My name is Austin Foster, and I am a Sophomore Majoring in Finance and Political Science here at Southern Methodist University. One of the things I really love about the SMU campus is our small class sizes (average of 22 Students) and the unique personalities of each of our professors. The combination of these two truly sets apart SMU from other universities. Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about my favorite class I’ve taken on campus—ACCT 2301: Intro to Financial Accounting.

For starters, this class was great because of the amazing professor that teaches it: Liliana Hickman-Riggs. Professor Hickman-Riggs, or “LHR” as she is affectionately referred to on campus, is an eclectic woman known for her high-top sneakers, designer handbags, and chihuahuas! SMU is known for having professors who are extremely dedicated to their students and LHR is certainly no exception to this rule.

Specifically, the course has taught me to think in a new form and how to communicate using the “Language of business.” Rather than adding and subtracting, Accounting is a language of Debits and Credits. As the course progressed, we continued to build on these skills and were given the opportunity to apply them to real-world scenarios through case studies and innovative homework problems.

One of the most beneficial parts of the class for me was the asynchronous videos that the professor incorporates. These. Videos served as “guided readings” that walked us through the chapter reading, highlighting key terms and examples before we begin the lecture for the week. I found this to be extremely beneficial for me as it allowed me to master the material much easier and alleviated stress before exams.

One week of the course gave us the opportunity to meet with a partner from Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, which is one of the “Big Four” Accounting Firms. This experience was very intriguing to me as it opened my eyes to the world of accounting careers during my first accounting course. After meeting with the partner, we were divided into groups and asked to complete an analysis of Apple Inc.’s three financial statements, The Balance Sheet, The Income Statement, and The Statement of Cash Flows for “Jill,” who was considering an investment in the corporation.  This application of the skills learned in the class was extremely beneficial as it showcased the practical uses of the skills we had just learned in Financial Accounting.