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Success – Albert

Philip Albert, ’01 MBT

BY KEVIN MOE

Philip Albert’s initial interaction with the Carlson School was taking courses that offered specific tax information necessary for his job at the medical technology company Medtronic. “I took various international tax courses to help expand my understanding of the tax rules related to U.S. companies doing business in other taxing jurisdictions,” he says. “The instructors did a thorough job of providing both technical content and practical examples that I could apply at Medtronic. From there, I decided to enroll in the MBT program.”
        Besides providing Albert with an expanded tax technical base which assisted his ability to identify tax savings opportunities, avoid potential tax risks, and comply with various legal and accounting requirements, the MBT program gave him valuable insights from which he was able to reap the benefits not soon after. One example: Fred Jacobs’s corporate tax course.
Philip Albert Quote        “When Fred started to wrap up one discussion, he addressed a specific rule around a ‘dividends received deduction’ that was new to me,” Albert says. “Later that year, subsequent to a Medtronic acquisition, I impressed my manager with a recommendation to delay an intercompany dividend and avoid a potential issue under the dividend received deduction rules. From a company perspective, the potential savings on this one item easily paid for my tuition costs. I don’t recall at the time if I gave credit to Fred, but it is probably about time that I did.”
        Albert eventually brokered his knowledge to become vice president of corporate tax at Medtronic. “Whether it is tax research, international tax issues, business writing, tax accounting, or even understanding state taxation, I continue to use the skills learned in the MBT program, he says. “I must admit, every so often I even pull out my methods and procedures notes to make sure I understand the rules.”
        Albert is also quick to point out that he is not the sole person in his department with Carlson School experience. “Almost half of our tax department employees have Carlson School MBT degrees or are in the process of obtaining their degree through the Carlson School,” he says. “The knowledge and skills learned in the MBT program have helped Medtronic create what I believe is one of the best tax organizations in not only the Twin Cities, but the entire country. Of course, I might be a little biased.”

Success Cole

Kelly Cole, ’06 BSB, ’07 MAcc

BY KEVIN MOE

Upon entering college, Kelly Cole’s first thought was to major in entrepreneurial management with the idea of one day owning her own business. “Problem was, I had no clue what I wanted this business to be and no real ability to start something immediately after school,” she says. “As I began my coursework, I started thinking of what major could provide a good backbone to the entrepreneurial coursework and after evaluating other majors and discussions with professors about why their major was best, I chose accounting and started my double major.”
        Hearing accounting described as “the language of business” convinced Cole that she was in the right place. “Anyone going into a business field should probably speak the language and if one was to run a company, how could you run it effectively if you couldn’t read the results or had to rely on a third party with no vested interest in the business?” she says.
Kelly Cole Quote        During the last semester of her undergrad, the Carlson School launched the MAcc program under the direction of her former audit instructor, Larry Kallio, and she signed on for one more year of college. “Larry’s passion for the MAcc has created a great opportunity for Carlson students,” Cole says. “He combines the classroom with the business world like no other and tries to bring the most objective view by using examples from multiple firms, industry, and the overall business environment.”
        The program motivated Cole to pursue public accounting after graduation and she is now a senior associate at Grant Thornton, an audit, tax, and advisory firm in Minneapolis. “Working as an auditor, I’ve learned there is no solid black and white line. There still can be a lot of uncertainty when approaching complex accounting transactions,” she says. “But, with the knowledge gained in the accounting program, you learn how to navigate the extensive accounting literature and have a notion of where to begin problem solving.”

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