Discover Anders: Two Days Experiencing Life as a CPA

Discover Anders: A Day in the Life Program is an annual event put on by the firm to welcome students from different universities for a preview of what it’s like to be a professional at Anders. Now in its sixth year, we welcomed 21 students into the office on July 15-16 for our two day summer leadership program – making this our largest group yet. We welcomed students from 13 different universities including, SEMO, UMSL, Dayton, Mizzou, MSU, Lindenwood, SLU, Truman, Washington University, Spring Hill College, AL, SIUC, SIUE, and Belhaven.

During their two day office visit, students were able to gain a better understanding of the differences between Tax and Audit, learn about the culture of Anders, and the many different aspects of the firm through presentations, activities, interviews and roundtable sessions.

Partner, Tom Hilton, presented Public Accounting 101, which went in depth on how the CPA profession has changed, how size impacts firms, and the economic structure of a CPA firm. Students experienced our marketing culture, when Anders Marketing Director, Donna Erbs, led a session, Identify Your Individual Brand. Through a series of activities, students identified with one of four brands, Giver, Organizer, Analyzer, or Leader. Donna explained each brand’s characteristics, and how all brand types can collaborate together in the workplace.

Anders is incredibly dedicated to the community, with many employees involved in numerous charities, so it was important to incorporate a service learning project. All the students learned firsthand about our community involvement by volunteering at KidSmart. With the school year approaching, there was a lot to do at KidSmart, including sorting books and preparing boxes of supplies for teachers. We enjoyed sharing our culture with the students and giving back to a great organization. We finished off the day with dinner at Ballpark Village in the VIP Lounge at FOX Sports Midwest Live. A group of Anders Young Professionals joined the students to share their experiences and answer any of the students’ questions. The All-Star Game was the perfect backdrop for a night of networking and fun.

On Day 2, we incorporated face-to-face interviews with members of our tax and audit team to further discuss our internship program. We also conducted roundtable discussions, highlighting our different industries and service lines. This enabled students to pick topics they were interested in, and ask questions in a small group setting. In addition, we also featured roundtables discussing soft skills topics, such as employee development, interviewing, social media, a partner perspective, and a tax/audit intern panel. In the afternoon, our group received a visit from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard to enjoy during the roundtables. We wrapped up the event by sending students off with an Anders cooler, notebook, T-shirt, and beach towel to enjoy the rest of the summer.

Discover Anders 2014 has already been a great success – out of the 21 participants, we have already extended 10 internship offers for spring 2015 internships. It was a great opportunity to meet all the participants, and we are grateful to the Anders professionals showing the students what Anders is all about.  Now, we turn our sights on next year’s program, July 14 – 15, 2015 and making 2015 our best Discover Anders yet!

All the students at KidSmart for the Service Learning Project