June 29, 2012
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For Nelson Raines, a familiar face is never far away at B&E. In addition to studying accounting, Raines completes a work-study program in the Dean's Office where, among a variety of assignments, he works with the B&E Online Store.
Raines's employment and academic success at B&E may have been fate.
"When I came here, I saw that WVU's accounting program had a high placement record. I figured it would be a good way to go," said Raines, who had a love of math while a student at Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, Md., but hadn't put much consideration into the field. Luckily for him, he "took a few classes, found out I really liked it and decided to continue with it as my major."
Raines strongly believes that his undergraduate education has been enhanced by his work-study.
"I like working here. Not only do I benefit from the work experience, but also the relationships I've built with people throughout the College," he said. "I have a different relationship with the professors because I'm in the building all the time. I can go up to them any time and say, 'Hey, I don't understand this,' and they are really willing to help me learn. Honestly, I think a lot of that comes from being a familiar face."
But not only does working in the Dean's Office give Raines the perk of getting well-acquainted with helpful B&E faculty and staff, it has also helped him with his accounting coursework.
"Nelson's opportunity to come into the Dean's Office and work in an experiential environment, and doing hands on work that he would do in the private sector has made it easier for him to relate to class work," said B&E Associate Dean Jess Mancini. Raines agrees.
"My beginner accounting class taught me some things one way, but my experience working with the B&E Online Store taught me new ways to do things. It definitely put me ahead in my upper level accounting courses," Raines said.
In addition to classes and work-study, Raines is involved on campus with a variety of clubs and honoraries, which he says offer him both new friendships and networking opportunities. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, 21st Century Business Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta, Golden Key and Phi Sigma Theta. He also serves as President of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
"It's a great experience to prepare me for leadership and client relations in the real world. I work with our advisor, our members and the national office," Raines said of his leadership position, which includes handling the organization's finances and arranging meetings, fundraisers and social events.
But despite spending roughly 40 hours per week at B&E year round between classes and work, Raines isn't all business. He has a strong fascination for the human mind and behavior, which led to his minor in psychology.
"It's a total polar opposite compared to accounting. It's hard to just look at numbers all day, so I like the change of pace. I also think it helps me relate to people, and it helps to understand why people act the way they do in certain situations — including a business setting."
In his spare time, Raines enjoys his time walking through scenic downtown Morgantown, exercising at the Student Rec Center and playing sports like baseball and basketball.
As a rising junior, the first generation Mountaineer is considering expanding his academic interests to include finance as a second major. "Finance just came about this semester for me. I took Finance 340 with Dr. Ashok Abbott, really enjoyed it, and I think it pairs very well with accounting."
Raines aspires to get his MBA, but not until after he has worked in the field for a while.
"I'd like to work a few years before pursuing a master's. I'll get more out of it that way," he said.
In the interim, Raines believes he would like to work for a large firm such as PricewaterhouseCoopers. Although he's not certain where he'll end up, he's optimistic. "I'm proud to be part of a school that's ranked well. It's awesome to say that I'm in a top tier business school. When employers see that, they will know I have what it takes."