By Hally Darnell
Courtney March (MS Accounting ‘17) boasts an impressive resume. From interning as an accounting specialist at MSUFCU to holding internships at both Deloitte and Bosch, to her most recent role as a graduate assistant, among others. This summer, March will graduate from the Broad College of Business and add yet another admirable role to her long list of professional and academic accomplishments: the Post-Graduate Technical Program at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
Established in 1984, the GASB is the independent, private-sector organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for U.S. state and local governments that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
“My interest in governmental accounting sparked when taking our governmental accounting class on campus. I found the differences between the needs for users of governmental financial statements versus business enterprise financial statements fascinating,” says March. “I have also found the view of governmental accounting for students and professionals to not always be a positive one. I want to change that and to be part of the difference.”
Every year, students from across the country are nominated for placement in this exclusive program. Of the thousands that are nominated by their universities, only 20 outstanding graduates are selected. March is the only Michigan State University student placed in the summer program.
The year-long program is designed for high-performing graduates who are pursuing an accounting-focused career. During the program, individuals become highly involved with the accounting standards-setting process, and develop an in-depth understanding of the roles played by preparers, auditors, and users of financial information.
To qualify for nomination for the program, candidates must be enrolled in a graduate program in accounting at the time of their nomination. They must have an outstanding academic record, strong oral and written communications skills, and have completed coursework that provides a thorough knowledge of accounting theory and practice.
It was March’s impressive GPA, communication skills, leadership, analytical skills, outreach, and engagement that landed her a nomination from MSU’s Accounting department.
After completing the program, March hopes to take away a greater understanding of the standard setting process and a greater understanding of governmental accounting. “I look forward to the work I will be doing and to dig deeper into complex accounting issues”, says March. “After my year at the GASB, I hope to be an asset to my firm and be able to use my experience at the GASB as a tool.”
When it comes to March’s experiences at the Broad College and at MSU, one thing she knows she’ll put into practice every day is to take the road less traveled.
“Coming to Michigan State University as an undergraduate, I was grateful for the professors, advisors and mentors that continued to push me. I learned that to be successful you cannot stand still. You must take on new responsibilities and opportunities to become a leader.”