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Rochester Business Pros Answer MBA Students’ Tough Questions

April 30, 2021

In the capstone Accounting Theory and Research course, MBA students pursuing a concentration in accounting are tasked with "Auditing 10k Reports" for three Rochester companies - Constellation Brands, Paychex, and Kodak.

To help the students perform this complicated assignment, Dr. Michael Chen, visiting professor of practice, invited four accounting professionals who work in these well-known businesses to meet with students and answer their tough questions. 

Daniel Dixon ’10, ’11 (MBA), CPA and technical accounting and controls manager at Constellation Brands; Ryan Sachs, CPA/CMA and senior internal auditor at Paychex; David Bullwinkle ’06, CFO and senior vice president at Kodak; and Richard Michaels, newly appointed corporate controller and chief accounting officer at Kodak, each joined class sessions to talk with the students. They answered questions about the 10k, business reality behind the numbers, the changing profession of accounting, and what they look for when hiring employees.

Nicholas Heffler, a graduating MBA student, explained that having accounting professionals come into class helped him better understand the application of the material taught in class about the 10k.

“The speakers echoed the topics taught by Dr. Chen and gave us real life examples to help answer our questions,” Heffler said. “They also shared their opinions on the 10k and discussed important sections they analyze throughout the report.” 

Anthony Brophy, also in his last semester of the MBA program, explained that the connection to the in-class learning from the speakers was insightful, and the most interesting thing they discussed was what these companies are looking for in potential employees.

“As a student who will be applying for jobs soon, it’s important to know that these companies want people that are enthusiastic about their jobs, are excited to make a difference, and want to help the company achieve its goals,” he said.

Jada Kims agreed.

“Being able to connect with these accounting professionals and learn from their experiences and examples has been really helpful for my classmates and I who are just starting out in this field,” she said. “This experience not only helped me complete my final project, but it also helped me learn more about my field and build my network.”