Accounting major, China native interns with Colonial Fox

  Thursday, July 23, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Accounting major, China native interns with Colonial Fox

Less than a year after leaving her native China to pursue a degree at Pittsburg State University, Beidi Zhang is already a fluent English speaker.

“It was difficult at first because Americans have different ways of saying things,” said Zhang, who also goes by Ada, “but I understand most of it now.”

It’s her command of another language, however, that helped her score a summer internship with a local organization.

“Ada speaks the language of accounting,” said Vonnie Corsini, executive director of the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation. “That’s a big help to me because I don’t speak it at all.”

Zhang, an accounting major at Pitt State, has been an intern at the Colonial Fox since April. She is putting her education to use helping Corsini develop accounting systems that will benefit the theater for many years to come.

“It’s everything from helping put together reports and organizing worksheets to helping me understand certain figures and what they mean,” Corsini said. “She has really jumped right in from the beginning and provided great assistance to me.”

Zhang said the internship at the Colonial Fox came about after Stella Hastings, music faculty at Pitt State and a member of the Colonial Fox Board of Trustees, reached out to the Kelce College of Business to try to secure an accounting intern for the Fox.

Because international students are not able to work off campus in paid positions, Zhang’s internship is on a volunteer basis.

“I was looking for an internship because I wanted more experience,” she said. “One of my professors told me that they needed people here, and it sounded like a good opportunity for me. I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience and met some very nice people.”

Corsini said she appreciates Zhang’s willingness to serve as a volunteer.

“The only paid position we’re able to have is our full-time marketing professional,” Corsini said. “We could not afford to hire a full-time accounting person, so having Ada’s help on this side of things is wonderful for us. We’re also proud to be able to provide her with this internship experience.

“And the best part about it is that she really knows her stuff,” Corsini said. “She’s not shy about telling me certain things, and her opinion immediately makes sense. She truly understands this side of things in ways I probably never could.”

Zhang gives the credit to the Pittsburg State Kelce College of Business.

“It’s because of my professors at Pittsburg State that I’m able to know and understand accounting,” she said.

Zhang’s internship ends in December, but Corsini said she hopes more students will follow in Zhang’s footsteps.

“We’re talking to the university about trying to set up a program that would lead to more interns coming over to help in our efforts,” she said. “Ada has done a great job of laying the groundwork, and I’d love to see other students follow her to keep it going. I really think it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Learn more about Pittsburg State's accounting program at



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