Two Accounting majors from Rider University were selected to participate in Deloitte’s Maximum Impact 2011, a unique alternative spring break experience that blends community service and networking with recruiters from the “Big 4” accounting firm.
From March 12 through 18, rising juniors Louis Chebetar and Dave Hugh Brown worked side by side with professionals from Deloitte and United Way while supporting middle- and high-school students in at-risk communities in the Washington, D.C., area. In total, the program consisted of 50 students, 20 Deloitte professionals and 10 United Way leaders.
Chebetar was placed on a team that assisted in streamlining the process of a new college preparation program at Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, Md. The program, College Tracks, is designed to improve college access and success for public school students in surrounding Montgomery County by providing them services to identify academic and vocational interests, and navigate the application and financial aid process.
Each morning, from Monday through Thursday, the team met with College Track representatives and school administrators to discuss program implementation and provide consulting. Later, each college student was paired with a student from the high school’s information technology academy. Chebetar would meet his student during lunch and after school to give him guidance.
“He is a highly intellectual individual, but he does not have much social interaction. His days consist of school, homework and video games,” he said. “I told him not to be afraid of what others think of you and be proud of yourself and don’t limit yourself,” he said.
Meanwhile, Brown and his team worked with Urban Alliance, a nonprofit organization that prepares at-risk students through education, mentoring and internships. During the morning, the team would discuss new ways to promote Urban Alliance to the government and community. Later, they would mentor children at the Beacon House, a non-profit organization, which offers various programs for at-risk children in Washington, D.C.
Participating in community service activities is nothing new to Chebetar and Brown. As the president of Rider Runners, Chebetar coordinated the third annual Run Over Violence 5K on the Lawrenceville campus in April. The event’s primary purpose is to raise awareness of domestic violence as well as gather donations for Womanspace, a Trenton-based organization that shelters and rehabilitates those who have been subjected to domestic violence. Through his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, Brown mentors children and teenagers at the Anchor House in Trenton and volunteers at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
“The experience motivated me to continue community service and continue inspiring youth,” Brown said.
In addition to the community service aspect of the Deloitte program, Chebetar and Brown also had a chance to participate in dinners, outings and other teambuilding activities. Through the program, they were able to learn about Deloitte’s people, values, culture and careers.
Brown said the teambuilding exercises helped him to improve his public speaking skills. He was also able to gain honest answers about his career from Deloitte recruiters in a relaxed environment.
Chebetar, who will begin a six month co-op with Johnson & Johnson in July, has already lined up an internship for next summer at Deloitte’s Parsippany, N.J. office. He said the internship evolved from conversations that he had with Tara Large, a recruiter from the Parsippany office, during the spring break program. Large referred Chebetar to Michelle Mussawar, the office’s auditing recruiter, and encouraged him to attend a Deloitte tax night. Chebetar attended the event in addition to several Deloitte networking events on-campus and kept in touch with the contacts he made through e-mail and Skype.
“That’s basically how I got the internship because I showed a lot of interest,” he explained.
Chebetar said the spring break experience reaffirmed his desire to work for a company that emphasizes the importance of corporate responsibility and community involvement.
“The program makes you feel better about what you do,” he said. “I was able to make some really good connections. We were able to really make an impact with one another.”