Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Teacher Recognized for 19-Year Winning Streak with Huntsman IMA Chapter

By Steve Eaton

Frank Shuman has been on a roll. In fact, he has been part of a winning streak is as old as some of his students.

While he has been the Huntsman IMA advisor, the chapter has won the “Gold Level Award of Excellence” 19 years in a row, the longest winning streak in the nation. To achieve the Gold Level Award, student chapters must document community service they have done and meet other high standards set by the organization.
Frank Shuman with Huntsman student, Michael Bills

Each year the organization recognizes just four chapters as being outstanding. The Huntsman IMA students have won that designation five times. In another national IMA competition last year the Huntsman chapter took first place in three out of three “best practices” categories.

This year those at the IMA are giving Shuman one of their highest honors, a sort of advisor-of-the-year award for the entire organization. Shuman was recently notified that he will be getting the Ursel K. Albers IMA Campus Advocate of the Year Award.

Shuman said he was pleased with the recognition but quick to credit the students for his award.

“I am honored but I feel like I am just the coach of a winning team,” he said. “For me, the most rewarding thing has been to see these students growing and developing as leaders.”

While Shuman, who is a principal lecturer at the Huntsman School, has been honored, in part, for the chapter’s success, many of the students he has worked with say he has helped them with their own personal victories too.

Michael Bills, president of the Huntsman IMA chapter, wrote a letter of recommendation, explaining why he felt that Shuman deserved the advocate of the year award. He wrote that when he had just returned from a two-year mission he had to miss his first week of school, including Shuman’s class in managerial accounting. He was trying to remember what he had learned in his last accounting class before he left on his mission and struggling to keep up in the class. It was frustrating enough that he was considering changing his major. He went to Shuman for assistance.

“Frank was very helpful and encouraging, and was more than willing to spend extra time with me to help cover the material that I missed or didn’t understand,” he wrote. “Also, because I started school late the book store was sold out of the managerial accounting textbook, so Frank let me borrow his copy until I was able to purchase one.”

This is not the first time Shuman has been recognized for his work with students. He was also named the School of Accountancy Teacher of the Year in 1994 and 2007, and the Jon M. Huntsman Advisor of the Year in 1995 and 2013.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Student's Day with a SEC Accountant

By Trevor Lund

I had the opportunity to go to lunch and attend class with Jon Duresh, a senior employee in the office of the chief accountant at the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). My time with Jon was well spent as he told story after story regarding his time at the SEC and answering my many questions. Jon spoke a lot about the regulation and different decisions the SEC is making. He also spent a substantial amount of time speaking about the role the SEC plays with the other regulatory bodies in accounting.

Jon spoke about how to manage risk, which he stated was one of the main roles of an auditor but that also applies to just about any profession. The following are a few things that I took from his experiences.

1. Understand the business purpose of the transaction or event; you have to understand why the transaction is taking place. You cannot come to a conclusion until you understand why it is taking place.

2. Have objectivity in evaluating authoritative guidance; be able to understand the standards.

3. Consider broader application of GAAP.

4. Consider what investors and regulators think- you must consider what the regulator thought about when the regulation was written.

5. Has materiality been considered properly?

6. Are the disclosures completely transparent- you can blow it but enforcement will have a hard time if the disclosures are very written well and are very transparent.

A few more items he shared that I thought were important and would be beneficial for our students were: USU students can compete with students from around the country, we need to be aware of much more than what’s going on in accounting and we need to be aware of what’s going on in the news.

Trevor Lund

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Bright Future for Huntsman Hall May Cause You to Remember Timbuk3

There was a song that was popular in 1986 by a one-hit band Timbuk3 called: “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”

It’s a song I may relate to better than you because I’m probably older than you are; because I spend a lot of time thinking about the bright future of Huntsman Hall, and because I happen to know that Huntsman Hall will be wearing shades when it is done. 

Huntsman Hall will eventually wear shades.
From the beginning we wanted our new building to be full of natural light. All those windows, however, can present some challenges for a building facility in a valley that experiences four distinct seasons. You see, a major job for Huntsman Hall will be to try to find a way to keep the temperature consistent, while using up the least amount of energy possible. The shades will help it do exactly that.
Take a look at the artist rendering that I have included with this post. Do you see the red arrow? It is pointing to one of the horizontal slats that will wrap around the building. Far from being decorative, the shades will play a key role in our energy conservation efforts.

There are some sophisticated computer models that have gone into determining just exactly how wide those shades should be and exactly where they should be placed to help us maximize their impact in the summer and winter. Without these shades, a lot more money would need to be spent on heating and cooling the building. We think those funds can be better invested in saving energy. And it is one of the key tools we are using to meet LEED requirements.

Maybe someday in your future you’ll be sitting in a classroom and looking out the windows at the Huntsman Hall shades. Perhaps by then you will have download this old rock and roll classic so you can sing along:
Ken Snyder is cool even without shades.
“I’m doing all right, getting good grades,
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.”

And who knows, maybe if you listen closely, it will seem that Huntsman Hall is singing along too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Undergraduate Student Presents Research at International Marketing Conference

By Amy Nelson

As an undergraduate student studying at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, I believe there are opportunities everywhere you look. Recently, I had the extraordinary opportunity to present the research I’ve been working on at a marketing research conference in New York City. It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had and one that I will take with me as I move on to the professional world.

Last May, I visited with Professor Sterling Bone about my interest in doing research. Over the past year, I have been working with Professors Bone and Deanne Brocato on how the marketing of princesses affect self-identity formation and the personal and collective well-being of mothers and their daughters. Because this is a topic I am particularly passionate about (especially as it relates to the awareness and prevention of eating disorders), I jumped at the chance to code and analyze the qualitative interview data that Professors Bone and Brocato had collected.
Huntsman student Amy Nelson presents marketing research

Throughout the school year, we furiously worked to understand and analyze the mounds of data at a deep and underlying level. Countless hours were put into coding the data, and numerous meetings were scheduled to discuss our findings.

When the time came, we submitted the research and were accepted to present our work at the 2014 Positive Marketing Conference at Fordham University in New York City. This international conference is an academic and professional event where professors, PhD students and marketing professionals come together to discuss how “positive” marketing can be a catalyst for creating uplifting change in the world. Topics were presented in a wide range of categories, but all were centered on the implications of positive marketing. As the only undergraduate student at the conference, I was given full reign to present our research to an extremely intelligent and highly reputable group of people.

Instead of feeling intimidation, I felt a tremendous amount of community-like support. Each academic and professional attendee made me feel at ease, which was an extremely comforting feeling – especially given the circumstances. The presentation went just as I hoped, and afterward I received an exceptional amount of positive feedback from several of the conference attendees. It was such a relief! I also had the chance to network with some of the attendees and hear about their experiences – it was fun to be able to converse with and learn from them. This conference really opened my eyes to the academic world.

While the end goal is to publish our findings in a top-tier academic marketing journal, this conference was an outstanding opportunity to present our research to an academic and professional community and gain feedback in order to move forward with this research. As an undergraduate student, I have been extremely lucky to have Professor Bone and Professor Brocato as mentors throughout this process. It truly has been an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I’ve learned a great deal from this experience. Research opportunities at USU are vast and widespread. I encourage everyone, at some point in your college career, to get involved with research – it could end up being an experience you won’t soon forget.

Monday, April 7, 2014

When Will Huntsman Hall be Completed?

By Ken Snyder

The question I get asked more than any other is: “When will the building be done?”

Let me give you the latest. We pushing hard to have the building open for classes in the fall of 2015, but it’s looking like that probably won’t happen. We are pretty sure it will be open and ready for business by January of 2016. We expect completion sometime during the fall of 2015.

There are some key milestones you can track. When students arrive for the Fall 2014 semester, Huntsman Hall will be taking shape but it won’t yet have a roof. About the time students are taking finals at the end of Fall 2014 semester, Huntsman Hall will have a roof and it should be fully enclosed and protected from the weather.
Ken Snyder

There will still be a lot of work to do. 

It’s a great time to be a Huntsman Hall building watcher. As the weather gets better, the work accelerates. Before you know it, Huntsman Hall will be one of the first things people see when they come to campus. I look out the window, or walk around the project site, at least two times per day – and sometimes a lot more often. Right now, it is a building that is constantly changing. 

I think I’ll go look out the window and see what it looks like right now.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Entrepreneurship Club Working to Improve Utah's Hit Rate

By Nicole VanLith

In the world of business, sales equal success.

But in a state with a sales rate that struggles, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is finding ways to innovate.

“Utah has one of the worst new business hit rates in the world. We launch more businesses than anyone and we have more fail than anyone,” said Ken Snyder, associate dean at the Huntsman School of Business. “We fail at a better rate than we succeed compared to other people in the world.”

As a part of Entrepreneurship Week, the Huntsman School of Business Entrepreneurship Club hosted competitions to expose students to the reality of starting a business, with the club’s primary goal being to improve the hit rate.

Snyder said the club helps students to “weed out” bad ideas before they launch — as well as think through the process — so there is a better chance at success.

Business students presented their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of Huntsman professors, alumni and staff on Thursday.
“So what that a student has a passion for a business idea? These kids need to have a passion as well as make money,” Snyder said. “This competition and the club create successful students for the business world.”

The Entrepreneurship Club helps students think through the process of starting a business and improving Utah’s hit rates. Snyder said helping students think through their ideas as well as denying, processing and evaluating all aspects of the business proposals has resulted in fewer failures.

“E-Club is all about giving students skills to start their own business, putting them in control, helping students take the next step, creating own adventures and enterprises and finding success while here at school,” said Spencer Bailey, the consulting vice president for the club. “It’s a resource to become an accomplished business student.”

Bailey was granted $20,000 from the USTAR Go-to-Market grant to generate his project, which he pitched to the panel of judges Thursday.

His idea of “Victorious Bikes” is a business envisioned to generate lighter bikes with bigger tires for rough and uneven terrain.

Other pitches submitted for judge evaluation included a lightweight tent, improved automobile insurance, a workout system and a rental website.

Third Huntsman Student in Two Years Wins Accounting Industry’s Highest Honor

By Klydi Heywood

When Huntsman alumni Jill Aoki and Anthony Lemon received the 2012 Elijah Watt Sells Award, many marveled at the odds, but one Huntsman student took it as a challenge.

The American Institute of CPAs recently announced that Tyson Irwin, Accounting BS ’12, MA ’13, has earned the 2013 Elijah Watt Sells Award, the third Aggie to do so in the past two years. Just 55 people out of 94,000 candidates taking the exam this year earned the award, which is given to those who scored a cumulative average above 95.5 on all four tests required to become a certified public accountant.

2013 Elijah Watt Sells Award Recipient Tyson Irwin
“Tyson was always an outstanding student and was chosen as one of our Quigley Ambassadors because he exemplified the Huntsman values so well,” said Dr. Larry Walther, department head of the USU School of Accountancy. “We are thrilled for his accomplishment at this level.”

Graduates from Texas A&M, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brigham Young University, University of Michigan, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Purdue University were among those who earned the prestigious award.

Irwin credits his success on the exam to the School of Accountancy's roster of professors.

“The professors have a good mix of business and educational backgrounds that they bring to the classroom,” Irwin said. “Additionally, the professors would often highlight how a specific topic relates to the CPA exam, or how what we were learning could be used in our future careers.”

Scott Nixon, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where Irwin now works, first met him at a recruiting event.

“I immediately recognized he was on the ball, displayed a mature executive presence and had a comprehensive understanding of our profession and how he could contribute to the success of our firm,” Nixon said.

The odds of three students in two years winning the award is almost unheard of.

“It is no ‘fluke’ to have these winners of the Sells Award come out of the USU School of Accountancy for the past two years,” Nixon said. “Instead, it is indicative of a trend that clearly demonstrates the incredible education the students receive. Combined with the solid work ethic that is integral to so many of the USU students. We hope that many more will follow the example of these past three winners.”