Posted On


Business & Entrepreneurship

Internships & Outcomes

Emmanuel College School of Business & Management students are seizing the chance to practice their accounting skills while supporting the people of Boston. Thanks to an ongoing partnership between the College and the Boston Tax Help Coalition (BTHC), as well as a new service-based course, Emmanuel’s accounting students are working closer than ever with the community.

Emmanuel College has hosted Boston Tax Help’s weekend tax training programs – an opportunity that concludes with a chance at IRS certification – for the past five years. Meanwhile, Emmanuel College accounting and management students have been afforded access to internships, valuable tax training and the chance to serve the people of Boston in a nonprofit setting with BTHC.

BTHC is a combination of nonprofits and community groups, falling under the umbrella of Boston’s Center for Working Families, that supports individuals and families to build economic independence. Their tax trainings, which concluded for the season on February 18th, have been made easily accessible thanks to Emmanuel’s central campus location with MBTA and parking access. 

The “mutually beneficial partnership” started around 15 years ago with Associate Professor of Management Patricia Clarke, Ph.D, who aligned with Mimi Turchinetz, formerly the Director of the BTHC and now Deputy Director of Labor Policy for the City of Boston, to get the ball rolling. Since then, BTHC has welcomed Emmanuel College interns through their doors with open arms. 

“[They] bring their best selves to the work, [and] really take it seriously,” said Turchinetz. “[They’re] service-focused kids. They very much want to give back.”  

At BTHC, students learn a lot and get to engage with the community, Turchinetz added, as well as the fulfillment of providing a crucial service to working families – emphasizing the importance of tax season for low-income households. “It can be a game-changer in peoples’ lives,” she said. 

While Emmanuel students are giving their all, they get the same back from BTHC staff, said Clarke. “They take really good care of our students. [They’re] good role models and work with students’ schedules.” 

Dean of the School of Business & Management Anne Marie Pasquale, J.D., emphasized the benefits the opportunity has afforded Emmanuel business students – the ability to practice client relationships, the soft skills of the business world and a chance to work with the people of Boston. 

The opportunity to do so has become more prevalent this semester for Emmanuel College students. 

The School of Business & Management launched a brand-new course this spring, “Accounting 2208: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Practicum” – an internship course that has students trained within the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. 

“This is the first time we’ve had a dedicated course for this volunteer experience, and it has attracted more students to this worthy cause in its first offering,” said Assistant Professor of Accounting Aimee Bonneau, CPA, MSA. 

Not only is it an opportunity to receive useful training, but Bonneau said it’s an uncommon opportunity for other majors to take an accounting course – and regardless of who takes it, it’s a chance to provide a service to people in need in Boston, relieving them of the stress that comes with filing taxes. 

Nephtar Thomas Derolus ’25, an accounting major with a minor in management and legal studies, has been taking full advantage of the opportunity. After interning with PwC, he's now handling Chelsea residents’ returns at a nonprofit called The Neighborhood Developers, strengthening his communication and interpersonal skills. 

Through supporting the community and managing multiple returns a week, Derolus is earning valuable credit toward the 150 hours necessary for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Once he graduates, Derolus said he looks forward to taking the exam, working as an audit associate, and continuing to expand his network of support in the community. 

“It is truly a blessing to apply the skills and concepts that I learned, either from the classroom or textbooks, in a real-world setting. Being a Boston native, I know firsthand the struggle that my community must overcome to obtain free resources like tax preparation services,” he said.