Campus News

For these future number crunchers, summer accounting camp adds up

Summer camps are common. From archery to music and everything in between, children are bombarded with a season full with activities to bridge the gap between school sessions.

But while most camps rely on physical activities to attract campers, the Terry College of Business takes a different approach. It lures in kids with accounting.

“We started (the Accounting Residency Program) in 1998 when I got a call from the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants because there weren’t enough accountants,” said Mark Dawkins, associate dean for academic programs and accounting faculty member in Terry. “We wrote a grant proposal and started in 1998 with 10 students.”

Since then the program has grown. Now the students number about 50 and hail from Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.

Over three days, they learn the accounting profession inside and out. UGA professors and accounting professionals lecture on the nature the business, the art of interviewing for jobs, the ethics of accounting and how to act at corporate events like company dinners.

“We’ve always had an internal firm panel, a local and regional firm panel and a government panel; the Terry faculty do an ethics session and some years the Career Center does a career aptitude test,” Dawkins said. “We bring in other parts of UGA to expose kids to. We want them to see the campus environment as a whole.”

In that way, the camp also functions as a university-wide recruiting tool. During the camp, the students stay in residence halls, eat meals at dining halls and experience UGA first-hand, which is a big part of the draw for aspiring accountants.

“I like the campus atmosphere and the food is really good,” said Alexis Collier, a rising junior at Howard High School in Macon. “I’m still not sure what I want to do, but accounting is high on the list.”