My name is Connor Smart; I am originally from Lincoln, Maine and am studying Accounting through the Honors College at the University of Maine. Attending the University of Maine is somewhat of a family tradition for me – both my father and my grandfather are alumni of UMaine. However, I have always known that I have had an eye for detail and order myself, so accounting seemed like a natural fit. Combine that with the excellent faculty, reputation, and education that students are exposed to at the MBS, and there is no viable reason not to attend this program. If there was one way to describe the academic atmosphere here, I would say, “Diverse”. The students here sit upon a continuum that, at one end, represents your typical college student, going to class and taking exams, and at the other there are student who are pursuing research, making innovations, and taking steps towards becoming world leaders. The beauty of it all is that, despite this wide gap, all of the students intermingle and work together to make this campus community so special. It is a very unique atmosphere, where at one moment one can feel like you’re in a place consistent with collegiate expectations, and the next to be exposed to an event that is simply extraordinary.
I always say that almost the entire MBS faculty has made a very positive impression on me; it is far too difficult – and honestly unfair – of me to pick out a single staff member. The faculty here has sat down and had conversations with me in regards to my career aspirations, my classes, or just social life, and they have always been incredibly supportive helpful. However, I do owe the Administrative Staff of the MBS – both Associate Dean Welcomer and Dean Manev – a very large “thank you” for the opportunities and support they have given me, as well as the entire accounting department, who always make attending the MBS a joy, and who are remarkably intelligent, kind, and helpful people. The University of Maine has given me one of the most valuable things I could have – peace of mind. I might not know where I am going to go next, nor am I proud of everywhere I have been, but I know that the decision to attend the MBS was the right one. The faculty, my classes, and the general experience of the MBS have only served to further solidify that. I know that I’m getting a world class education that will leave me more than prepared to take on the challenges of the future – and that kind of confidence is priceless. Outside of the classroom I have been active in SPIFFY, IMA and the Black Bears Men’s Chorus. I am a student Ambassador to the MBS. I was given the University of Maine Merit Award, the Paul E. Sullivan Business Scholarship; I am a featured MBS student and a Dean’s List Honoree.
Being at UMaine has given me so many experiences to be exposed to new cultures, ideas, art – the list goes on indefinitely. The world to me is not the same place it was when I entered it. Five years ago I never would have seen myself as an accountant, but after attending the MBS, it seems like a near perfect fit. I am more tolerant of others and their lives because of the exposures I have had here; I am more open minded, and more willing to accept. I have grown as a person, and found myself, because of the University. The world in its entirety is different because of it. After graduation, I plan on working towards getting my CPA licensure as soon as possible, after which I hope to look into working in forensic accounting or perhaps in the non-profit sector.