By Elsy Perez– During the CSB 2017 Career Day, several disciplinary and industry focused panels were part of the rich and informative sessions available to attendees. Accounting was one of the various disciplinary focused panels that had four experienced and exceptional professionals share their experiences in the accounting field and offer advice to those currently or interested in pursuing a degree in accounting, and I had the honor of attending this distinguished panel.
Lindsay Fisher, an associate at Compensation & Benefit Solutions, began the session by sharing the importance of accounting and stating that it is the “foundation” to be able to do anything you set yourself to do. In addition, she said to the audience that it is fine to go another path than what is expected, encouraging the audience that when an opportunity arises one should take it.
Josh Henke, the director at Compensation & Benefit Solutions, first shared his educational background stating that he majored in marketing. Mr. Henke then went back to reiterate what Lindsay Fisher had said about going another path than what is expected. Although he majored in marketing, he did not go on that track. Furthermore, he continued by stating that studying a degree in accounting allows you to be able to “speak the language of business” and characterizes you as a detail-oriented and number-oriented person.
Julietta Palyan was the third panel speaker who began by sharing that she majored in International Studies. Furthermore, before beginning to share how she now has a degree in accounting, she stated that the saying “Help others, help yourself” is true. This was proven when she continued by sharing that she was motivated to study accounting while she was helping accounting students at the University of Houston and resulted in coming back to the University of St. Thomas to study accounting. Furthermore, after studying accounting, she had two internships and one of them was for the Big 4. The Big 4 are the largest accounting firms that offer various services such as advisory, managerial consulting, auditing, and much more. In addition, the Big 4 consist of PWC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. One of her internships was at PWC for full-time working in auditing because she believes that auditing allows one to know how businesses operate accounting. Moreover, she stated that accounting allows others to “trust you are professional.” Lastly, Mrs. Palyan offered some advice to the audience: keep good grades, network, and to remember that “no job is worth the stress.”
Augusta Karolys, operations manager at Braithwaite Global, was the final panel speaker. She earned her MBA in Finance at the University of St. Thomas then decided to go back and study accounting because, as she confessed, “accountants have taken all the finance jobs.” Furthermore, she emphasized that during the process of earning a degree you need to enjoy every experience. She also praised UST by saying that the “education you get here [at UST] is great.” Mrs. Karolys continued by saying that nowadays it is hard to hire accountants because they lack the required skills. To be a step ahead of other applicants when finding a job, she advises having IT experience. Additionally, she also adviced us to be open-minded and to try an IT program because in doing so you will be obtain knowledge. Mrs. Karolys ended the session by giving some advice to the audience: “Think big, enjoy the little things” and to the millennials she said, “Do not act like a millennial, keep using your brain.”
I learned a lot from this panel of professionals. I left with the following pearls of wisdom: Accounting, the language of business, gives you the advantage to be trusted as a professional. Regardless of the degree you are pursuing, every experience you have while you are going through the process of earning your degree should be enjoyed. Going another path than what is expected is fine because one never knows what will be presented in our lives. As Mr. Henke said, “opportunities present, jump on them.”
University of St. Thomas
CSB, Accounting major