Topic: Staffing/Training and Development
Characters: Boris Zvernisky, senior accountant at a large accounting firm
Julie Corradino, partner at an accounting firm
Boris Zvernisky, a senior accountant, has just completed his third year at a large accounting firm. During this time, Boris has been consistently evaluated as an above average performer and a “team player. ” Lately Boris has been concerned about the heavy work load in this firm and has decided to enroll in an MBA program. He recently applied for admission to several of the nation’s top business schools. The school in which Boris is most interested had an October 1 deadline for a trial financial aid package, designed to attract top candidates, which covers all costs and pays $10,000 per year. This is the first year for the program and there is no guarantee that the program will be available in future years. Based on his conversations with university officials, Boris is quite optimistic about being admitted and receiving the funding, even though a final decision will not be made until February. Boris plans to enter an MBA program, even without the special funding, beginning in August of the following years, but he has told no one at the firm of his plans.
Julie Corradino, a partner in charge of training and development for the local office, has just received information from the national office of the firm related to a five-month accounting internship-exchange program the firm has arranged with offices in Europe, Australia, and [Russia]. Applicants must have three to five years with the firm, be above-average performers, have long-term career potential with the firm, and be fluent in the host country’s language. Julie immediately thinks of Boris, who is a first-generation American with strong family connections in [Russia]. Julie arranges to have lunch with Boris the next day.
At lunch Julie confirms that Boris is fluent in Russian and then presents to him the information on the five-month internship in the Moscow office, from January through May of the following year. Boris and Julie talk with excitement about the personal and professional benefits of five other relatives who live in Russia. The firm would benefit by having someone with experience in the Moscow office. Julie thinks Boris has an excellent chance of being selected for the program and offers to write a recommendation letter for him. She gives Boris an application and encourages him to complete it immediately, since it is now mid-October and the application deadline is November 1.
That night, Boris sits down to consider his career plans. Although he is very excited about the opportunity to go to Moscow, he is also convinced that he would love to enroll in a fulltime MBA program in the fall. He realizes that it is possible to intern in the Moscow office from January through May, return to his current office for June and July, and then begin the MBA program in August. Boris wonders if he should talk to Julie about his MBA plans, but he hesitates. He knows that firm policy requires only a two-week notice prior to leaving the firm. Boris decides that there is no harm in applying, but he questions his long-term intentions with the firm and wonders what to do.
Author: Dr. Cynthia J. Rooney, CPA, CMA, Asst. Prof., College of William & Mary
Co-author: Mary Loyland, Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota