Fisher Accounting Storms Europe
A group of 16 graduate and upperclass accounting students recently completed their European Business Perspective course by visiting Belgium, the Netherlands, and England. Professors Mike Fedoryshyn and Lynn Mucenski-Keck accompanied the students overseas.
The course was divided into four main parts focusing on: history and current events of the European Union, the financial crisis impact within Europe, international taxation, and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) convergence. The 11-day excursion was designed to allow the students to apply their classroom knowledge to live lectures and discussions with major institutions within Europe.
The group started out in Brussels at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with a discussion regarding NATO's purpose, its relationship with the U.S., and its position with Russia and the Middle East. While in Brussels, the students were also able to visit the European Parliamentarian, as well as representatives from the European Commission and the European Council. During the meeting, the students received a brief presentation and then had Q&A sessions in order to discuss the European Union's focus today along with its future. Jeremy Rand, the General Secretariat of the Council, commented on how refreshing the Fisher group was with their great questions and enthusiasm. The trip in Brussels ended with a visit to Deloitte Brussels, where the students learned more about the tax similarities and differences between major countries in Europe, and compared the European tax system to that of the U.S.
Professor Keck and the students outside of the European Union.
Next stop: London. The students expanded their knowledge regarding Europe’s financial crisis by visiting the Bank of England. They asked a variety of questions regarding the crisis and discussed various cultural issues that can impact local economies. The students ended their course requirement by visiting PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). They were able to network with a variety of different PwC representatives and ask more general questions about working and living in Europe. Thomas Roberts, a member of PwC London's Accounting Consulting Services, said he was greatly impressed by the questions and comments the students had in their group discussion, as they seemed to have a great grasp of the issues.
As part of the trip, the students also had an opportunity to visit the small Belgian cities of Brugge and Ghent, as well the Grand Place in Brussels, a UNESCO world heritage site. In Amsterdam, the students were able to visit the Rijksmuseum, a national treasure in the Netherlands. Additionally, a bike tour in Amsterdam exposed the students to how the majority of Dutch travel in large cities. Lastly, while in London, the students toured the Parliament of the United Kingdom and attended a performance of the critically acclaimed play, “War Horse.”
For accounting graduate Hannah Anderson, the idea of living and working abroad has always been appealing. And during the group’s visit to the London-based office of PwC, the firm which Anderson will join this August, she knew that goal was attainable.
“It was a great feeling to meet and engage with individuals who are in the early stages of or just beginning their careers. I was blown away by how amazing the London-based office was and wanted to spend the whole day there,” she said. “Along with my experience there, and after speaking with Professor Keck about her own experience working abroad, I know that I will absolutely work abroad at some point in my career.”
The group at the airport.
Students visiting Deloitte.