BDO Academy, a new educational and mentoring initiative intended to get Grand Rapids students jazzed up about accounting, has been launched in conjunction with the firm’s 90th anniversary of its founding BDO Seidman office.

The launch involves a recently formed partnership with Junior Achievement and the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. As a result, high school juniors and seniors will receive hands-on exposure to the profession’s required skills, day-to-day responsibilities and related job opportunities.

The core components of the semester-long program will reflect key steps in a typical career progression, featuring activities in the high school classroom, office setting and college campus:

In the school setting, BDO staff volunteers will visit classrooms that utilize math, accounting or technology in selected area high schools, share the paths they chose, explain their job functions and relate their work to classroom content, all within the framework of Junior Achievement’s “Reverse Job Shadow” program.

In the office setting, BDO Academy students will spend several half-days on-site at BDO’s offices in downtown Grand Rapids – interacting with employees, learning how their school curriculum relates to BDO’s operations, and gaining exposure to the kinds of assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services BDO provides for its clients. The firm will draw on Junior Achievement’s “Job Shadow” program to help implement this component of the BDO Academy.

On campus, participants of this program will have the opportunity to audit selected accounting and business classes at GVSU’s Seidman College of Business.

“The launch of BDO Academy is an ideal way to mark BDO’s 90th year in Grand Rapids – an anniversary that is as much about looking back on our decades of service and growth as it is about our future contributions to the community,” said Matt Becker, tax partner at BDO Seidman. “By opening BDO’s doors to area students and sharing the different facets of a rewarding career, we hope to open an array of professional possibilities for them and help cultivate the next generation of accounting professionals.”