Category Archives: aMAIZEing Alumni

From Finance to Accounting, How One Graduate Sought Change: December’s aMAIZEing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On December 9, 2019 1:00 pm

Maxwell Montney, BBA ’18 in Finance

Alumnus, Maxwell Montney, received his BBA in Finance and a minor in Economics in April 2018. Maxwell has been working for at the University of Michigan-Flint in the Financial Services & Budget department for over a year as an Accountant. This fall, he decided to start his MBA in Organizational Leadership at the School of Management. As our featured Alumnus, Maxwell will provide insight into why he transitioned to the accounting field, his favorite experiences from UM-Flint, and advice about pursuing a career in business.

Why did you choose UM-Flint for your BBA?

I chose UM-Flint due to three reasons. It was close to home, which helped me save money. I liked the fact that there are smaller class sizes, which allowed for more interaction with faculty members. And lastly, the opportunities and resources students have access to. Multiple companies are looking to hire UM-Flint students and graduates. Antonio Riggs, Student Services Coordinator, is a great resource and connection to have after graduation. Antonio is great at his job and loves helping students.

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

I would have to say taking a trip with the School of Management to the Federal Reserve in Detroit was my favorite experience. Seeing how that place operates was fascinating. If anyone ever gets the chance to go, I would highly recommend it.

Secondly, the School of Management hosts Alumni Evenings or networking dinners. I have had a great time reconnecting with faculty and a variety of SOM alumni at these events. They are typically Friday evenings so it’s easy to go to their events right after work.

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

I always knew I wanted to work with numbers, and I have a passion for helping individuals and organizations meet their financial goals. My undergraduate concentration was Finance, but I currently work as an Accountant for the University of Michigan – Flint. The nice thing about an Accounting or Finance degree is that it can allow for movement between each field. This is sometimes true, but it’s not always the case. I had an internship in college where I learned a lot about the importance of analyzing and organizing data. With these skills and the information I learned in the classroom, I was able to apply it to my current position at UM-Flint.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?

My proudest accomplishment would have to be the day I graduated. Walking across the stage and receiving my degree was a feeling unlike any other. I recently began pursuing my MBA, so I hope to capture that feeling again someday.

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

Business is a broad field, so I can confidently say that you need to get out of your comfort zone. Most of you won’t find what you truly enjoy doing without some trial and error along the way. Don’t be afraid to fail, and if you do, turn it into a learning experience that will hone your skills and abilities. 

What would you like to see happen to UM-Flint/Flint within the next five years?

I would ultimately like to see Flint and UM-Flint grow simultaneously. Many people have been trying to create positive change throughout the city over the last few years, and the university is a great ally in this effort.

Fun Facts!

I love visiting the U.P. and traveling to new places. My most recent vacation this year was to Maine over the summer and it had plenty of great views, including Acadia National Park. I’m also a huge supporter of all things UofM when it comes to sports. Go blue!

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  

An Entrepreneur within a Corporate Setting: July’s aMAIZEing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On July 19, 2019 11:15 am

Madison McCrum, BBA ’18 in Business Management with a focus in EIM.

Alumna, Madison McCrum, graduated from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a BBA in Business Management with a focus in EIM in 2018. Madison was involved with the Entrepreneurs Society and the Hagerman Center during her undergraduate studies. At the age of 22, Madison now works for a Fortune 500 company and has moved out of the state to work in North Carolina and Florida. She credits her decision to concentrate in entrepreneurship to her strong-willed personality. Having the go-getter attitude has impressed employers she has met. As our featured Alumna, Madison answers questions on why she chose UM-Flint, life after college, and advice for students interested in management. 

Why did you major in BBA Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship?

I chose a BBA with a focus in Entrepreneurship because as a strong willed individual I knew I would need the knowledge to one day pursue my own company. As a recent graduate however, employers have commented on how they love grads with an Entrepreneurship focus because they are impressed with our confidence and willingness to be a self starter! 

Why did you choose UM-Flint for your BBA? 

Initially, I would have to say I chose UM-Flint because my mother is a nursing professor there. However, what made me stay was how much I was challenged, particularly in the Entrepreneurship Society, Business Law class, and the multitude of business competitions I participated in, which later on impressed employers. 

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

One of my favorite experiences I would have to say is just the day to day banter I could have with professors on an academic and personal level. They helped me achieve awards (Hagerman’s Zillion Solutions: University Improvement) and question why I was choosing the path I chose. Was I going to be challenged or become bored? Where did I see myself in 5-10 years? How do I better others by bettering myself?

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

 I chose to work supply chain in corporate retail because I worked full time in retail all throughout college. I am given pretty much free reign of how I want to own my departments and manage my staff. I have to make the calls on inventory management, product shipment windows, and seasonality time frames. My boss calls it, “an entrepreneur within a corporate setting.”

What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?

So far, my proudest accomplishment is not the fact that I have landed an amazing corporate job at 22 years old at a Fortune 500 company, nor moving to NC and FL for improving my career. My proudest accomplishment is that I can still call my favorite professor on campus, Dr. Witt, throw a scenario at him, and get his opinion. It’s the ties I have back home that make me most proud, that and Urban Meyer retiring. 

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

My biggest words of advice would be to stay humble and hungry. No matter what goes on in your career, don’t burn bridges -including in college. Also, pursuing a management degree is phenomenal if you are willing to work very hard for it -stay hungry! You will only get what you put in for it. UM-Flint has more than enough opportunities for you to succeed. 

Fun Facts 

Since graduating, I have moved to North Carolina and Florida. I have adopted two black labs and love to go hiking! I am currently living in Florida and snorkel, go kayaking with manatees, or play beach volleyball with friends any chance I get! The coolest professor on campus is still my mom, Toni L. LaRocco (2nd place goes to Dr. Witt)! I am truly grateful for the memories I made UM-Flint -Go Blue!