A Week at Accounting Camp


Charles Enriquez, BA ’98, asks the room of 48 high school students what they had heard about the McCombs School of Business before they arrived at camp. 

“It’s one of the best business schools,” one student says. “It is the best,” another adds.

“I like that answer,” Enriquez replies, launching into a Q&A session about admissions at McCombs.

Coming from all over Texas, and as far as California, students entering their junior and senior years spent a week at McCombs’ Discover Yourself in Accounting Majors and Careers (DYNAMC) camp in June.

“It’s challenging,” says Enriquez, DYNAMC co-director. “We’re trying to vie for students to spend a week of their summer at accounting camp.”

The camp is about more than just accounting classes, though; it’s about the entire college experience. And for McCombs, it’s a recruiting tool.

Part of an effort that originated with the National Association of Black Accountants, DYNAMC is open to all students, but focuses on reaching underrepresented students.

“We’re trying to get more minority students into the McCombs School, and the accounting school specifically,” Enriquez says. “We encourage top African-American and Latino students to apply.”

The application process for the camp is similar to applying to college: Students have to turn in a letter of recommendation, résumé, transcript, and essay. Once they’re at camp, they experience living in dorms, going to class, and the fun side of college, with tours of Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, dinner at Pluckers, and laser tag games.

“We want them to get a sense of what life is like as a Longhorn and as a McCombs student,” Enriquez says. “We do a lot of class stuff and a lot of stuff too, because that’s college.”

Taylor Hunter, a student from Missouri City, Texas, says she feels like she got the full college experience — at least, if college means not sleeping much. “I think I only got four hours of sleep last night,” Hunter says. “But I feel like I could go to college right now. And [UT] would be my number-one choice.”

Enriquez says nearly all of the students at the camp will apply to UT, and approximately 50 percent will end up enrolling. “We get all types here,” he says. “Some were just interested in business and in McCombs but end up realizing they love accounting. Others might realize that it isn’t for them, but that’s OK. It helps them realize what they want or don’t want to do.”

In addition to participating in McCombs classics like an etiquette luncheon, the students at DYNAMC worked in teams to present their decisions on two hypothetical accounting cases.

The first case required the students to analyze and compare companies to invest $200,000 into. The second case involved a plant that had a recall and the students had to find ways to cut costs.

High school senior Kimberly Ayala from Houston says that working on a team gave her a taste of college. “The students on my team are some of the smartest out there,” she says. “We tried to figure out everyone’s strengths to make it work.”

The teams presented their cases to representatives from accounting firm EY at the end of the week. EY sponsors the DYNAMC program, making it free for students. Enriquez says they are one of many accounting firms trying to increase diversity within accounting and business fields.

Tina Taylor, senior project manager at EY, was impressed. “To be able to do what they did in a week is amazing,” she says.


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