dorms in Germany for very cheap, possibly work in two different countries at the same time, learn a bunch about business outside the United States, and be able to travel often and efficiently.

When I wasn’t working, I was traveling nearly every weekend I was there. I would travel with other Americans who were also doing research at the university we stayed at. To save money, we would stay at hostels. Because of this, we met people from all around the globe which really broadened my perspective. I traveled to Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria. If I had to choose a favorite city, it would have to be Budapest because it was beautiful. The people were very friendly, there was a lot to do, the food was delicious, and it was very affordable.

What surprised me the most about the whole experience of traveling abroad was how well each country could speak English. Almost everyone from the age of 30 and down speaks English fluently on top of their native language(s) and another one based on what they learned in school. It really inspires me to continue to perfect my fluency in German as well as learning a couple other languages too.

The first thing that I took away from this summer was that to achieve what you want; you need to go out and take opportunities that come your way. I probably would not have done the internship this summer if I didn’t go out of my way to talk to people about it and complete all the work that was required for me to go. Though it was a bit pricey, I made it affordable by doing extra work and obtaining scholarships to help fund my expenses. The second thing that I took away from this summer was that you should travel often and make as many connections as you can. There is so much to see and do while traveling that teaches you so much about the world we all live in. Meeting and talking to people while traveling to different countries allows you to learn about the culture and history of each country more than staying in your home country.

What I am looking forward to most this Fall would be continuing work with the International Business Student Organization (IBSO). We are looking to expand our organization, creating interesting and new events, as well as taking another trip sometime during the school year.

Austin’s summer in 10 words back to school count down! Financial Aid Intern. Social Media Management. Taking initiative. New experiences.

By Alexis Menard On August 24, 2019 9:15 am

Greetings, my name is Austin McIntosh and I am a junior studying for a Finance Major.

During the 2019 Summer, I interned for the University of Michigan – Flint’s Office of Financial Aid. This internship was a mixture of finance, accounting, and analysis, three critical skills required to go into the Financial Analyst field. Throughout this internship, I worked with the office accountant with payroll, payroll reconciliation, and communicating on reconciling outstanding issues. I also took the reins on the office’s social media accounts and helped bring it back to relevance. Among my responsibilities I also created the budgets for the 2019-2020 Study Abroad trips. Taking on projects that taught me new skills in Microsoft Excel and even Access was critical for me to prepare for the future.

For the upcoming Fall Semester, I am very excited about taking actual in-depth BBA courses because I am now taking that classes where I hope to learn the skillset to take into my future career – Financial Analysis. I am also very excited about lifting the Financial Management Association off the ground and making it more relevant than what it used to be.

Since I have been in the Financial Aid world for a good chunk of time, my biggest suggestions are to complete your FAFSA as early as you can, take advantage of on-campus employment, and over budget yourself for upcoming semesters. Preparing and having a larger expected tuition and book expense will pay its dividends later on down the road. GO BLUE!

Jay’la’s Summer in 11 words back to school count down! Metro Community Development Intern. National Association of Black Accountants. Traveling. Opportunities.

By Alexis Menard On August 23, 2019 2:50 pm

Hallo mijn medestudenten, my name is Jayla Rivers. I am a junior in the School of Management with a major in accounting and a minor in communication. The summer of 2019 has been filled with great joys and adventures. From interning with a great company to traveling to wonderful cities.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Metro Community Development (MCD) as their commercial loan intern. During this internship, I have met many great people and developed several skills. I have earned an American Bankers Association certificate in business and commercial lending as well as completed multiple Bank Administration Institute courses. MCD is a non-profit that is focused around family and growth so interning here has been a great pleasure. While here most of my work was based around using Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. I was also introduced to new systems such as Ventures.

The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) chapter at the University of Michigan-Flint was recently chartered and has already helped me with my future goals in life. I was given to chance to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend The NABA 50th national convention and expo. NABA’s convention was one to remember. It was full of powerful, positive, and exciting black energy. I enjoyed the opportunity of networking while being comfortable and enjoying myself. I was blessed to be offered several internship opportunities with great companies and firms.

This upcoming fall I am looking to traveling to Hasselt, Belgium to study abroad, hence the Dutch in the beginning. I will be at UHasselt for three and a half months studying under their business program. Considering I will not be working during my stay, I will be traveling through Europe as well.

If given a chance I would give incoming students the advice of utilizing the tutoring program, writing center, and library as much as possible. Some days you might not want to study or do homework but being in a space that promotes the positivity of study makes it a bit easier. I would also suggest joining organizations and getting to know people. It will be surprising how helpful it is to have someone to talk to or try new things with. Your college experience is what you make of it so make it the best.