Hundreds of business students gathered in the Titan Student Union on Wednesday, for the fifth annual Accounting Expo. The day was filled with workshops and speaker panels to help students prepare for a possible future in the accounting industry.
The purpose of the Accounting Expo is to “provide information that helps accounting students prepare for their career and to get insider perspective,” said Maria Valdivia-Pellkofer, a business industry specialist from the Career Center.
Professionals working in many different stages of their career were represented at the expo to lend advice and tales of their personal experience with the students in attendance.
“We wanted to show the perspectives from individuals that were successful but were at different points in their career,” Valdivia-Pellkofer said.
Industry professionals from a broad range of experience were featured at speaker panels offered at the expo. Novice professionals and seasoned veterans offered perspectives from various career milestones.
Many of the professionals in attendance at the conference were also Cal State Fullerton alumni.
Christal Shillingford, a campus recruiter with Ernst and Young (EY) accounting firm graduated from CSUF in 2011.
“Really being grown from the school, you just have this passion to be here. There’s no other campus that I would rather be than Cal State Fullerton,” Shillingford said.
As a student and now as a professional returning back to her alma mater, she sees the value of the experiences provided through the Accounting Expo.
“I think the topics that we’re presenting are relevant to the timeframe of where we are and just the landscape of the fall,” Shillingford said.
EY has an extensive ambassador program with CSUF meaning that many EY interns and new hires have been recruited from CSUF.
The Accounting Expo has undergone noticeable changes since its start 5 years ago.
“This year’s Accounting Expo is actually kind of different,” said senior Nigel Wijoyo, 20, an accounting and finance major and president of the Accounting Society.
The format of the events and workshops provided at Accounting Expo have shifted from a one-on-one type of interaction to more of a group setting.
“I like the new concept where it is more into the panel basis instead of one-on-one with the recruiter,” Wijoyo said. “I could see how it could increase the exposure of them wanting to get to know the people and wanting to get across the message that they actually want to talk to students instead of doing it on a personal basis.”
Professionals have also noted the benefit of this change as well as the heightened student involvement.
“I think the Accounting Expo historically has been a great success but now that it’s back and Accounting Society is also involved I think it makes it a little bit better and a little more focused,” Shillingford said.
Wijoyo is looking forward to “Meet the Firm,” the Accounting Society’s biggest upcoming event this year, which will take place on Sept. 26.
“It’s kind of like a convention based event where we invite about 80 firms to come to the convention and bring their professionals from different lines of service,” Wijoyo said.
Accounting Society is the largest student organization at CSUF and the largest on campus business organization in Southern California, Wijoyo said.
“An accounting career doesn’t just happen, you have to create it and that’s what we’re hoping that we can help them do,” Valdivia-Pellkofer said.
The event was hosted by Steven G. Mihaylo College of Business, Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi.
Accounting Week continues through Sept. 19 and recruiting events held by the Accounting Society will continue through December.