Accounting students unleashed at Purina headquarters

November 1, 2011

By Elise Dismer ’13

It’s like the difference between reading a book and seeing the movie.

That’s how Joseph Bedford, the historian of Bradley’s Accounting Club, described his changed perspective on internal auditing after visiting the Nestle Purina headquarters in St. Louis.

“It was a good experience,” Bedford said. “We got to actually see what they do; we toured their facilities and talked to the people who work there.”

The club, which aims to take fieldtrips at least once a semester, coordinated the excursion to Nestle Purina headquarters along with Beta Alpha Psi members.

With the help of Accounting Professor Shondra Johnson, who had been in contact with Nestle Purina’s director of internal auditing, students were able to see how the business operated in terms of marketing, research and auditing.

Johnson said the trip to St. Louis sets Bradley apart from other institutions.

“How many other schools take their students to the auditing headquarters of one of the biggest multinational companies in the world?”

Along with seeing the inner workings of Nestle Purina, Johnson said another benefit was the opportunity to get connected with industry leaders.

“Purina believes in making a difference and they want to employ people who have that same philosophy,” she said.

Johnson is confident that Bradley students are well equipped to meet Nestle Purina’s criteria, citing Bradley’s connection with the Institute of Internal Auditors and advanced curriculum.

Johnson said trips like this also help students visualize where they want to take their careers.

“Accounting is such a diverse field that it’s hard for students to know where they’ll thrive. When I take students on trips, a few find their niche,” Johnson said. “That’s what it’s all about for me. I love seeing students say, ‘This is where I fit.’”