Trip abroad reveals new learning opportunities for OWU student

Written on Aug 31, 2017


By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

The impact of accounting practices stretches around the world, something Caitlin Maggio, Ohio Wesleyan University accounting student, has seen firsthand after a trip to Australia to learn about the advantages and drawbacks of the country adopting IFRS into their system.

“When we went over there we had the idea their accounting was going to be completely different from ours, but in reality you pick up on little things so quickly it feels natural,” Maggio said.

She traveled with fellow OWU student Erin Cannon to Australia and New Zealand with assistant professor Justin Breidenbach, CPA, MAcc, CFE. You can read about Cannon’s perspective of their trip here and find out what happened during the trip that she said was one of the scariest things she’s ever done.

Their trip was made possible by their proposal to OWU’s Theory-to-Practice Grant program. The program gives funding from the university to support academic and community service initiatives of special interest.

Maggio said she loves traveling, and enjoyed experiencing the culture and visiting the Australian Treasury, as well as the Australian offices of accounting firms, BDO and EY.

“The second day Erin and I both said ‘let’s move here,’” Maggio said.

The students also got a chance to speak at length with accountants using IFRS, including those who had moved to Australia temporarily and ended up staying because they enjoyed the country so much.

After the trip in May, Maggio started her internship at BDO and said she was more confident, realizing from discussions with Australian accountants how much knowledge is necessary beyond what she learned from accounting textbooks.

“When you’re working with so many different clients it takes so much knowledge,” she said. “I’ve gained so much respect for my coworkers.”

After graduation in the spring of next year, Maggio is looking forward to starting her career in public accounting and taking the CPA exam.

“This summer has been amazing for me,” Maggio said. “Whether it’s the internship or OWU giving me the opportunity to travel, I tell everybody about the experience. I learned so much more than what I expected.”

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