At Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” international Accounting Firms
Back row (left to right): Kristel Montano-Rodriguez, Sophia Shah, Riyasat Rob, Dr. Teresa Conover, Amanda Benson, Jennifer Haddad, Daniele Herrera, Will Schenkel, and Edi Palinca
Front row (left to right): Qingqing Lan, Maria Gamez, Christina Brothers, Dr. Dolores Rinke, Aaron Diedam
For some, it was their first time to take a taxi, a flight, or a train. For all, it was their first time to travel abroad to gain international insight about the accounting field from professionals. The faculty-led program organized by Purdue University Calumet and the University of North Texas at Denton focused on international accounting standards and accounting practices in accounting firms and businesses in London and Paris from late May to early June 2012. The seven Purdue University Calumet students and their faculty leader Accounting Professor Dolores Rinke, and the five University of North Texas at Denton students and their faculty leader Accounting Professor Teresa Conover, listened to professionals relate how they apply international standards to their accounting practices, how they differed from U.S. accounting standards, and their perspectives about working abroad in the field. Visits included the International Accounting Standards Boards which establishes the International Financial Reporting Standards, the world headquarters of British Petroleum, the accounting firm KPMG where a partner discussed a current project, and Sodexo, a French firm and one of the largest companies in the world.
In France, several of the professionals the students and faculty met were Americans who had sought work experience abroad. They explained cultural differences between France and the U.S., such as meeting dynamics and the importance of formality when addressing people. They also explained that knowing a foreign language is a gift to take to the employer’s table, but that specific skills are primary to obtain a position in a different country.
While abroad, the group learned more about the cultures of both countries through walking and bus tours of London and Paris, guided visits of Oxford University and the Palace of Versailles, a dinner cruise on the Seine River, and a tour of the Louvre Museum, among others. After about two days in each country, they became comfortable navigating transportation systems and streets. The next time an opportunity to travel and learn abroad presents itself, these students will be more confident, thanks to this experience to interact with people in different countries.
By April Valentine
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