Greg Hall and Terri Bobek
Thursday, October 18, 2018
By Rebekah Tilley

The story goes like this: In the summer of 2017, Kevin Den Adel bumped into a former Master of Accountancy (MAc) student on the bus. At the time, Staci Meade (BBA10, MAc11) was volunteering along with Greg Hall (BBA84) at NAMI - the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Knowing that Den Adel often would need projects from an area organization for his advanced auditing class, Meade put Den Adel in touch with Hall, who had recently taken a position as director of compliance with Kirkwood Community College. The following spring, Hall and Terri Bobek (MAc83), who now teaches Advanced Auditing, teamed up to create eight unique group projects at Kirkwood for the current class of MAc students.

This serendipitous series of events culminated on April 23, 2018, at a dinner at The Hotel at the Kirkwood Center, followed by final client presentations by MAc students, and attended by a large gathering that included members of the Kirkwood Board of Trustees and staff and UI accounting faculty.

The venue for the dinner also serves as a teaching facility for Kirkwood students pursuing careers in hospitality arts. Through the auditing projects with Kirkwood, Tippie MAc students were similarly given an opportunity to practice the professional skill sets they will need in their accounting professions: critical thinking, speaking, writing, organization, flow charting, and oral communication. All of which were powerfully on display that evening.

In her opening remarks, Bobek shared how the Kirkwood projects allowed students to use an auditing framework they are familiar with in financial reporting but applied to more operational type processes, which gave them the opportunity to practice an application outside their comfort zone.  

"I just hope Kirkwood is getting a fraction of the benefit that I know our students are getting."

She praised Hall being an involved coach and mentor to her students, and promised the students that their hard work in preparing things like flowcharts and carefully timed group presentations would pay off in their professional lives.

"As painful as it is to go through, the critique and the efforts that Iowa puts you through when it comes to writing and presentations, I guarantee it will pay off in your career no matter what you do," said Bobek, who recently retired as a partner at PwC.

As the party broke up, Bobek reminded guests with a nod to Den Adel:  "Let's not forget the bus encounter or none of this ever would have happened."

This article first appeared in the 2018 edition of The Iowa Ledger, a magazine for alumni and friends of the UI Department of Accounting.