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College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS3161
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3161
Phone: (208) 885-6478
Toll free: (800) 960-3033

Curtis Simmons sitting in board room

Curtis Simmons - Master of Accountancy Student

Although I’ve been a Vandal only for a short time, I have come to love the University of Idaho and the city of Moscow. The College of Business and Economics and the Department of Accounting have made my experience here truly remarkable.

I was born and raised in southeast Idaho and have spent all my life in this great state, minus two years volunteering in Mexico and four months doing an internship in San Jose, California. I graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg last December with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. While there, I decided to postpone my employment with Ernst & Young in order to complete my master’s degree. Since BYU-Idaho didn’t have a master’s program, I looked elsewhere, and I have to admit, the University of Idaho was not even on the radar until one of my professors casually recommended it. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I got in contact with Marla Kraut, the Accounting Department Chair. Her overwhelming willingness to help and to ensure that all my needs were met convinced me almost immediately that this is where I belonged. Her kindness and concern for students and potential students is a common characteristic I have come to notice and appreciate in the CBE and elsewhere on this campus.

The quality of the Master’s of Accountancy program at the University of Idaho is outstanding. The accounting knowledge I have gained here will be indispensible to me in my coming career. Accounting knowledge is only one small part, though. I feel that this program has helped me to be a better team player and prepared me to solve difficult problems and be a leader in the profession and among my peers. This is what I am truly thankful for. Any school can teach you how to do accounting, but this program prepares you to be a leader.

I am also thankful for the wonderful hands-on learning opportunities offered here. This past summer and continuing into the fall, I have had the opportunity to apply what I have been learning in the classroom by working with Dean Jack Morris to develop a new costing model to be used university wide. This costing model will allow the university to track expenses down to individual programs, providing much needed information previously unavailable about the costs of educating students at the university. This type of information is crucial to making correct and informed budgeting decisions, especially in our current economic environment. I would like to thank Dean Jack Morris for this opportunity to be involved in such an important project, as well as Marla Kraut, Jason Porter, and everyone else in the Accounting Department who has assisted me in this large undertaking.

My experience in the CBE and at the University of Idaho is one that I will always cherish. I have met amazing people, learned from extraordinary teachers, formed friendships that will last a lifetime, and been prepared to conquer all that waits for me upon leaving this great institution. Thank you to everyone who has helped me on this great journey. As I stated before, I have been a Vandal only for a short period; I arrived here in January and must leave to begin my career at Ernst & Young in December. But notwithstanding my short stay here in Moscow, I am now truly a Vandal at heart. Go Vandals!!!