After just one campus tour, she knew UM was it. That’s because she saw herself becoming
actual friends with the guides, Missoula had a cool vibe and there were plenty of
trails for cross-country skiing.
So, she neatly packed her bags with 28 advanced placement credits from Bend, Oregon,
and became a Griz. She didn’t intend to graduate in only three-and-a-half years, but
that’s how Stella Hyde’s Griz journey went.
After her first class in UM’s College of Business, she became enthralled with accounting. Her professor was expertly skilled in mentoring
and teaching, prompting Stella to visit during office hours and consider an accounting
major. She made accounting feel like a puzzle that needed to be organized, and Stella
was attracted to the methodical nature of putting numbers where they need to go.
Immersing herself in the deep, professional network of UM’s business college, she
found natural connections with faculty, alumni and fellow students and started spending
nearly all her time in the Gallagher Business Building. Spending days in the business
hive led her to not one but four internships with some of the nation’s largest and
most prestigious accounting firms.
The internship with CLA in Washington gave her an inside look at public accounting
and auditing. With Pahlisch Homes, she learned internal accounts payable. The value
of internships led her to become a student employee in the business college’s student success office, where she connected with other students, put them in touch with alumni and encouraged
them along the way.
Diving even deeper with the College of Business, she joined the Beta Alpha Psi honor
society, an international honor society for accounting, finance and information systems
students. She worked her way up to the club’s treasurer position, networked with alumni,
got the inside scoop on what employers want and learned LinkedIn tricks to position
herself as competent and professional. (Though she already had those skills all along,
they were just highlighted and tended to.)
Not one for all fun and games, Stella added a minor in psychology and found meaningful
parallels between consumer behavior and how people work.
Unsurprisingly, Stella has yet another internship in January. This time, in Denver
with BDO, where she plans to garner a deeper focus on auditing – the area of accounting
she finds most interesting. Then she’ll complete a final internship with Wipfli this
All of this before she plans to enroll in UM’s Master of Accounting program next year.