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Seventh Annual Accounting Networking Breakfast

Written by Matthew Yan

Company at Accounting Networking BreakfastStony Brook’s aspiring accountants and business leaders gathered in the Wang Center for the Seventh Annual Accounting Networking Breakfast on Thursday, October 3, 2019.  The event, hosted by the Career Center and the College of Business, gives students the chance to network with top local and national-level companies. A LinkedIn survey found that anywhere between 70 and 85% of jobs are acquired through networking rather than job postings and many interns become full-time employees, so this was a golden opportunity for students to get ahead by meeting employers face-to-face.

Representatives from more than 20 companies, including three of the “Big Four” accounting firms, KPMG, PwC, and EY, came eager to offer job advice, corporate insight, and internships to interested students. Laura Harris, EY’s campus recruiter, said she enjoys how well-prepared Stony Brook Students are and loves working with the Career Center to find the next generation of interns. According to her, EY is looking for accounting majors who are “strong, engaging, and can carry a conversation as well as leadership skills”.

KPMG was equally enthusiastic about providing internships to Stony Brook students. John Scalamandre, an advising associate and Stony Brook alumnus, got his start as an intern at the company. “As a Stony Brook student, KPMG has been invested in Stony Brook the longest of the Big Four,” he said, referring to KPMG’s presence at the event for the past five years. “We recognize the value in a Stony Brook education.”

Local accounting firms were also in attendance to offer students advice and provide internships opportunities. Adria Rossman, president of Rossman Tax Services, represented one of several Long Island-based companies looking to hire. Jovial and energetic, she passionately described the interns she recruited through Stony Brook as “fantastic” and encouraged equally driven students looking for jobs in accounting, taxation, and auditing to apply.

Many of the employers were more interested in students with a personality that matched their company’s culture than the overqualified. “We look for a person with good personality,” said Robert Rerna, a tax partner at BDO USA, the fifth-ranked accounting firm in North America. “Someone who’s engaging and has a good character.” His sentiments were echoed by several of the other employers, including KPMG, EY, Cerini and Associates, and Grassi and Co. Marvin Rosen, an insurance advisor at Rampart Insurance Services, said that the most important thing students need to know when looking for jobs is the culture of the company they want to work for. Employers also want interns who are eager to learn, communicate well, and ask good questions.