Jason Bellant is graduating with high honors in April 2021 with his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. During his time at UM-Flint, he was able to apply this knowledge at three different accounting positions. His current position was secured after networking with Yeo & Yeo at a School of Management Fall Career Fair hosted by Antonio Riggs, Career Planning Counselor.
Bellant is from the Fenton/Linden area and chose UM-Flint so he could live at home but still obtain a rich education. Although he’s now married and a homeowner, UM-Flint was still the best and most convenient option in the area.
A common obstacle most students face in college is how to tackle study habits; specifically, finding the time to learn and process the content of the course material can present a challenge. Bellant suffered from this issue in high school and knew he needed to create a strategy on how to learn better in his college courses. “I started by tracking how much time I put into my studies. I’d plan my weeks around how much time I would have to put toward my classes each week,” said Bellant.
After trial and error, Bellant excelled in his studies and went into his last semester with a 3.79 GPA. He says his accounting classes drew him in more than his other curriculum. “I’d never clicked with a class that way before. I knew after my first class in accounting that this was what I wanted to do,” said Bellant.
Bellant became so comfortable and confident with his courses that he would teach classmates the same study practices that helped him succeed. Part of the reason Bellant helped his peers so much is because he was often on campus pre-COVID. “The abundance of places to study helped me a lot. I found it easier to study at school rather than at home,” said Bellant.
Early this year, Bellant started a new position at Yeo & Yeo after having a one-on-one with Cara Newby, Talent Manager, at the fall SOM career fair. “In previous years, I have never had my schedule allow me to attend any of the other career fairs. With the career fair being online hosted on Handshake it was perfect that I was able to network with employers,” said Bellant.
At Yeo & Yeo, Bellant is an Assurance Staff Accountant and performs audits for clients. Bellant began his new position earlier this year and has already learned new information from his job, such as escheat laws, the audit process, and how to prepare financial statements, while applying what he has learned from his previous courses. Important concepts Bellant took from the classroom that prepared him for his position are the ALICE trick, general rules and overview of financial statements, being a critical-thinker, comprehending new information, and learning a steadfast work ethic.
Bellant was also about to use his excel and bookkeeping skills in his personal life such as the financial side of a wedding and honeymoon and undertaking a house renovation.
“Advice I would give my younger self or a student thinking about the accounting field is to practice the basics of accounting in your everyday life in order to understand the principles and apply the knowledge to your life. I also recommend that you seek employment, like an internship, in the accounting field ASAP. It can really help you with networking and getting your foot in the door so when you’re about to graduate, you’ll have 3+ years of experience,” said Bellant.
Other advice Bellant mentions to understand is
- Income to expense ratios and debt to income ratios.
- Compound interest, amortization schedules, and other financial tools to help you start saving for your future.
- Lastly, never stop learning and be a lifelong learner! Read as much as you can about life skills; you will not regret it.
After Bellant graduates in April, he will be continuing his education to get his CPA by taking the additional course credits to have the 150 credits to be eligible for the exam over the next two years. During this time, he will be preparing for the exams and continuing to improve his accounting skills at Yeo & Yeo.
“I love it here at Yeo & Yeo and everyone is so kind and helpful. It is beyond clear that everyone wants to help any new hire become as proficient as possible. I also value the clear path for growth with the company,” Bellant continues, “There are incentives for me to grow with the firm. I have wanted to be a CPA for a few years now, but I want it more than ever now that I have a clear path to the CPA exam and a clear path after getting it.”
“I’m excited to spend my career auditing clients and helping them in every way I can. Most of my clients are nonprofits and schools, so it is really easy to take an interest and care about helping them,” said Bellant.
Bellent is one of the many students finishing his degree during the pandemic, he was still able to excel in his studies and seek opportunities that would help build his future.
By Alexis Menard On March 24, 2021 11:50 am