New School Year Begins - The MBT program offered its first classes in the fall of 1978. This fall, the program began its 38th year on Tuesday, September 6, with Roger Conlon's International Tax class. Everyone involved in the program looks forward to another great year with the support of all our friends and alumni! Ninety students are enrolled in the program for Fall 2016, plus 14 non-degree students, and two alumni. Alumni can attend MBT classes at a 50% discount!
Orientation - On Tuesday evening, August 31, the MBT program welcomed over 25 newly admitted students to orientation. The orientation began at 5:00 p.m. with a social reception that included many members of the Advisory Board and other alumni. Many thanks to Jack Reif, Fred Jacobs, Laura Bethke, Mike Metz, Dave Marrinson, Larry Mohr, and Kyle Anderson for welcoming our new students. Having so many prestigious alumni and Board members give their valuable time to meet incoming students certainly made an impression. Thank you! During orientation, the students introduced themselves and received information regarding Carlson School IT, the Career Center, and the MBT program.
Delegates from Uzbekistan - On Friday, July 22, we hosted five delegates from Uzbekistan who were on a cross-country tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The individuals included Murat Kadirov, Akmal Kholov, Ulugbek Matkarimov, Bakhodir Merganov, and Hayotjon Nasrulloev. In addition, two Russian-born interpreters accompanied our travelers and superbly translated (we hope) our comments and questions from English to Russian.
Roger Conlon, Rhonda Bjurlin, and Pam Hester participated in a lively discussion of the MBT program and its role in our business community. Roger gave a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the United States fiscal budget and current tax policies. The guests seemed intrigued by the complexities of our laws, and found it amusing to know we spend so much time and professional expenses to prepare our tax returns! The delegates also showed great interest in learning about our tax and fiscal budget process and puzzled about our projected growing budget deficits as reported by the Congressional Budget Office. They recommended we install a national "purchase" tax to help close the gap. (They corrected Roger, who called it a "sales" tax).
They appeared impressed by the MBT program and wondered if perhaps they should send students to attend our courses. Imagine coming from Uzbekistan to learn American taxation! The session extended well beyond an hour as the gentlemen brought an inexhaustible supply of questions. Besides Minnesota, their three-week tour included stops in Dallas, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Compensation and Benefits Online - The MBT program offered its first online course this summer, Wealth Transfer, with 28 students. The program is pleased to announce that a second online offering will be available in Fall Term B with the Compensation and Benefits course. Looking ahead, ASC 740 will have an online section in Spring Term A 2017.
Schedule Change for Summer 2017 - The Taxation of the Small Business Corporation (Subchapter S) class will not be offered next summer. The program will offer it again in 2018.
Fred Jacobs Scholarship Recipients - The MBT program recently awarded the Fred Jacobs Scholarship to 14 students to help assist in paying for their MBT tuition and fees. The scholarship awards range in amounts of $1,300 to $5,200. The recipients for 2016-17 are: Jeremy Cantin, Brian Christensen, Melissa Hanson, Silvija Juliar, Jenna Ladd, Anna LaGrew, Jennifer Langstraat, Amanda Linehan, Paul Lyon, Trevor Marsha, Kimberly Massopust, William Mayer, Abdulai Musa, and Nathan Schroeder.
The program also awarded the J. Clyde Parker Loan to 10 students. These funds were donated to the University as a forgivable loan for accounting students. If the student completes the MBT program in two years, the loan is forgiven. We thank the Accounting Department for the use of these funds.
Carlson School's 1st Tuesday - The MBT Advisory Board invites all MBT alumni and students to join the Board at the Carlson School's 1st Tuesday Speaker Series lunch on November 1. Proto Labs President and CEO Victoria M. Holt will be speaking at the lunch. The MBT program will discount tickets to $25 for alumni and $15 for current students (regular price is $35). To register and join the MBT Advisory Board tables, email Pam Hester (do not register through the 1st Tuesday site). Deadline for registration is October 15.
Carlson School Career Center - The program continues to receive inquiries from employers wishing to hire MBT students or alumni looking to change positions. We want to remind employers and job seekers to use The Edge, the electronic job posting bulletin board. Employers can post positions for free by contacting Nancy Mathisen at 612-626-9495. The posting can specify qualifications and ask candidates to upload their resumes. Alumni and current students have access to view job postings on The Edge using their UMN internet ID. If you have questions, please contact Nancy Mathisen.
Send Us Your News - Receive a promotion? Receive recognition for your service? The MBT program is always interested in knowing and touting the accomplishments of its students and alumni. Please send your news to Pam Hester, and the MBT Insider will include it in future editions.
Student Spotlight with Vincy Bu - Vincy is a full-time student in the MBT program, planning to graduate in June 2017.
How did you get interested in tax? It all starts from the extra row of "tax" on the receipt when I made my first transaction here in the U.S. The explicit display of this element makes tax stand out as if it is a new notion to me. It gradually became deeply rooted in my mindset that I always feel the urge to refresh myself with new knowledge on this old, yet fundamental perspective in life.
What is your educational and employment background? I graduated from Shanghai University of Finance and economics, which is one of the best universities in China, specifically focused on training skills in finance and accounting. I was curious to experience and learn about different positions in order to find the right career path to devote myself to. I did several internships as a undergrad like consultant assistant and paralegal. After my graduation in 2011, I started to work in the bank division of PingAn Insurance. I believe the diversity in my background to work in totally diverged yet profoundly related fields will make me unique and competitive in my future career development.
Did your law school degree help prepare you for the MBT program? Tax law has always been one of the major fields of study in law. I was able to form a solid understanding of tax law from the extensive training in the law school here at the University of Minnesota and from the college back in China. Moreover, the skills I gained in reading cases and understanding regulations as well as the ability to quickly grasp the key points in a huge body of work are extremely helpful in boosting my current study. As a matter of fact, many courses offered in the MBT program; for example, tax research, is based on the tax law. One of our major tasks in these courses required a lot of case and regulation readings, which I now feel much more comfortable to deal with. Even the accounting courses are based on a large number of Accounting principles instead of a simple collection of numerical calculations. I feel fortunate for all the exercises I have been through, and I feel confident that these experiences will ultimately benefit my future career endeavor.
What are your career goals and your ideal job? I wish I could be a tax expert specializing in taxation of international transactions, mergers and acquisitions. I would like to work as a tax specialist in a Public Accounting Firm. But speaking of "ideal", a tax legal position would be more challenging and therefore, at the same time, more attractive.
What do you like about the U.S.? I was able to quickly find out the reason everyone put the same sentence on their car: 10,000 lakes. I love all the lakes here as well as the spectacular scenery along the Mississippi River. I keep being reminded of my hometown in China, which is also next to a great river - the Yangtze River, whenever I walk or bike along the beautiful campus.
What do you do in your free time? I always like to jog and bike in different parks. I believe the pristine clean air and the greenness is more relaxing and refreshing than anything else. Unfortunately, my cat, whom I also spend a lot of time with, totally disagrees.