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Released April 28, 2005

By Chinika Hood

HATTIESBURG Accounting majors at The University of Southern Mississippi are getting a leg up on the competition, thanks to a job shadowing program adopted this year by the university’s School of Accountancy and Information Systems.

The program provides participants hands-on experience at some of South Mississippi’s top accounting firms. Southern Miss senior Bruce Kelly is one of five students who took part in the program.

“I got a chance to see the day-to-day operations of an actual certified public accountant (CPA) firm, learned how some of the class material is implemented in practice, and got a chance to discover which area of accounting practice that I might like the best,” said Kelly, who spent a day with Holt and Associates in Laurel -- one of four area firms involved in the project.

Kelly’s enthusiasm is what Southern Miss’ Accounting Advisory Group counted on when they presented the program to Director Dr. Roderick Posey. Without hesitation, Posey gave thumbs-up to the Accounting Advisory Group -- a board of local professionals helping the School of Accountancy and Information Systems to keep its competitive edge.

Posey believes the program falls in line with the overall mission of Southern Miss’ College of Business, which is to provide its nearly 2,400 students the opportunities and tools needed to have a successful career as an upper-level manager or business entrepreneur.

“Networking is very important,” Posey said. “A person can't do or know everything. The people he or she meets along the way can help with their future careers.”

Advisory group member Princy Harrison, a Southern Miss graduate now working with Holt and Associates, said, “We believe that it is of a benefit to the students to see what will be expected of them. Business employers look for candidates with the ability to think critically and to express themselves orally and in writing.”

“The attitude of getting just enough to graduate will not be enough for a professional,” said Harrison. “With all things being equal, I'd hire someone with some idea of the workplace.”

While the program is still in the beginning stages, Posey said it is quickly becoming a hit in the business community with seven additional firms wanting to come aboard.

He said the Job Shadowing Program is a prelude to the many great things currently in the works for the 400 students enrolled in Southern Miss’ accounting program, including an internship program that would allow students to obtain college credit plus bring home a paycheck.

For more information on how you can join the Accounting Job Shadowing Program, please contact the School of Accountancy and Information Systems at (601) 266-4641.


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May 16, 2005 4:16 PM