Behind the Scenes in the School of Accountancy
PROVO, Utah – May 20, 2022 – When people think of accounting, an affinity for parties might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, Brooke Bradford, the events and programs coordinator for the School of Accountancy (SOA) at BYU Marriott School of Business, says accountants are all for having a good time. As an employee for the SOA, Bradford organizes events that are not only for enjoyment but also allow connections to be forged between students, faculty, and alumni.
“I build relationships for my job, whether those relationships are between faculty members or between the faculty and students,” says Bradford. “The SOA also tries to reconnect with our alumni and emeritus faculty. I enjoy seeing these lifelong relationships build, with some lasting for more than 30 years.”
A native of Cedar Hills, Utah, Bradford always planned to attend BYU. What she didn’t anticipate, however, was how quickly she would fall in love with her recreation management major. From the moment she sat in her first class, Bradford knew this was the program for her.
“I remember sitting in the intro class and thinking to myself, ‘I'm going to do this for the rest of my life,’” explains Bradford. She enjoys the jolt of adrenaline she receives right before an event kicks off, as well as the opportunity to facilitate opportunities for meaningful associations between people.
After graduating in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management from BYU Marriott, Bradford worked for several different organizations doing event planning and most recently wedding coordinating before finding her way back to BYU Marriott in 2021. Some of the many events Bradford has planned this year are the gatherings taking place across the country to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the School of Accountancy.
“Who would have thought accountants had so many parties, but they do. Because it’s our centennial celebration, we are having 18 parties in 18 different cities,” says Bradford. “The director and assistant director of the SOA both joined our party in San Fransisco. It speaks volumes about how much they care about the SOA that they would drop everything for the weekend to come and reconnect with alumni and students.”
One of Bradford’s favorite aspects of event planning is the opportunity to foster connection between people. Arranging events for the SOA is a bit different from the wedding planning she did for years, but the same principles of connection and organization apply to both. One unique perk of Bradford’s profession is the opportunity to bring wonderful things to pass without having to be at the forefront of anything. She enjoys quietly creating opportunities for relationships to form among SOA students, faculty, and alumni.
“I love connection, but I appreciate working behind the scenes,” Bradford explains. “Don't put me onstage with the microphone; I'll be standing back behind the curtain making sure the pieces play out."
Bradford is grateful for the opportunity to learn from and appreciate the culture of BYU Marriott’s SOA. With her desk right outside of the director’s door, Bradford witnesses firsthand the time, care, and energy the faculty and staff put into making sure their students feel part of the SOA “Ohana”, as their alumni director, Jennifer Maroney, says. Ohana is a Hawaiian word meaning family in all its forms, both immediate and chosen.
“I've learned so much from coming to know my fellow employees in the SOA,” she says. “Every day I'm learning something from the professors through their kindness and lives of service. The director, assistant directors, professors, and other faculty are willing to give the SOA their all.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Marissa Lundeen