MC students gaining valuable accounting experience at Marriott Business Services

June 30, 2011
Contact: Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications
865.981.8207; karen.eldridge@maryvillecollege.edu

For the second consecutive summer, Maryville College students landed incredible internships less than 10 miles from campus – internships that will stand out on their resumes and open many doors at the start of their careers.

For the second consecutive year, internships with Marriott Business Services (MBS) are opening students’ minds to career opportunities in accounting – and the possibilities of joining the corporation after graduation.

Business and organization management majors Brian Beckham, Shannon Giles and Josh Tanner are interning within different departments at MBS, but they all report gaining valuable experience and being impressed by the people and culture of the accounting services organization that supports Marriott hotels, as well as other Marriott businesses.

Responsibilities of the three interns range from account reconciliations to data input and analyses to quarter-end reporting. Beckham, son of Bill and Susan Beckham of Knoxville and a 2008 graduate of Knoxville Catholic High School, is interning in MBS’ payroll tax department and is becoming more familiar with both state and federal withholding procedures, as well as federal tax deposits.

“I want to pursue a career within Marriott starting at MBS, where I hope to enhance my accounting and management skills,” he said. “I would like to one day work at a Marriott property in a management position such as an assistant controller or director of finance.

“So far, the experience at MBS has exceeded my expectations and the culture here is special – something rarely found within a corporate setting,” he added.

Giles works in disbursements and is helping to reconcile bank statements. She’s also helping her boss input bank fee data and analyze it to see where the company can save.

“It’s been an awesome experience so far. Everyone is so nice and so helpful!” said the Louisville, Tenn., resident and 2008 graduate of Lenoir City High School. “I’m never turned down when I want talk to someone and pick his or her brain about things like accounting and career options.”

Like Beckham, Giles also sees herself working as an in-house accountant at a Marriott hotel or resort in the future (“one of the more exotic Marriott properties around the world,” she specified). But even if she doesn’t stay with Marriott forever, she said she’s grateful for the experience and believes it will prove invaluable.

Tanner, son of Donald and Dana Tanner of Maryville, described his MBS internship as “one of the best choices I have made towards preparing for a career.” This summer, he’s making sure that prepaid and over/under accounts are showing the correct balance every month, and he’s working with associates on a sales and marketing fund.

“I feel that I am one of few college students who get an internship in the exact field they plan to pursue as a career,” said the 2008 Heritage High School graduate. “I feel more like a fellow associate at MBS than a typical ‘intern.’”

Tanner has graduate school aspirations but admitted that a job with MBS following graduation is also looking attractive.

“Not many rising seniors in college get to say that they already have a job lined up before their senior year has even started, and I feel very fortunate to be as close as I am to that possibility,” he added.

Rebecca Treadway, associate professor of management, said the MBS internships are a win-win for all involved.

“The internships with Marriott Business Services provide opportunities for Maryville College students to experience real-world application of accounting theory and practice, and they give our students a chance to work closely with managers in a dynamic context, facilitating the formation of work relationships,” she explained. “Corporations benefit from internships as well – they get ‘hands-on,’ prime time with students ready to enter the job market, presenting them with the option to hire excellent employees who already understand the work culture and expectations.

“Likewise, internships provide businesses with an excellent venue to contribute to the community,” the professor added. “They promote education, economic viability and community partnerships.

Last year, Maryville College announced a partnership with MBS that would strengthen the College’s accounting minor and provide more vocational opportunities for students studying accounting.

In addition to summer internships, Marriott agreed to provide financial executive guest speakers for the College’s “Business 215: Principles of Accounting” classes and annual guided tours of Marriott Business Services for students taking “Business 365: Financial Reporting and Analysis.”

Additionally, the corporation generously agreed to fund an annual scholarship for a promising student in accounting.

Treadway, along with Division Chair of Social Sciences Barbara Wells and Regional Advancement Officer Carrie McConkey, facilitated the partnership for the College.