Full-time Accounting Offer Secured Two Years in Advance
For junior accounting major Brandon Luong, a summer 2021 internship turned into an employment opportunity beginning May 2023.
Special Programs Day and a tour of Creighton’s School of Dentistry confirmed Brandon Luong’s commitment to becoming a Bluejay. Intent on pursuing the college’s pre-health science business track to become a dentist, he enrolled in the Heider College of Business but eventually decided to swap the sciences for accounting.
Not a bad trade for the junior from Sacramento, California, because just halfway through his college career, he secured a full-time, post-graduation offer from CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA). Come May 2023, he will return to his hometown to be an associate accountant with the professional services network and eighth largest accountancy firm in the U.S.
Creighton’s Accounting Department is known for its graduates’ exemplar employment placement. The department has boasted a 100% success rate for several years running. But knowing the start of your career is secured before your junior year is quite an accomplishment.
“Having begun my internship in June (2021) and receiving a full-time offer just two months afterwards left me stunned but extremely content,” says Luong, who first worked as an audit intern with CLA’s State and Local Government Group and then transitioned to the firm’s construction department in January. “What excites me most about this opportunity is the incredibly fast pace I can advance through the firm. Because I am continuing my internship until I graduate, I will have the exposure and experience of an associate ready to be promoted to senior.”
Luong believes accounting is “the backbone of every existing business” and calls it “a very satisfying task to perform,” with every balanced debit and credit in a journal and trial balance netting to zero.
During spring his sophomore year, Luong took advantage of an Accounting Department program that places students in full-time internships with public accounting firms during the busy tax season. It gives students a true taste of the kinds of hours accountants put in January through April.
Luong worked at Lutz, dedicating as many hours per week as one of its staff accountants in addition to taking two accounting courses. The internship taught him invaluable industry skills as well as the importance of work-life balance, and how difficult achieving this can be.
“I pushed myself until I reached my limit and experienced burnout for the first time in my life,” Luong says. “The most important factor to balancing full-time employment and academic course work was humility.”
As trying as it was at times, Luong still is glad he worked at Lutz. “Without a full-time experience, I wouldn’t have experienced the true struggles and stress that come with a busy tax season. The amount of knowledge I acquired about tax planning and preparing, as well as how a general 40-hour work week feels, would never have been achieved through a part-time internship,” no matter how challenging, he says.
Though classes and work absorb much of Luong’s attention, he still finds time for Creighton Center for the Public Trust (CCPT), an organization that promotes ethical thinking in the developing character and conscience of students. Luong is its director of IT, keeping current its national webpage and managing the group’s social media platforms and email lists. He says his participation in Creighton Center for the Public Trust has connected him to others in the Creighton community, including alumni and friends of the University who attend CCPT events.
Luong is grateful for the classroom instruction he has received at Creighton and the equally informative hands-on learning opportunities he has had as an undergraduate student.
“A Creighton education is formulated to provide the best experience to students who go forth and put in the effort to really make their college experience unique…while setting them up well to stand out in the real world,” he says.