Junior Hailee Rice Finds Perfect Return on Investment
Her wonderful smile is the first thing you notice about Junior Hailee Rice. And, the accounting major from Fertile, Minn., smiles a lot these days with good reason. She loves her major and her internship at the Crookston office of Brady Martz & Associates, P.C.
A transfer student, Rice discovered her interest in accounting as a sophomore at the Fertile Beltrami High School. “My high school accounting teacher, Wendy Clark, was amazing,” Rice says. “She took what we learned in accounting and helped us apply it to real life situations.
“For me, accounting made sense right from the start, and I loved the satisfaction of making the debits and credits balance,” she smiles.
After Rice transferred to the U of M Crookston, she soon found herself in the role of president of the Accounting Club. When the club’s advisor, Kara Bowen, invited a representative from Brady Martz to speak to the club, there was an opportunity to sign a list for a possible internship. “I wasn’t sure what I was signing up for exactly, but I signed because I live by the words ‘you never know unless you try,’” she says. “I am so glad I did. That interest led to an interview and my internship.”
She started her training over the semester break in early January in Grand Forks, N.D., and transferred to the Crookston office when spring semester started. The training not only taught her about the software she would use but finished with the complete preparation of an income tax return by hand followed by preparing the return using the accounting software. “It gave me a real understanding of what was happening with the software processes in a way that nothing else could have,” she says.
Originally, Rice thought she would want to work for a private business, but through her internship she finds a real interest in the public side. “My parents own their own business, so I have lived around what it takes to run a small business,” Rice says. “I naturally thought I would end up there, and maybe I will, but I know that I definitely like the public side after my internship experience.”
At the start, Brady Martz assigned Rice a mentor whom she describes as phenomenal. “My mentor Tori Dalziel has taken the time to answer my frequent questions with an explanation of the reasoning behind the answer,” Rice explains. “I have gone from needing to ask questions all the time to having the confidence to act on my own because of her mentorship.”
While passionate about her major, Rice is equally as passionate about her campus. “I wanted to attend school on a smaller campus, and I have loved my experience here,” she says. “I walked in the first day and the instructors were not only friendly but demonstrated immediately how much they cared about the students. My advisor, Grace Menze, is a prime example of that caring attitude.
“I want to share my love for the University of Minnesota Crookston with other students—like those in my high school,” she reflects. “I really do want them to know what a great place this is to earn your degree.
“Oh, and the campus is beautiful too,” she finishes with that trademark smile.
The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online. These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.