A Scholar's Path To Tax Accounting

UIC Business Scholars met this morning at a restaurant near campus for their mid-semester check-in, an opportunity for the Scholars to reconnect with their mentoring families and take a break from studying for midterms. Collegiate Association of Business Scholars (CABS) members, upperclassmen and the Assistant Director of the Business Scholars Program were on hand to provide feedback, answer questions and catch up more generally over pizza. The UIC Business blog caught up with senior Scholar Kevin Siudut, who is currently in the middle of an internship for Illinois Tool Works.

How did you originally find your way to UIC Business?

I’m from the northwest side of Chicago. I attended Taft High School, where I was a student in their International Baccalaureate program and played on the basketball team. I had an interest in business early on, but didn’t meet anyone to share it with until later, so those first couple of high school years were just sports and general studies. When it came time to choose a college, UIC was a top choice. It allowed me to enroll in a top undergrad business program near a huge finance center (downtown Chicago) while staying close to home. My sister and I are the first generation in our family to attend college. She graduated from UIC a decade ago.

In my junior year I discovered the Finance and Investment Group and jumped at the opportunity to meet some kindred spirits. I interned for the group and ended up joining their executive board.

And what about the Business Scholars program?

Also in my junior year, Abhinaya Konduru, a classmate and fellow Scholar, introduced me to the Business Scholars program, which was brand new at the time. She suggested I email Angela Winters, the director of the program. I met with Angela, who walked me through the details—the additional expectations of the students and also the additional resources and scholarship opportunities. We decided it was a good fit, and I was invited into the program.

Fellow scholars were quick to bring me into the fold. Many of them are involved in other UIC clubs and student organizations, so through them I’ve been introduced to a broader UIC community. But most importantly we all share a work ethic and a mutual support for each other’s individual goals. It’s a great environment to work and study in.

Once you were within UIC Business, how did you get into Illinois Tool Works?

I’d taken some tax electives in my accounting major, and around the same time I heard from the Business Career Center (BCC) about tax internship opportunities. In fact, I received the emails at a point in the fall when tax departments search for spring recruits, so there was an abundance of internship opportunities. I was looking at four potential internships, all in tax, and I interviewed with all four, and was offered all four. One of them was Illinois Tool Works.

ITW was already on my radar; I had a contact in the company, the result of previous networking. Through my contact, I already knew a lot about the company, so the move there felt natural. The tax electives prepared me well for the work I’ve been doing at ITW, but I want to add something—a plug for the Professional Development Program—BA 420 really prepared me for the social environment of the workplace. I’ve interacted with people from all across the company with relative ease, something I think wouldn’t have been the case without the PDP work.

UIC Business Scholars is a selective four-year leadership development and scholarship program for top performing, highly motivated undergraduates. For more information on the Business Scholars program, visit the Business Scholars page at business.uic.edu.