BYU Accounting Students Build Houses and Goodwill
Accounting students traded in their number crunchers for nail guns, levels and hand saws at a recent Habitat for Humanity service project, one of the many service opportunities coordinated by Brigham Young University's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting honor society. PROVO, Utah – Dec 16, 2010 –
"BAP helps students realize they are coming into a profession that is very service-minded," says Cassy Budd, associate professor of accountancy and BAP adviser. "That's why we spend so much time in the organization working on service-oriented activities. Students can learn something about themselves, develop a skill and help someone at the same time."
Unlike most professional associations, BAP places an equal emphasis on professional development and community service. Members of BAP are expected to complete 800 minutes of professional development and 800 minutes of community service per semester. In addition to building future careers at one of the top accounting programs in the nation, students are encouraged to build goodwill in their community.
For example, at the Habitat for Humanity project, students sawed planks, nailed siding and put in windows for those who otherwise wouldn't have a home of their own.
"At Habitat for Humanity, you get to participate in building the house, see the end product and give people something they can use," says Katie Fogle, a senior accounting student from Portland, Ore., and an officer for BAP. "People will live here and benefit from our help."
Other service projects include coordinating gifts for the Deloitte Angel Tree, helping students and community members prepare their taxes and teaching business classes at the Salt Lake Valley Juvenile Detention Center.
"We have such a great opportunity to be in this accounting program, but if we don't do anything with our time and talents, then it's not much good," says Emily Wood, a junior from Denver, Colo., studying accounting and a member of BAP. "It's easy to be surrounded by students and forget that there are families who need houses and teenagers who are having a hard time. There's a lot more going on than we realize."
According to accounting student Richard Doxey, a junior from Sandy, Utah, the experience in the community also benefits students professionally.
"It gets you out of your comfort zone," Doxey says. "It teaches you how to work with new people and do something completely foreign to you. Service in addition to work makes you a more capable employee."
At the event, Doxey appreciated seeing the fruit of his labors and meeting some of those blessed by the organization and its volunteers.
"I saw the humanity in Habitat for Humanity," Doxey says. "Last summer I went on a bike ride to different Habitat houses and met the families. I saw how people's lives were changed. That's why I came today."
Mary Cisneros, the recipient of the house that BAP worked on, was there at the event working alongside the students. "We couldn't do this without BYU students and others coming to help," Cisneros says. "We have two full-time staff here, but everything else is done by volunteers. Ninety percent of my home will be done by volunteers, and I wouldn't have it without them."
For more information on BAP service projects including free income tax assistance, visit bap.byu.edu.
The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.
Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Carrie Akinaka