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Silicon Valley Beckons UM Honors College Student

Spencer Sheehan knows where he's heading: his dream is to be a tax attorney, an intellectual property attorney or a risk assurance or tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the "Big Four" accounting firms. 

"I know that's pretty concrete," he says with a laugh. The goals of the UM junior were influenced by the news that he has secured an internship next summer with PwC's Silicon Valley office. The firm serves clients like Intel, Facebook and Google.

The Billings native gives much of the credit for this coup to the UM School of Business Administration. "They do a fantastic job," Sheehan says, pointing out that a number of other business students landed internships similar to his.

Sheehan says, "Scholarships have helped me along my path, hopefully to a successful career." Last year, Sheehan received the James and Maggie Gleason Scholarship through the School of Business Administration. He has also received three scholarships through the Davidson Honors College: the Hammond Scholarship and two Andrea Sliter Goudge Honors Scholarships. 

Sheehan praises his experience at the Davidson Honors College. He cites the small classes of 20-25 students and excellent faculty as major selling points. He says the faculty are very involved with the students, and he remains in touch even with professors from past years.

Sheehan says it's important for people to do what they're passionate about. He hopes to graduate in May 2015 with a double major in accounting and management information systems - a marketable set of skills, he says. Soon he will have to decide whether to go straight to work after graduation, likely with PwC, or to get a law degree.

The scholarships are heartening to Sheehan. He points out that the price tag on a college education can intimidate incoming students and their families and that scholarships help offset student loans.

Sheehan feels especially honored to have had the opportunity to meet Andrea Goudge, a donor who generously funded one of his scholarship awards. Goudge '93, M.Acct. '94, is vice president and controller at Maracay Homes, an Arizona real estate company. She also is a Trustee of the University of Montana Foundation. Sheehan says, "It's encouraging not to have just a name and an amount of money but a person behind you."

A well-rounded student, Sheehan is not only managing an impressive double major but also active both on campus and in the community. He volunteers as a coach for high school speech and debate and is a UM Advocate, promoting the university through activities both on and off campus.

Through all of this, Sheehan finds time to work as well as to enjoy personal activities, including learning to design iPhone apps and hanging out with friends.