PROVO, Utah – Nov 01, 2017 – Driving past the Tanner building one Friday morning, you would have been hard pressed to miss hundreds of future accountants heading to the intramural fields to enmesh themselves in puzzling games.
The purpose? BYU Marriott’s School of Accountancy was holding a team-building ropes course activity for junior core students with a goal to build better team members and communicators.
“The junior core is a pretty intensive program,” says accounting professor Melissa Lewis Western. “Part of why it’s difficult is because it’s the first time in their college experience that students have to rely and work on a team. We do the ropes course to illustrate the team-building communication concepts in a way they can remember.”
Almost three hundred accounting majors participated in the activity, which consisted of various stations that highlighted different aspects of communication, demonstrated different problems, and required different skills. Partners from PwC then spoke to students about how the team concepts they learned might apply in a business context.
Matt Zwick, a junior from Alpine, Utah, observed clear parallels between the ropes course and his accounting courses.
“It helped me to realize the importance of respecting others’ ideas and recognizing that it’s easier to solve problems when you have a variety of perspectives,” he says.
Zwick, who hopes to someday work for the FBI as a forensic accountant, also benefited from the networking the activity facilitated.
“I thought it was good to interact in a more informal setting with other students and the professors,” he notes. “It was also cool to associate with former BYU accounting students and learn about their paths into the profession.”
While the School of Accountancy coordinates a team-building event for its juniors each year, fostering camaraderie through a ropes course was a first. According to Lewis, the program will continue holding events to strengthen teams and equip students with skills that will prepare them for their futures—both on and off the field and in and out of the office.
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Afton Izu