Early Exposure

PROVO, Utah – Sep 07, 2018 – Each year, Accounting 200 provides hundreds of BYU students with their first taste of the profession. Some students may enjoy the class but still feel unsure if accounting is for them. Others may be set on applying to the accounting program and seek opportunities to jumpstart their careers.

Now, another resource is available for prospective accounting students. An innovative partnership between the School of Accountancy at BYU Marriott, the University of Georgia, and Cardinal Health has led to an internship program that gives potential BYU Marriott students hands-on experience in the field.
Cardinal Health, a billion-dollar company that specializes in pharmaceuticals and medical products, owns many subsidiaries and has numerous filings to complete when tax season rolls around. Scott Hunter, a BYU Marriott accounting alum and the healthcare giant’s chief tax officer, turned to the SOA for interns to help with the workload.
Now in its third year, the program has seen about twenty BYU students participate thus far, giving them exposure to the industry before they apply to the accounting program.

“I was stoked to get a real internship and experience that a lot of people don’t get until two years into the program,” says Klarissa Kemp, a current second-year MAcc student from North Ogden, Utah. “The internship helped me feel more confident and shaped my mindset to try for all the opportunities that I can.”
To apply, interested students complete online trainings and an interview. Students selected as interns spend two weeks in training at the company’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, then return to Provo to complete their work remotely throughout the summer. Some students also opt to continue their position into the school year.
The interns’ main responsibilities are preparing tax returns and year-end provisions. For many students, these projects are their first experiences with tax principles.
“The internship helped me decide that I wanted to have a career in tax accounting,” says Steven Braun, a two-time participant and a current second-year MAcc student from Spokane, Washington. “I’ve been able to apply a lot of what I learned at Cardinal Health to my current internship with KPMG.”

The internship program has seen more students apply every year, and the tax department at Cardinal Health is consistently impressed by the caliber of students applying. The program enables the company to focus its efforts on different projects, while students master accounting principles early on in their careers.

“This program is a huge learning experience for students,” says Melissa Larson, BYU Marriott assistant professor of accountancy. “When these students go to other internships, the firms are blown away by the work the students have done prior to acceptance to an accounting program.”

The first group of interns at Cardinal Health headquarters
The internship program piloted in 2016.
2017 Cardinal Health Class
The 2017 class of interns is pictured at the Cardinal Health headquarters.
The 2018 class of Cardinal Health interns
The current group of interns will complete their work by the end of the summer.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Maggie Kuta