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Accounting and Finance

Student Voices

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Samantha Chavez ‘13


Rhinelander, Wis.


Accounting, International Political Economy

Favorite spot on campus

“I really love being in Clausen. Almost all of my classes have been in Clausen, so it’s where my professors and friends are. If I have a question on homework, I can usually catch a professor as they walk by on their way to Starbucks.”

Sometimes you don’t really know what you want to do after school. Sometimes you don’t even know after you pick a major. Sometimes you just need to get in and try something.

That is exactly what Samantha Chavez ‘13 did. She has spent the past year interning at Jockey International in Kenosha through the Smeds Summer Internship Program, a program that allows Carthage students to apply their coursework in real-world settings and enables companies and organizations to employ students while evaluating them as potential employees. 

“Working at Jockey has been an awesome experience,” Samantha said. “I wasn’t really sure about what I wanted my focus to be, and through my internship, I completely fell in love in with auditing. I’ve been able to work on real audits and find real problems and come up with real solutions. I’m not just making copies and getting coffee. I’m actually performing the work we talked about in class.”

She works in the Internal Auditing Department and has had the chance to perform 25 full audits of retail locations and discuss her findings with store and area retail managers. The Internal Auditing Department ensures that the organization is running efficiently and helps to minimize risk management.  

Jockey threw Samantha into the fray right away. “I did my first full audit on my third day and had to share results of my audits with store managers,” she said. “Sometimes they weren’t happy to get results from an intern, but it taught me to maintain composure when someone says you’re wrong.”

Samantha also had the opportunity to audit travel and expense accounts as well. “I really enjoyed doing that,” she said. “I felt like a detective.”  

The internship has given Samantha excellent experience. At the end of this year, she will have been with the company for two years. She hopes to use her education at Carthage and time at Jockey to earn her CPA and enter either the assurance or auditing field.

Favorite class

“I loved Business Law for Accountants. I’ve been interested in law since high school, so the class really combined two of my passions. We discussed current cases and had the opportunity for debate with our peers.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was definitely Heritage. I did not enjoy the required readings and had a difficult time getting into the spirit of the debates, especially when it came to the philosophers like Plato. I like numbers, so putting together analytical papers about theories did not excite me.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

 “The best times I’ve had at Carthage was whenever I was just enjoying myself with my friends. Whether that was at a CAB event, out around town, or just hanging our and doing homework in our rooms, it doesn’t really matter.” 

Biggest surprise so far?

“I lived in the Best Western for a year and a half and it was absolutely fantastic. I had met my roommate only once, when we went on a trip for Model U.N. together. She became my best friend. Carthage has provided me so many opportunities to meet amazing people and I love feeling like a part of such a great community.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Get to know the people in the department. Get to know your professors. They are there to help you and really want you to succeed. Get to know a few upperclassmen. We’re full of tips and tricks we wish we had known. Get to know your classmates because accounting isn’t a huge major, most of us become friends and when it’s 2 a.m. the night before a test and you still haven’t figured out the correct journal entry on a fund accounting problem, chances are they’re the only ones who are going to be willing and able to help.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • Carthage’s Velocity Consulting was the first 100% student-run full-service consulting agency in the country. Students gain incredible experience while providing marketing, branding, accounting, finance, and other support to regional clients. Other schools have since copied the Velocity model, including Harvard University.

    • Taking you past just studying the theories of business, Carthage’s READY™ Curriculum Design, a proprietary student-centered philosophy, helps develop the best-prepared business students.

    • Located in the heart of the Chicago-Milwaukee business corridor, you will have plenty of options for internships and jobs.

    • Carthage accounting, finance, management, and marketing professors regularly lead J-Term study tours to such destinations as Sweden, England, Ireland, and China, where students meet with executives and learn first-hand how global businesses operate.

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …