MC partners with Pennant Foods for internships

July 15, 2013
Contact: Mary Moates, Communications Assistant
865.981.8209; communications@maryvillecollege.edu

Maryville College has teamed up with Pennant Foods in a new partnership that provides real-world accounting experience through internships for MC business students.

Autumn Brown ‘15, a business major at Maryville College, is the first MC student to benefit from the new partnership with the company, which operates 90 Wendy’s restaurants in both Tennessee and California. Last semester, she interned at Pennant Foods’ headquarters in Knoxville. She completed the internship in May.

Tina Hertzel, chief financial officer of Pennant Foods and Brown’s supervisor, said that the internship allows students to see how accounting supports an entire organization.

“Not only has Autumn gained valuable experiences in having done many of the activities that she learns about in school, but Pennant Foods is small enough that our accountants have the opportunity to help her see every facet of accounting,” Hertzel said.

Because she plans to become a certified public accountant (CPA) after graduation, Brown said that her internship under Hertzel has given her a chance to see if the business field is what she wants to pursue after graduation.

“Learning to do things that can easily transfer to future opportunities, such as bank reconciliations, sales tax and debt coverage ratios (DCRs), are probably the most valuable,” Brown said. “My favorite thing has been bank reconciliations.”

Rebecca Treadway, associate professor of management and Brown’s advisor, said Hertzel was instrumental in establishing the internship for Brown and through the College, and she hopes that other business students will have the same opportunity.

“It is fantastic that a sophomore had the chance to experience real-world application and witness the accounting cycle,” Treadway said. “She had the opportunity to apply accounting standards and theory by preparing bank reconciliations and journal entries. She also had the chance to connect with professionals established in the field.”

Hertzel said that Brown assisted with the “revenue cycle” at Pennant, reviewing electronic daily cash reports that are attained from stores, modifying and correcting them for adjustments to cash deposits, and posting them to the general ledger. Brown also prepared the business’s monthly reports for royalty and sales tax reporting and reconciled the bank statements for all disbursement accounts.

“This internship provided Autumn with a real-life ‘what does an accountant in the industry do on a day-to-day basis’ look at the accounting field,” Hertzel said. “She gained experience in using an accounting software package. Most students do not know how to post a journal entry in ‘real life’ or how to run a report, so this experience was beneficial to her, regardless of whether she chooses public accounting or private accounting as her ultimate career.

“We are so pleased with this partnership that we will definitely be continuing it.”