In the community: business
NNU business students have no trouble finding ways to make an impact. Two of many opportunities for students to get hands-on experience while serving the local community are through the Accounting Club and the American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter.
For at least 15 years, the Accounting Club’s major service project has been the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Through VITA, students provide free income tax return preparation with electronic filing to those who qualify; this includes persons whose income is $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and persons who speak limited English. Volunteers offer this service at Nampa First Church of the Nazarene from February through April, so they are able to assist a sizable portion of the local community.
“It is gratifying to be able to use the accounting skills we learn in the classroom to make a real difference in people's lives”“It is gratifying to be able to use the accounting skills we learn in the classroom to make a real difference in people's lives,” said accounting major Richelle Nixon. “The heartfelt gratitude expressed by the men, women, and families helped through VITA reveals just how important this service really is.”
Besides serving their community, student also gain experience in tax accounting, receive internship credit, become IRS-certified for preparing taxes, and network with professionals. NNU alumni and other business professionals in the Boise Valley volunteer in the VITA program along with the students.
Dr. Mollie Sweet, Accounting Club advisor and NNU professor, encourages students to be involved in the community in order to help build their resume, gain experience, network, learn about new job positions or internships available, and to help others. Dr. Sweet shared, “As Christians, we are called to help others. VITA is a great program for the Accounting Club because it allows students to use the skills and abilities that God has blessed them with to help others.”
NNU’s AMA chapter also enables students to use their skills in the community. This club has done a wide variety of projects from hosting food drives to promoting and creating opportunities for voter registration, and from participating in a National campaign for Be The Match and organ donation to working with the City of Nampa by engaging persons affected by the citywide transportation plan.
This year this largest project was an economic impact study for the Warhawk Museum, which determined the economic contribution to Nampa and the the Boise Valley stemming from the museum’s activities. “Student’s gain valuable, real-world experience by understanding how non-profit organizations contribute to the local and surrounding area’s economy,” said Dr. Konya Weber, AMA advisor and Chair of the Department of Business and Economics. “As AMA students, they learn the value of promoting an organization beyond its services and experiences.”
This AMA Chapter’s involvement in the community was recognized at the 2018 AMA International Collegiate Conference. Dr. Weber explains, “This year we won two awards—one award was in the category of social impact and community service, which definitely resonates with our students and is my personal favorite category because of its alignment with NNU’s values.”