Tag Archives: accounting

Checking in on YEOC: The March and April Sessions

March: International Experiences
In an ever-connected world, with the lines that divide nations, ethnicities and philosophies becoming blurrier with each passing year, cultural competency will be (if it is not already) key when it comes to professional success. With the theme “International Experiences,” YEOC students are once again proving themselves to be ahead of the curve. The day began with college prep workshops in cultural awareness and leadership, preparing them for the month’s activity. In an event dubbed Global Student Experiences and Around the World Lunch, students rotated between three themed rooms (China, India and Brazil) where they ate lunch (also themed) and listened to a panel of students who had visited that particular country. Afterward, parents joined the students to watch the highly anticipated annual YEOC Cultural Showcase. Performers included UW’s African Student Association, Perlas Mestiza, Jamela Mohammed, Myanmar Student Association, Khmer Student Association and Seattle Karen Don Dance group. Be sure to watch the video for snippets of the showcase and to see the YEOC Flash Mob!

April: Accounting
Just in time for tax season, this month’s theme was “Accounting.” Students kicked things off with a mentor lecture on accounting and a workshop on dining etiquette. Led by Pamela Lacson (Foster’s Associate Director of Diversity & Recruitment), the workshop included the 3 “D’s” of etiquette: Demeanor, Dining and Don’ts. Students also learned the importance of first impressions, voice, eye contact, appropriate attire, handshakes and elevator pitches. Afterward, Beth Lambert, senior manager of EY Fraud Investigative Dispute Services, joined students for this month’s YEOC Talk on Forensic Accounting. Fans of the popular Crime TV genre may be familiar with the term “forensic” as a scientific means to solving grisly crimes. As it turns out, those same skills (gathering and analyzing evidence) can be used to solve white-collar financial crimes like embezzlement, bankruptcy or fraud. Not many high school students can say they spent the day learning the ins and outs of a crucial specialty practice area of accounting. Near the end of the session, students were introduced to their last YEOC activity of the 2013-2014 school year—the case competition. Students will present their findings to a panel of Seattle-area professionals during the May session.

This blog post is a part of a series focusing on monthly YEOC student activities. Visit the YEOC page to learn more about the program.

Foster team wins national KPMG ALPFA Competition

Foster Team Wins National KPMG ALPFA Competition On August 13 and 14 in Las Vegas, an undergraduate accounting team from the UW Foster School of Business won the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting (ALPFA) national case competition.

Sponsored by KPMG, the invitation only competition selects teams from 24 schools around the country to analyze specific public companies and present on key accounting policies, strategies and risks, and provide recommendations to help mitigate the firms’ risks.

The Foster team analyzed Tyson Foods, a public company headquartered in Arkansas. They worked throughout spring quarter analyzing and researching Tyson’s financial position. Foster’s team consisted of seniors Sonia Gorski and Ana Mendez and juniors Anthony Escobar and Gideon Vasquez.

“Our Foster team gave an extremely impressive presentation to the mock audit committee from KPMG,” says faculty adviser Patricia Angell, who coached the students. “Any firm would be honored to be represented by these polished professionals.”

The team was also supported by the local ALPFA chapter and KPMG managers Mark Turley and Lakshmi Kuduganti.

Naming opportunities connect more than money to PACCAR Hall

Stepping into PACCAR Hall next fall, you will see a multitude of differences between the Foster School’s spacious, cutting-edge facility and its former primary classroom building, Balmer Hall. Most noticeable will be the feeling one has stepped into the next century where natural light bathes a sophisticated architectural mix of brick, steel, wood and glass.

Pass through the corridor of the second floor and you’ll see a two story atrium complete with a coffee shop and a fireside lounge (again, this isn’t Balmer Hall). To your right you’ll see an undergraduate commons and three of the most advanced multimedia classrooms at the University of Washington. To the left are four more classrooms ranging from 30 to 95 seats. Outside each is a cluster of student team rooms to promote collaboration and business planning… perhaps for the launch of the next Microsoft.

It took more than $80 million in private support to build PACCAR Hall, and a closer look in the new building will show significantly greater signage carrying the names of business partners and alumni who helped make the building possible. Yet, there is more than money behind each name found in PACCAR Hall.

Here’s the story of one such amazing person: Alice W. Sandstrom.

The sign adorning the last team room on the left says Ms. Sandstrom was a 1934 graduate of the business school. 1934! Unlike today’s evenly represented programs, there weren’t many women studying business back then.

In fact, Ms. Sandstrom was one of only two women in the accounting program and an exception to many social restrictions throughout her life. In the midst of the Great Depression, she realized that an accounting degree was necessary for the future she hoped to have.

Alice, who passed away in March of last year, was one of the first female CPAs in Washington and worked as an accountant through World War II. In 1948, she began a 33-year run in helping Children’s Hospital become the vital community enterprise it is today.

When Alice stepped down as CFO in 1981, she did anything but retire. She spent more than 10 years sharing her knowledge as a lecturer at the UW. She was a long-time president and board member at both the YWCA of Seattle and Senior Services. Alice also received numerous awards for volunteerism and community service.

In 2002, on the heels of receiving the Outstanding Alumna Award from Foster students in Beta Alpha Psi, Alice was given Foster’s Distinguished Leadership Award, the School’s highest non-degree honor.

For 94 years, Alice lived in Seattle and eagerly helped those around her. She enjoyed nothing more than the opportunity to share her success and passing on nuggets of wisdom, which included the five rules she lived by:

  • Be passionate about what you do
  • Be a mentor
  • Cherish your friends
  • Always be positive and enthusiastic
  • Dream big

Even in her last few years, Alice frequently attended events throughout the community.

Patricia Angell, Accounting Department Lecturer and Internship Director at Foster, accompanied Alice to many functions and was one of Alice’s many fans and friends.

“Alice was an inspiration to me and all women pursing our professional dreams.” Patricia said. “She was a trailblazer in accounting and she continues to inspire us today.”

There’s no question the Foster School and the University of Washington benefited from Alice Sandstrom’s presence, passion and persistence. The team room named for her in PACCAR Hall is but one small way she will be remembered.

And, knowing Alice, little would bring her more joy than seeing future generations of business and community leaders learning to “dream big” using the Sandstrom Team Room in PACCAR Hall. She’ll be right there with them in spirit as well as name, just like so many others who helped make Foster’s new world-class facilities a reality.

Mother’s wisdom, scholarship support lead to opportunity found

RatliffKiyosha_fullWho would have thought a girl destined to cashier at a fast-food restaurant would travel to Europe and work for a Big Four accounting firm?

Scholarships do more than make college affordable. They can open doors to a whole new world of opportunity. They can transform lives. Kiyosha Ratliff is living proof of that transformation.

The future went from bright to bleak when Kiyosha’s parents divorced, her father lost his job and her mother became ill. Given the family’s financial situation, college no longer seemed possible and Kiyosha seriously considered taking a second job at a fast food restaurant to help out. Her mother wouldn’t hear of it. She insisted her daughter head for the UW, but Kiyosha required serious scholarship support in order to pursue her dream of a college education.

Luckily she qualified for a suite of scholarships through Foster that became the lifeblood of her education and her personal development. The generous donations that fund the scholarships funded her chance to change her life.

As a result of these scholarships, Kiyosha excelled as an undergrad, advised small business owners, traveled abroad, mentored high school students, won numerous awards, attended a summer program at Harvard Business School and interned at Deloitte Consulting. These opportunities helped Kiyosha grow in many ways even beyond her education.

“The UW was such fertile soil for me, not only in gaining knowledge about the world around me, but also in developing leadership skills and gaining a broader perspective,” Kiyosha said. “Who would have believed that the same girl who wasn’t even going to go to college would have the opportunity to graduate from the UW, participate in a program at Harvard Business School and work for Big Four accounting firms? That’s what you call a transformation.”

And that change is made possible by families, companies and individuals who donate to Foster. Because of their willingness to give, students like Kiyosha can realize aspirations that would not have been attainable on their own.