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Chicago High School Students Visit Tippie College of Business

Forty-four high students from Whitney Young Magnet School in Chicago visited the Henry B. Tippie College of Business Dec. 6, getting a taste of college life while learning about accounting studies at the UI.

The juniors and seniors, accompanied by teacher Troy Meinders, not only experienced the cuisine at the Hillcrest Residence Hall and watched a Hawkeye basketball game, but also heard from business faculty, staff, and students about what it's like to study at the UI.

The students on the tour were either members of the Future Business Leaders of America club or taking accounting classes at Whitney Young, a college prep high school that attracts a diverse group of students from across the Chicago area. None of the students had ever been to Iowa before, and some noted that Iowa City is a "small town" compared to Chicago. But three club leaders, Ryen Speed, Maurice Kukendoll, and George Concepcion, said they liked the campus and the Tippie College, and appreciated the attention they received from the UI staff and faculty.

Concepcion enjoyed a simulated accounting class taught be Robert Yetman, assistant professor of accounting. "This is an impressive business program and people here showed interest in us. I like the accounting teacher's presentation, which was tailored to our interests," Concepion said.

Terri Bobeck, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, helped arrange the trip with Meinders. Bobeck, a Tippie College alumna who recruits accounting students to work at Pricewaterhouse, set up the visit as a way to expose them to a leading accounting program outside of the Chicago metro area.

"I'm not only trying to increase recruitment of minorities for our firm, but also I'm trying to increase minority students' interest in business schools. So by bringing students to the University of Iowa, I hope they will become more familiar with the accounting profession as something that might be in their future," Bobeck said.

As part of the visit, Nancy Humbles and Vicki Vavra of the Tippie College Undergraduate Program Office gave an overview of admissions procedures and services for business students. The Chicago students also heard from Gene Madison, a professor in the UI mathematics department, and Morton Pincus, head of the accounting department at the Tippie College.

"You are the best and brightest college students in Chicago, and we want to challenge you when you get here and introduce you to new domains," Pincus said. "Our field is in a period of great change, and enrollments are up in accounting. Students are coming to accounting because they see themselves doing something that's really important."

A panel of UI business students shared their experiences, telling the visitors what college life was like and what to expect in their first year. The UI students advised the Whitney Young group to take calculus and other math courses to prepare for an accounting major, utilize a professors' office hours and discussions, and to organize their time wisely in the midst of a wide range of social activities.

After touring the Pappajohn Building and the UI campus, the group had dinner at the Amana Colonies and concluded their visit by watching the Hawkeye basketball team defeat Montana State University in the Gazette-Hawkeye Challenge at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.


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