The Confidence to Overcome Challenges

PROVO, Utah – Jul 16, 2021 – As an undergraduate student at BYU, Christine Parks initially joined the accounting program simply because she enjoyed the subject of accounting. Now as a MAcc student at the School of Accountancy (SOA) at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Parks loves the accounting program for additional reasons, namely, the unique opportunities that the program gives her to interact with other people. 

One of these opportunities involved Parks's internship at the PwC office in Salt Lake City last summer. “My responsibilities involved a little bit of everything, but I most enjoyed going to client meetings and working with the staff,” she says. “An important aspect of the internship was the people. My coworkers helped me feel like a good fit for the company, and I formed friendships and relationships with those coworkers and gained additional experience in working in teams.”

The internship also helped Parks strengthen her communication skills. Although she found communicating with managers and partners to be daunting at first, she gradually became more comfortable building interpersonal relationships and talking to her supervisors. Parks plans to return to PwC this summer in a full-time position. She looks forward to rejoining her team and working with the same people.

In addition to her coworkers, Parks’s peers at the SOA have also taught her the value of teamwork. “The group work and the people in the accounting program have impacted me tremendously. I've learned how to be a good contributor on a team and how to better collaborate with people,” she says. “I've grown to appreciate and rely on group members by forming bonds and friendships with them. A big component of the accounting program is the sense of connection created among the students.”

By relying on these close friendships, Parks, a native of Medford, Oregon, knows that she can overcome anything with confidence and help from others. “Throughout my time in this program, I’ve proved to myself that I can accomplish hard things,” she says. “Often, I don't feel as capable as my peers, but my professors and fellow students always encourage me and help me realize my strengths. I know that nothing is too challenging as long as I have the support of my peers and the resources to succeed.”

Outside of school, Parks feels passionate about providing this same type of support to help others overcome their challenges and find success. A cause she dedicates herself to is raising awareness about eating disorders, because she personally struggled with an eating disorder beginning at age sixteen. Parks never talked about her struggles because eating disorders seemed like a taboo subject, and she didn’t ask for help until her sophomore year at BYU. 

Parks hopes to change the stigma around eating disorders that prevent people from talking about them. “Once I began the recovery process, I decided to be more open about sharing my experiences,” she says. “I started writing about my journey on a blog. I realized that I want to incorporate my passion for eating disorder recovery in my future career and maybe run my own counseling practice one day.” 

Parks plans to continue advocating for eating disorder awareness. She currently works at Center for Change, an eating disorder treatment center. “I know my business background will give me an awesome foundation if I ever want to run my own private counseling practice,” she says. “In any career I decide to pursue, I can apply what I’ve learned in accounting and use those skills to change the lives of others.” 

Parks' internship with PwC helped her strengthen her communication skills.
Parks' internship with PwC helped her strengthen her communication skills. Photo courtesy of Christine Parks.
Parks loves working with Center for Change, an eating disorder treatment center.
Parks loves working with Center for Change, an eating disorder treatment center. Photo courtesy of Christine Parks.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert