Accountancy Intern Helps the Hungry

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Accountancy Intern Helps the Hungry

Helping people makes Brianna Scheving smile. And Mary Loyland likes to make things happen. Together, they’re helping feed hungry people in Grand Forks.

It began when Loyland, an associate professor of Accountancy and the department’s internship coordinator, stopped in at the Salvation Army to visit Scheving, an accounting intern there. She noticed racks of bread donated by retailers, and asked, “Where are the potatoes? Where is the produce?”

“We give what we get,” Scheving replied. Loyland, whose son grows potatoes and who helps with the potato harvest each year, went into action. She and Scheving wrote letters, visited Associated Potato Growers, a farmer-owned coop, and they agreed to donate 4,000 pounds of potatoes on condition that the Salvation Army pick them up.

“We can’t screw this up,” Loyland said. They brought a truck and a forklift, and in just 10 minutes, were able to load two six-foot cubes – canvas bags of 2,000 pounds each, about the size of a banquet table. A few thank-yous later, they were back at the Salvation Army Corps office in Grand Forks, where staff and volunteers divided the potatoes into five-pound bags and distributed them to people at St. Vincent de Paul, St. Anne’s Guest Home, the East Grand Forks Food Shelf, and the Salvation Army.

“We got the potatoes on Tuesday, and they were gone by Friday,” Scheving said. “There was a bigger need than we thought.” The project was a success, and Associated has agreed to contribute potatoes from August through May. Although she was nervous at the prospect of seeking donations, it was a great experience.

That’s Loyland’s goal: to ensure that interns have a good experience. As accountancy internship coordinator for the past eight years, she oversees more than 30 interns each spring and summer, and a handful in the fall. She tries to visit each intern at the workplace, and likes to keep in touch after they graduate. She’s always seeking out new internships for students, both in large cities and locally.

“When I see businesspeople in Grand Forks, I say, ‘Hey, you should have an accounting intern,’” she said. “No one says yes right away, but they usually come around, and it’s fun to match the personalities of the student and employer. That’s so important.” Loyland is a dedicated networker: “it’s nice to have interaction between the University and the community,” she said. “Relationships don’t happen unless people work at them.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without Dr. Loyland,” Scheving said. “I didn’t know I could intern with the Salvation Army – I was just working there – and she helped me get the internship. I can graduate a semester early and continue to take classes while I work.”

“I love going to work each day,” said Scheving. She does receipting and accounts payable for Minot’s Salvation Army and compiles the workers compensation file and does payroll for the Grand Forks staff. “With four locations in Grand Forks and three in Minot, there’s a lot to do,” she said. The East Grand Forks, Minn. senior is double-majoring in Accountancy and Managerial Finance and Accounting, and hopes to work in the audit section of a public accounting firm after she graduates in December.

And wherever she ends up, she says she will always give back. “I like helping.”

Jan Orvik, Coordinator of Internal Communications

To learn more about Accountancy Internships, contact Mary Loyland. Coordinator of Internal Communications

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