As a senior auditor at Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young, Amy Bowlin spends a lot of time working with numbers.However, at Southeastern Bowlin found that relationships, not just numbers, are what matter most in her career. The mentorship opportunities she had with the women's basketball team and the one-on-one attention she received from Southeastern faculty prepared her to excel at one of the most prestigious accounting firms in the world.
Bowlin leads two- to three-member auditing teams and discusses budget figures and forecasted earnings with client company presidents and chief financial officers. Her past clients include Lockheed Martin Corporation and Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Bowlin also helps recruit and mentors Ernst & Young's new hires.
The recruiting process, however, is nothing new for Bowlin. As a member of the Lady Fire women's basketball team, Bowlin helped her coaches start a recruiting program. She corresponded with recruits through e-mail and phone calls and helped them decide if Southeastern was a good fit for them. This experience carried over to Ernst & Young, where she helps new hires adjust to life at the company.
When she was a new employee at Ernst & Young, she wrote a 15-page paper about some of the things she wished she learned in her first two months.
"I was two months into my job, and I felt like the training didn't cover everything, so I wrote the document and e-mailed it out to interns and staff," said Bowlin.
Her office started using the document in their new-hire trainings.
One-on-one attention from professors also makes Southeastern stand out from other universities, said Bowlin.
Bowlin's basketball coach, who was also an accounting professor, would help her with her accounting homework while the team was on road trips.
When she applied to work at Ernst & Young, two of her accounting professors wrote letters of recommendation. Both professors had real-world experience working at Big 4 accounting firms, but they knew Bowlin from classroom interaction. Their recommendations were genuine and gave Bowlin a boost when she entered her interview.
"Having that professional background...brings weight to the recommendations," she said. "It gives you confidence in the interview that the people who wrote your recommendations actually know you, and you know that you are putting your best foot forward."
Even later as a graduate student at a state university in Florida, Bowlin returned to the Southeastern campus to get tutoring and advice from a finance professor. Because of large class sizes, Bowlin said she didn't know her professors at the state school.
"The biggest perk about Southeastern for an accounting student is the one-on-one attention you get from your professors," said Bowlin. "You know the faculty care about you, and they care about what happens to you after you leave Southeastern."