The Real World

Have you ever heard of the phrase “The Ivory Tower”? It’s designed to imply that the college experience is somehow divorced from the real world.

At Providence College, though, nothing could be further from the truth. And for the past month or so, the students and faculty of our Accountancy Department have been fully engaged with the world around us.

In early April, for instance, accounting ethicist John Thornton of California’s Azusa Pacific University traveled across the continent to spend two full days on our campus. He engaged 150 undergraduate and graduate Accounting and Sustainability students to explore questions of ethics and morality from a theological perspective.

That same week, PwC’s United States Assurance Leader Maria Moats traveled up to Providence from the New York metropolitan region to “… introduce herself to PwC new hires and interns, present in managerial accounting classes, and meet with the Center for Career Education and Professional Development.”

Ms. Moats, who has also served as PwC’s Chief Diversity Officer, dedicated much of her visit to discussing concerns regarding diversity and inclusion. She met with our Department Chair Christine Earley “… to converse about programs to address the underrepresentation of first generation college students in accountancy programs.”

Meanwhile, back in the classroom, Professor Sonia Gantman’s students in Accounting Information Systems engaged with Peter Pan Bus Lines, the New England Patriots’ ProShop, and a pair of on-campus programs to “work with real-world organizations and compare what they learned in class with what happens outside of class.”

According to Sonia, “Finding a client organization on their own, interviewing people about their jobs, dealing with logistics contingencies, and handling interdependencies within the team are all invaluable experiences … that help students get a better grasp of the profession and prepare them for the job market.”

And what about our charitable endeavors? On April 22nd, a group of accounting students, faculty, alumni and professionals from PwC braved the cold and rain to volunteer at St. Mary’s Home for Children during our Seventh Annual Day of Service The event was sponsored by the PC Accounting Association and PwC.

Students worked alongside PwC professionals, performing landscaping and yard clean-up of the grounds, trimming trees, assembling bicycles, and even setting up Xbox units. The weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the volunteers, and we accomplished a lot!

Thanks to PwC for providing food, water and hot coffee throughout the day, and thanks to the volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the children and staff at St. Mary’s. We hope to see even more volunteers out there next year!