For their final project, students from the MAC Mentorship Program provided business solutions to senior executives at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Students met with members of BCBSNC, conducted extensive research, and, in December, presented recommendations on projects that will impact the organization’s 3.8 million members.
The MAC Mentorship Program is an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn essential business skills while learning more about the accounting industry. The program works in conjunction with the Carolina Covenant and its program sponsor, PwC, which hosts workshops and events throughout the spring. At the completion of the program, students may choose to take MAC 777 with program director and professor Tamara Barringer. MAC 777 is an undergraduate course offered each fall for Mentorship Alumni. This course helps students utilize the business skills learned during the Mentorship Program.
The presentations to BCBSNC were a huge success and students who participated were eager to share their experiences:
“MAC 777 provides students with an opportunity that is very rare for an undergraduate. Having the opportunity to work on a pressing business issue for a distinguished company provided me with a real-world learning experience. Over the course of the semester, I learned a significant amount about a topic that interested me while developing the skills that are necessary to be successful in the professional workplace.”
– Paul Piscitelli
“The MAC Mentorship program has truly been a very rewarding experience. In the first portion of the program we were able to attend workshops, seminars, and dinners sponsored by a Big 4 public accounting firm, PwC, that were geared towards improving our soft skills. I found all of these events extremely useful and applicable to my everyday life as I continue to grow as a young professional. Later in the program, we were paired up in groups and had the responsibility of conducting research for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), essentially serving as consultants for this company. We were able to visit the local BCBSNC office, meet with our project sponsors and discuss our findings in preparation for a presentation of our recommendations at the end of the semester. I really felt that we were being taken seriously, that the company truly cared about the research we were conducting and that they valued our opinions. Even if you are not interested in accounting or pursuing a Master of Accounting at UNC, I wholeheartedly recommend participating in this program because every student, no matter the major or year, can benefit from the skills obtained from this program.”
– Rickell J. Reid
“My decision to enroll in the MAC Guided Research course has proven to be perhaps the best decision of my undergraduate career so far. This course offers opportunities available in very few undergraduate programs across the country. I gained valuable experience, connections, and insight that will transcend the classroom into the real world. I would recommend this course to any undergraduate student, regardless of major or career goals.”
– Matthew Wood