Proof That You Are Never Too Busy to Volunteer



Matt Short

Senior Accounting Major

Hometown: Tuscola, Illinois

Activities: Caterpillar Corporation,
Career Development Program, Haiti Connection


Matt Short spent his first two years of college at Parkland College where he was able to fulfill his general education requirements.  He is now a senior Accounting major at EIU, and he recently worked for the Caterpillar Corporation’s Career Development Program.  “CAT for college students is more of a recruitment program for college students,” Matt explained, “It helps them to have jobs ready when they get out of college.”  His work was with CAT’s Environmental Health Services Department which involved many assignments with databases and included extensive work in Microsoft Excel.  Because of the variety of work that Matt was responsible for, it was not just his accounting experience that helped him succeed in CAT’s summer hire program.  “I did a lot of database work for OSHA in particular,” he said.  “Having successfully completed two particular business courses, BUS 1950 Computer Concepts and Applications for Business and BUS 3500 Management Information Systems, helped me because I did a lot of Excel work.” 

Matt also completed work for CAT’s equipment audits.  “CAT conducts crane log audits on a daily basis,” Matt explained.  “I made sure that all operators were checking the crane and logging their results each day.  Then I worked with my manager to organize the data by location, and put it into spreadsheets.”  Matt would also help develop standard operating procedures for CAT’s 627-wheel tractor scraper simulator.  This provided Matt with a unique experience, as CAT is the only company that makes the machine.

From an accounting perspective, Matt’s summer with CAT provided him with a great supplemental education.  “I got to see the whole Bucyrus acquisition this past summer,” he said.  “As an accounting major, I had a great appreciation for what actually happens during an acquisition.  I was able to see the financial reports and how they were financing the company, loans on capital, and financial loans from other banks.  It greatly helped my understanding of accounting.”

Even with his busy summer, Matt made time for the Haiti Connection, a program that offers assistance to citizens of Haiti which is administered through the Newman Center in Charleston.  Matt has extensive involvement with the Haiti Connection.  He helps organize fundraisers each month, and the proceeds are earmarked towards different projects in Haiti.  This past summer, the main fundraiser he was in charge of was the "Mugs to Rugs Yard Sale," where proceeds went towards the "Water for Life" initiative.  This project provides water filtration buckets to help provide Haitians with fresh, drinkable water.  The fundraiser consists of going around campus picking up items that students donate before leaving school for the summer.  Such items include clothes, TVs, computers, furniture, and other household items.  These items are then organized in the Newman Center basement over the summer for the yard sale, which is held on move-in weekend in the fall.  This year, the yard sale raised over $6,000, which equates to 600 filtration buckets to be given to families in Haiti.  Some additional projects that Matt is involved in are the women’s literacy program and a student sponsorship program, which provides Haitian children with the means to go to school.

Matt’s experiences illustrate not only what activities are available for business students, but how the EIU School of Business helps prepare its students for all aspects of life.  Whether it is earning a paycheck, or through serving others, the EIU School of Business helps prepare students for their future.