Leaving a legacy:
Accounting major counts his blessings at UA
“To make someone else’s life better … is the true meaning of existence.”
Matthew Deibel wrote those words upon graduating from Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, reflecting on his transition from high school to The University of Akron (UA).
Now an accounting major about to begin his senior year in The Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College (WHC) at the University, Deibel still lives by those words.
“I want to leave a lasting legacy and help people on a broad scale,” he says, adding that he hopes he can someday repay the University for all it has done for him – including awarding him its most prestigious honors scholarship, the Lisle M. Buckingham/Owen O. and Della M. Orr Honors Scholarship.
“If I do someday have enough money to donate a substantial amount to the Williams Honors College and the College of Business Administration [CBA], it would be because of my accounting career, which they have helped jump start,” he says. “They’ve given me so many opportunities, and I’m truly blessed that a university of this caliber is right in my backyard.”
Indeed, after completing an internship last semester with Ernst & Young (EY), one of the four biggest professional service firms in the world, Deibel was offered a full-time position in assurance with EY’s Financial Services Organization at their Cleveland office. He will begin working there after he graduates in spring 2020.
Through the CBA’s professional networking events, such as its annual “Evening with the Accountants,” Deibel says he was able to meet representatives from major accounting firms, including EY, ultimately leading to his internship and job offer.
“The CBA has put us in front of so many professionals,” he says. “When I walk through the CBA, there’s a different employer there every week. … It’s truly remarkable how much recruiting goes on.”
It was his participation in the Honors Emerging Leaders Program (the honors division of UA’s Emerging Leaders Program), Deibel says, that set him apart from the competition.
“Every accounting firm interview I had saw the Emerging Leaders on my resume and asked about it,” he says. “I really cannot speak enough about how amazing that organization is. … I was pretty shy in high school, and the Emerging Leaders was what springboarded my involvement on campus.”
The Emerging Leaders Program is a Living-Learning Community (where students of like interests live and learn together) dedicated to creating student leaders in the campus community. Students are accepted into the program as incoming freshmen and receive a week of leadership training before the beginning of fall semester. Emerging Leaders also receive ongoing mentorship from upperclassmen; take special leadership courses; and participate in the Residence Hall Program Board, Major Events Committee and a host of extracurricular activities.
“We see a lot of students who started out as Emerging Leaders being named the Top 10 Seniors on campus,” says Debbie Gannon, WHC program specialist. “Whether it is encouraging the students to become a president of a group or speaking to prospective students, the Emerging Leaders Program gives students a skill set that will benefit them throughout life.”
What impressed Deibel most about the Honors Emerging Leaders, and about the University, was the warm treatment he received from students, staff and faculty – which ultimately confirmed his decision to enroll at the University, he says.
“Every time I visited campus, everyone remembered who I was – and not just the counselors who were trying to recruit me, but the students who worked for admissions, they remembered my name,” he says. “And that blew me away, that personal attention.”
Deibel adds that Dr. Dale Mugler, dean of the WHC at the time, even gave him a personal tour of the college.
“Hoban is very big on what we call ‘the Hoban family,” Deibel says, “and I didn’t think I’d be able to experience that at a university. But when I came to Akron, and saw that I could, I fell in love with the place immediately.”
Now, Deibel spends much of his time welcoming new members to the UA family, giving tours and speeches to prospective students and their families. At a recent welcome session, he spoke about his Akron Experience in front of more than 1,000 people.
“Giving tours is probably one of my favorite things I do here now, getting to share my experience to incoming freshmen, and juniors and seniors in high school,” he says. “I absolutely love it.”
Deibel is also a WHC Delegate and president of UA Student Ambassadors, in which capacities he represents the University at various events, interacting with donors, dignitaries, alumni, prospective students and community members.
Giving tours and sharing his experience with others is just the beginning of what he hopes will be a lifetime of service to the University – of building a lasting legacy.
“I would love to be on the Board of Trustees at UA someday,” he says. “I really do care deeply about The University of Akron, and I’d like to be involved in the decision-making. … I could also see myself teaching at the Honors College and CBA after retirement.”
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Through connections with top businesses and executives, the College of Business Administration (CBA) prepares students to become competent and responsible professionals and leaders.
Did you know?
- 96% of students who earned a bachelor’s degree from the CBA in spring 2018 were employed or seeking additional education within six months of graduation.
- The CBA is one of only 189 business schools among thousands worldwide to hold dual accreditation (business and accounting) from the AACSB.
Williams Honors College
Students in our prestigious Williams Honors College live in the Honors Residence Hall with other high-achieving, self-motivated students. They can apply for additional scholarships, and gain leadership experience through student organizations and through the Honors Leadership Summit. Further, students in the Williams Honors College design their own research focus, and get personal attention from faculty advisers.