Grant Thornton Launches Apprenticeship Program for Arrupe College Students
During the summer of 2016, Vincent Tomkinson, Managing Partner of the Midwest Region for Grant Thornton, LLP, and Quinlan School of Business Dean Kevin Stevens began speaking about creating an apprenticeship program for Arrupe College business students interested in pursuing a career in accounting and a B.B.A. from the Quinlan School of Business. The goal of the program would be to provide students with the training, mentorship and experience necessary for them to join Grant Thornton full-time after graduating from both Arrupe College and the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.
Stevens connected Tomkinson with members of the Arrupe College and Quinlan School of Business teams, who in turn began meeting with Tony Fuller, Director, Marie Tashjian, University Recruiting Manager and Lindsey Bezouska, University Recruiting Associate, at Grant Thornton regarding potential program structure.
Fuller, Tashjian and their team designed a five year-program in which interested students are exposed to Grant Thornton and the accounting profession in year one. In March 2017, they welcomed a group of nine Arrupe students to Grant Thornton to learn more about the firm and the program. Students took a tour, participated in team-building activities and met employees from various parts of the firm to learn more about their careers and what they do at the firm.
“By providing access to professional services careers, Grant Thornton is helping extend Arrupe’s mission, and in turn we are benefiting from the work and experiences the Arrupe students bring to our firm,” said Tomkinson. “Ultimately, we hope to create a replicable model that can be used by other firms. We’re very proud to have started this program, and to welcome these students to the Grant Thornton team.” Students formally applied to the program in the spring, which included an application and formal interviews. Three students were selected and started working twenty hours per week, learning more about the various functions of the firm and doing a mix of internal and external client work.
In years three and four, students will continue to work twenty hours per week as audit and tax interns. In year five, they will study for the CPA exam and continue working part-time at the firm in hopes of securing a full-time position with the firm in year six.
One Arrupe sophomore and two Arrupe alums currently attending the Quinlan School of Business as juniors are currently working at Grant Thornton in the apprenticeship program. Moving forward, the goals is for all participants to begin at Grant Thornton during year two at Arrupe.
Arrupe sophomore, Judith Dominguez-Ramirez, commented, “Being at GT has been a great pleasure. The staff is very supportive and helpful. I am enjoying learning about different aspects of the firm’s work and appreciate the ability to network.”