The Titan Student Union Pavilions played host to the fourth annual Accounting Expo Tuesday, sponsored by the Department of Accounting.
With three panels featuring public accounting executives, recruiters and professionals working in nonpublic forms of accounting, the event also gave students an opportunity to connect with sources who may help them start a career in accounting.
Entering the Opening Forum, “Discussion with Public Accounting Executives,” each available seat had a small survey which students can fill out to give feedback on what they learned from the event. The panel included speakers who work within public accounting, giving advice regarding internships, the importance of GPAs and how best to prepare for a career. The panel was moderated by Randy Hoffman with executive speakers including Becky Preston, Gary Gee, Jeff Altshuler, Gregory Coleman, Jon C. Smith and Kami Refa.
The forum included a series of prepared questions related to public accounting as well as one question which was taken from the audience.
“Hopefully we have converted some of those undeclared and maybe some of those liberal art majors to (become) accounting majors,” Hoffman said to conclude the panel.
As soon as the first panel stopped, empty chairs were refilled with surveys while the podium for the next panel was prepped.
Two panel options were available for the time between 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. One concerning a recruiter’s perspective on resume and interview preparations in Pavilion A, and the other about careers in nonpublic accounting in Alvarado AB.
During the panel with the recruiters, one of the points that was made was the importance of reaching out to them in an appropriate fashion.
“I had one student … who tried to reach out to me on Facebook and then called the next day and asked me why I didn’t respond,” said Nahal Shafsgh, campus recruiter for Ernst & Young. The student was not from CSUF, she said.
Unlike the Opening Forum, this section dedicated almost a complete half an hour to answering student questions.
An opportunity for students to meet with professionals in different companies for networking purposes began at 1:30 p.m. inside of Pavilion C. This gave students the chance to sharpen their networking skills while allowing them to make important connections in the here and now.
Hari Kavia, a master’s grad student, looked forward to the opportunity Pavilion C had to offer.
“I want to speak to as many people as I can. There isn’t anyone in particular. I’m still trying to find the firm that is right for me,” Kavia said.
This section of the Accounting Expo continued until 5 p.m., but by 2 p.m., there were already students who had made important connections. Students who had a chance to speak to professionals were able to get first-hand experience from them.
Jennifer Rangle, a senior accounting major who had finished with the networking section of the convention, had met with HCVT accounting firm.
“It was a great experience. I got to network with the recruiters and other professionals and meet with other students. I got to meet with people who are transfer students or juniors and also getting their advice on their recruiting process,” Rangle said.
Nikki Pierstorff, a recruiter for the event that was also an accounting major who will be CPA verifiable in May 2018, had an opportunity to reconnect with previous contacts. A team which she had met during a previous accounting event was inside of Pavilion C, giving her a brief moment to reconnect.
“The best part is meeting new people who are in the same shoes as I am,” Pierstorff said.