Final Reflection Paper Ben Bates

Education (Past): At its core, college is about getting an education. I spent most of my first semester at Turlington Plaza finishing up the last of my gen-ed required courses. While at first glance courses such as anthropology and philosophy may seem unessecary to an accounting major such as myself, I will never forget this unique opportunity I had to explore such a variety of courses offered here at the University of Florida. I would not be the rational person I am today, and I would understand the importance of cultural relativism if I had not taken these courses.
Education (Present): This semester, my new favorite place to study is the Marston Library. I've moved on past my gen-ed courses and am now working to complete my critical tracking courses for accounting. Financial accounting has been my biggest challenge, as it is considered a weed-out course among most business majors. As my strength of class schedule increases I find myself spending more time than ever in the library studying compared to in my dorm playing Xbox. With the silence needed to study, as well as easy access to computers and coffee, it does not take long to understand Marston is the place to go the week before an exam.
Education (Future): For the next few years as an accounting major, the bulk of my major classes will take place in Gerson Hall. With my mind set on accounting, I plan on completing the 3/2 combined degree program in order to take the exam to become a CPA. I seek to devote the next couple years to meeting all the necessary qualifications to get accepted into this prestigious combined degree program. I know that I will find these upper level courses just as rewarding as they are challenging.
Extracurricular Activities (Past): In the fall of my freshman year I was involved in intramural ultimate Frisbee. When I first moved into Graham Hall back in August nobody knew each other well, but a dozen students on the floor (myself included) were interested in playing Frisbee so we started a team. We practiced once or twice throughout the week on Flavet field and played our games every Sunday night by the Southwest Recreation Center. We ended up going undefeated the entire season, but more importantly I managed to build several friendships that have lasted to present day.
Extracurricular Activities (Present):This semester I changed my major from finance to accounting and consequently decided to get involved in the Fisher School of Accounting Council (FSOAC). This club acts an opportunity for accounting students to come together to build connections with others and give back to the community. With everything from socials at Chipotle, and community service at retirement homes to kickball games with faculty members, this club has a lot to offer to anyone who wants to get involved in an accounting club. In addition to FSOAC, I continued to play intramural sports at the Southwest Recreation Center. This season of softball was less successful than Frisbee in the fall in terms of win-loss ratio but the experience was just as enjoyable.
Extracurricular Activities (Future): After reflecting on my extracurricular involvement as a freshman, in the future I want to pursue intramural sports at a higher level in regards to Frisbee. After merely playing at the recreation level this previous fall, I believe that taking it a step up to the competitive league would be more rewarding than playing against people who have never thrown a Frisbee before. Furthermore, I will consider trying out for the club Frisbee team while keeping in mind the hours of commitment that would coincide. In regards to FSOAC, I plan on running for a leadership position next year after gaining more experience and regularly participating in club activities.
Work (Past): As of October 2016 I have been working as a maintenance assistant at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art under the federal work study program. This is the first job I have ever had and the process of taking on new responsibilities has been an important experience to me. Having a part-time job in addition to being a full time student has taught me a valuable lesson in time-management. Furthermore, having this job experience has also allowed me to improve my communication skills with both employees and customers.
Work (Present): While I still work part-time at the Harn Museum of Art, as of January 2017 I took a course to become certified to do tax returns for low-middle income families in Gainesville. I first became aware of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through the FSOAC. Becoming certified and volunteering to do tax returns has been a great way for me to give back to the community while also gaining knowledge that will enhance my accounting career. Furthermore, accounting aside, knowing how to properly file a tax return is an important skill to have in terms of being a member of the labor force since I will have to file taxes myself at some point.
Work (Future): At some point here at the University of Florida, I will need to complete a summer internship in accounting. Completing such an internship will allow me to obtain a genuine feel of whether or not accounting is for me. Furthermore, the hands on experience that an internship can provide is irreplaceable and you can only learn so much by reading textbooks and listening to professors lecture. Lastly, I am hoping that my education here at the University of Florida will help me land a job coming out of college at a big four accounting firm. I have not decided if audit or tax would be a better avenue for me in terms of accounting but I believe that after taking some higher level courses in each subject I will be able to make a decision.
  • Works Cited:
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Dsg_UF_Turlington_Hall.jpg
  • http://hopamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/356328323_2460e0598a_o.jpg
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/UF-GersonHall.JPG
  • https://www.rdgusa.com/img/gallery/2014_08_22_083512_89506500/original.jpg
  • https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cu6JioNWEAAyxda.jpg
  • http://www.scfmanatees.com/athletics/facilities/photos_of_SB_facilities/SBfromHOME.jpg
  • https://missartmuseum.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/img_0019.jpg
  • https://www.oshkoshunitedway.org/sites/oshkoshunitedway.org/files/Free%20Tax%20Help%20items/VITA%20AND%20TCE.png
  • http://www.atterbury.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Tower_Cam1.jpg
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Benjamin Bates
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