By Caroline Brooks
What started off as another undergraduate accounting class turned out to be a pivotal turning point in Robert Bell’s academic (and soon-to-be professional) journey.
For six weeks, Bell immersed himself in the “real-life” implications of Dr. Sue Convery’s government and non-profit accounting class (ACC 308), thinking already where he could take the curriculum when he felt ready. Now, leaving Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business after earning his undergraduate and master’s degrees in accounting, Bell is positioned for success as he heads to a position with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
“I was interested in the GASB due to the role finances play in government operations, and how important financial reports are for state and local government entities. Specifically, the Detroit bankruptcy situation is a great example of how important useful financial information is for taxpayers, public officials, and investors,” Bell said.
While his move to GASB takes Bell to Norwalk, Connecticut, where the Financial Accounting Foundation is located, his road to the GASB began with his relationships and mentors at Broad, who nominated him for the position. After interviewing, he was offered a position starting in July.
“I’ll be working on multiple agenda or pre-agenda projects, and my responsibilities will include analyzing written submissions received on documents issued for public comment, reviewing and analyzing published research, drafting due process documents, and evaluating accounting proposals,” said Bell.
An exciting chapter ahead, Bell is leaving a community he has truly invested himself in for five years. He taught undergraduate business courses (ACC 202 and ITM 309) as a teaching assistant and participated in student organizations like Beta Alpha Psi, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations (SCNO).
“The most valuable lesson I will take with me from Broad is how much you can learn from other people. The connections I have made with fellow classmates and faculty and future alumni have helped make me a better person, and some of my closest friends are people I met at Broad classes or events,” said Bell. “I’m extremely excited to begin my career and hopefully represent MSU and Broad well in the near future.”