Hayden Nilson is a UAF alumnus who graduated in the spring of 2016 with a double major in finance and accounting. Hayden was very involved with the GAAP (Great Alaskan Accounting People) student organization during his time at UAF, participating in events like the Alaska Native Corporations Seminar and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. After graduation, Hayden took a position with Robinson & Ward, PC in Fairbanks. Hayden understands the importance of staying involved with UAF after graduation and gives current students advice about how to get more involved at SOM.
Henry Bolanos poses next to next to “Larry” – the 2015 NBA Championship trophy
Henry Bolanos is a senior graduating in December, 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in accounting. After working for a year as a student assistant in the front office of the School of Management, he just began a new student position in the UA Statewide Human Resources department in the fall of 2016. He plans on taking a break after graduating and then returning to pursue his master’s degree in a few years. Henry shared this story in September 2016.
In the summer of 2016, three Associated Students of Business (ASB) students had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to tour a number of organizations. Huckleberry Hopper, Claressa Ullmayer, and I spent three days on this trip, which was sponsored by ASB and the National Millennial Community. We joined about 20 other students from eight other schools for the trip of a lifetime.
Our first stop on this whirlwind tour was the Verizon Innovation Center. Only two of these centers exist, with the other located in Boston, and access to the centers is very limited. We received a tour of the facility and learned about the extensive research and development activities that go on there – far beyond just cell phone technologies. For example, one project involves an advertising tool that can detect multiple faces simultaneously and identify their age, gender, facial expression, how long the person focused on the ad; this system is intended for use as a rapid advertisement feedback tool.
After Verizon, we visited SHIFT Communications, an analytical public relations firm. The open floor plan office looked like a movie set for a hip startup business, with young millennials at every computer, and the sound of footsteps as workers moved from one desk to another to discuss their projects. We were fortunate to meet with Leah Ciappenelli, the company’s HR Director, who was visiting from Boston. She gave an overview of what the firm does, answered questions, and shared some career and life advice.
The next stop on our busy day was a meeting with the millennial team at Wells Fargo, which includes representatives from their Pacific Northwest marketing team and their community outreach department, and is led by Chris Galang, Diverse Segment Manager. We students and the millennial team engaged in a long and illuminating conversation about different aspects of banking, branding, community outreach, and nonprofit management.
Henry Bolanos (left) with other NMC students from around the country in a rooftop garden in the financial district of San Francisco
Finally, the day ended at the communications firm, Spitfire Strategies. We split into smaller groups to discuss a few different topics. In one discussion group, the staff members shared advice on the job seeking process – how to find the right job fit for your career, how to prepare for interviews, how to give informative interviews, and what their firm looks for when they interview people. Another discussion topic covered an in-depth look at what the firm does on a day-to-day basis. Essentially, they work with organizations, mostly nonprofit organizations, to help promote social issues and increase public awareness. They also handle campaign work, digital strategies, communication planning, and crisis communication.
Day two was especially exciting for us, as it began at the Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team. We were treated to a tour of the facility, including the newly refinished basketball courts. Unfortunately, there were no sightings of Steph Curry working on his magical 3-pointer. After that excitement, we met with Jennifer Cabalquinto, the organization’s CFO. Cabalquinto talked about how she ended up in her role, stating that the industry attracted her because it was something she had never been involved with previously. She also shared how important it is to her to always keep learning. I was surprised by this statement, since she has had an extensive career at a number of high profile organizations. To hear her say that she is still learning really showed me how important it is to not get complacent in my career down the road.
Henry Bolanos, Huckleberry Hopper, and Claressa Ullmayer in the gym at the Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team
After the morning at the arena, it was on to the mythical land of Google. There, we met with a panel of six “googlers” who also happen to be millennials. Most of the panel members confessed to not knowing what a millennial was until they were asked to be on this panel – which I found funny, since I had the same experience when I was invited to go on this trip! But despite this, we found it extremely valuable to hear from people who look like us and are a part of such a strong organization, and we gained great insights from the panel members about entering the work force out of college.
The final stop on our itinerary was the home of one of the original e-commerce companies, eBay. After a quick tour of the new eBay facility that is under construction following the company’s split from PayPal, we met with Claire Dixon, eBay’s Vice President of Global Communication. Dixon immediately stated that they wanted to pick our brains as millennial consumers, and gathered our feedback about various preferences, such as social media, celebrities, news sources, and more. The discussion then moved on to the topic of eBay, and Dixon explored our preconceived notions about the site, squashing many of our misconceptions along the way. She then showed us a few brand new commercials that haven’t yet been aired and asked us to share our opinions on them. This was another interesting and engaging experience for us, as we were able to share our input and ask (and answer) many questions.
Overall, the trip was an amazing experience for the me and the other ASB students, as we were able to meet fellow business students from across the country and learn about their stories, including their experiences pursuing business degrees in disciplines that UAF does not currently offer. Meeting with leaders in various roles from many different organizations really helped me understand more about the qualities that are desired by all firms. This was truly an experience of a life time and I am grateful to SOM, ASB, and the National Millennial Community for the opportunity.
Henry Bolanos, Claressa Ullmayer, and Huckleberry Hopper, enjoying the night life on the trolley on their first night in San Francisco
Johanna Bocklet, Laken Bordner, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride recently took fourth place in a Society for Human Resource Management student competition in Utah. Photo courtesy of Kris Racina.
A team of School of Management students took fourth place in the Society for Human Resource Management’s Student Case Competition and Career Summit Division II.
The students — Johanna Bocklet, Laken Bordner, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride — competed April 29-30 at the Regional Conference West in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fourteen teams entered the division contest this year.
The team received the case directly from SHRM, and faculty advisors were not allowed to know about the case or to help the students in any way.
Former SOM faculty member and SHRM advisor Wendy Tisland prepared the students well for this competition in her Introductory Human Resource Management class (BA 307).
The students are proud to have placed higher than many other larger schools with concentrated human resources degree programs.
“Attending the SHRM Case Competition and Career Summit was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me during my education,” said Jamie Boyle, UAF SHRM president. “During both days of the summit, students were able to network with over 40 HR professionals, getting help on resumes, interviews, or just making connections for future opportunities. I made connections with a number of professionals that will help move my career forward. I am very pleased that after the conference, I have at least five solid follow-up conversations and interviews to help jump-start my future career in HR.”
The SHRM Student Case Competition and Career Summit provides opportunities for students and human resources professionals to connect, while also exposing students to the types of real-world problems they may one day encounter when they enter the workforce. To excel in the competition as these UAF students have done, they must demonstrate strategic thinking, ethical decision-making, and strong leadership and presentation skills.
Charla Brown, far left, and Kris Racina, far right, join UAF students at the Society for Human Resource Management event in April. Brown chairs the business administration program and is assistant professor of human resource management at the University of Alaska Southeast. Racina is a business administration instructor at the UAF School of Management. Students, from left, are Laken Bordner, Johanna Bocklet, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride. Photo courtesy of Kris Racina.
The UAF chapter of SHRM plans to attend the competition again next year, and the student organization is actively recruiting new students for the upcoming academic year. Any interested students who would like to learn more about this student group and the chance to participate in next year’s case competition in Portland, Oregon, should contact Kris Racina at email@example.com or 907-474-6532 or Wendy Tisland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laken Bordner, Sara McBride, Johanna Bocklet and Jamie Boyle celebrate their fourth-place finish at a Society of Human Resource Management student competition. Photo courtesy of Jamie Boyle.
Below are the final standings (in order of placement):
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
University of Texas at Tyler
Boise State University
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Florida International University, College of Business
On April 22, 2016, student organization the Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) hosted the 17th annual Accounting Awards.
This lunchtime event held at the Raven Landing Community Center was an opportunity to recognize the many outstanding accounting students at the School of Management. The event was emceed by Accounting Program Director Dr. Charlie Sparks and it was sponsored this year by BDO. In addition to a number of accounting awards and GAAP-specific awards, the winners of five accounting scholarships were also recognized.
Panelists Miranda Wright of Doyon Limited, Lia Patton of BDO, Jim Hasle of BDO, and Garry Hutchison of Kohler, Schmitt, and Hutchison applaud Julie Stricker at the opening of the seminar
On February 2, 2016, the Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) student organization hosted the 4th Annual Alaska Native Corporations Seminar. Panelists spoke to about 55 students, accounting professionals, and Fairbanks community members about Alaska’s native regional corporations, 8(a) contract issues, settlement trust, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA), and the future of the corporations.
This year’s speakers were: • Jim Hasle, Assurance Office Managing Partner, BDO • Garry Hutchison, Partner, Kohler, Schmitt & Hutchison, PC • Lia Patton, Assurance Office Partner, BDO • Miranda Wright, Board of Directors Treasurer, Doyon Limited Julie Stricker served as Master of Ceremony for this year’s seminar.
Hayden Nilson, accounting student and GAAP officer, organized this event; Hayden and several fellow accounting students and faculty answered the following questions.
This is the fourth year GAAP has hosted the Alaska Native Corporations Seminar.
Why do you think this is an important event for students and the community? The Native regional corporations are a vital part of the Alaskan economy, and it is important for more people to understand their history and their role in our state. Heidi Pichler, GAAP member and accounting student, noted that this event gives students and the community greater insight into the impact these corporations have on the Alaskan economy. From an accounting perspective, it allows students to learn about the diversity in careers that an accounting degree can provide. What a many people don’t recognize is that in some form or another, whether in the areas of public or private accounting, there is a very high likelihood of working with or for a native corporation. And when there is a chance to learn more about such a crucial part of our economy, everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this topic.
What do you think students took away from this seminar? One of the key things we heard from students over and over following this seminar was that they were amazed at the diversity offered by accounting degree. Most people think of accountants simply as the person you take your tax documents to each year. For students like Victoria Adams, GAAP member and accounting student, this event helped demonstrate the many potential options a degree in accounting can offer. This seminar played a pivotal role in showing that there is a whole lot more to accounting than the annual April 15th tax deadline.
Jim Hasle and Garry Hutchison join Candace Crews, former GAAP member and seminar originator, during the social hour before the seminar
What was the most important or enlightening thing you learned at this seminar? This year’s seminar covered many topics. Our speakers’ extensive background and experience with Alaska native regional corporations provided those in attendance with a better understanding of the impact and importance these entities have on Alaska. A few of the topics of most interest to GAAP students included; Land in Trust, ANSCA Tax Provisions, and 8(a) contracts. I personally learned a great deal while organizing this event, because I had to research the topics in order to understand the basics and work with our seminar panelists to decide what they would discuss. I can’t stress enough how useful and important all of their discussions were for the students, professionals, and community members in attendance.
How has your experience with the Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) helped you as an accounting student at UAF? GAAP is a great organization. It has a clear mission – to prepare accounting students for their careers – and I believe it does just that. The majority of our members receive internship offers before they graduate, and often continue on with the firm as full time associates. Students can be involved in GAAP in many different ways. Beau McClain has been a GAAP officer for two years, and will be starting his career as an accountant at the KPMG Anchorage office next fall. Beau credits GAAP for his accomplishments and his success as a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, saying “I can honestly say that no other student organization comes close to the professionalism and dedication of GAAP in preparing students for their future career.” The more speakers GAAP can share with students through their weekly meetings and special events like the Alaska Native Corporations Seminar, the brighter UAF students will shine when they enter the professional world.
The Student Investment Fund at the University of Alaska Fairbanks recently surpassed a total of $1 million.
The fund was established at the School of Management in 1991 by $100,000 of unrestricted gifts from private donations provided for student investment purposes. The growth of the initial investment to over $1 million demonstrates the success of this program since its inception. Over the years, the fund has provided $65,500 in scholarships 46 students. In recent years, robust earnings provided more money for need-based scholarships, allowing four annual awards of $2,500 each.
Students enrolled in the Student Investment Fund course gain real-world experience implementing investment selection and stock valuation principles, gaining practical knowledge and experience that reach far beyond typical coursework. Ultimately, the student fund managers acquire a deeper and more complex understanding of the concepts taught throughout their undergraduate and graduate finance studies.
“The student managers are fully responsible for the day-to-day management of the portfolio, thus gaining hands-on money management experience,” said fund faculty advisor Phil Younker. “The process helps them develop their financial intuition and provides an arena for practical application of investment decisions.”
Several donors support the fund and the technology needed to stay ahead of the indexed markets. With gifts from McKinley Capital Management, Northrim Bank and Alaska General Contractors, the students are armed with tools such as two Bloomberg terminals and specialized financial databases. These resources give students a competitive edge over their peers at other universities and better prepare them for professional success.