Jack Reagan R'89, Partner at KPMG in Washington, D.C., spoke to almost 90 accounting majors on September 15th.

In a program jointly organized by the Business School and the Office of Alumni and Career Services, Reagan discussed the three areas of accounting that students could be selected to enter after graduation: tax, advisory and audit.

He also explained the recruiting process at a Big Four accounting firm and addressed sophomores, juniors, and seniors specifically. Senior and accounting major, Kelly Young, said of the event: “I was really impressed with the program. I thought the presenter did a great job at giving insight into what the public accounting profession is really like.”

“[Students] better understood the three core areas of public accounting (tax, audit and advisory) and had a breadth of understanding of what those areas entail in terms of skill sets utilized and type of work environment in each area,” Shelley Burns, Director of Career Programs in Business, said.

Reagan, who is a Spider himself, specifically talked to sophomores about starting the recruiting process early in order to land an internship in public accounting.

According to Erin Lowery, Assistant Director of the Office of Alumni and Career Services: “Sophomores learned the importance of starting early to take advantage of leadership and internship programs.”

Reagan also kept seniors engaged by stressing the importance of networking. “For those seniors who attended, Reagan really encouraged them to take advantage of every opportunity to network with employers. I spoke with several seniors after the program that really seemed to have heard the message that they need to be actively engaged in the recruiting process now,” Lowery said.

Young agreed, "Luckily, I already have a job with KPMG for after graduation, but I thought this program gave me a good chance to network with individuals who are thinking about internships and need some advice about the recruiting process."

Reagan was impressed with the level of student attentiveness at the event. "Students were very engaged. There were lots of questions and bantering back and forth about issues that were relevant to them," Reagan said. Darrell Walden, Ph.D. and accounting department chair, also felt that students connected and paid attention during Jack’s presentation.

"I sensed that students were more attentive this year than in prior years. Students now understand that they have to take the accounting recruiting process and their academics seriously," Walden said.

Overall, the program was successful in complementing goals of the Office of Alumni and Career Services and preparing business students for the Corporate Careers Expo that will take place on September 22, 2010.

"I think students are a little better prepared going into the expo because they have a better understanding of who’s going to be [at the Corporate Careers Expo]," said Burns.

Lowery agreed that the program will not only prepare students for the Corporate Careers Expo, but that it also helped educate business students on the industry.

"I think this program is a perfect complement to the services and programs [the Office of Alumni and Career Services] offers students. This program helped students gain a better understanding of career options in public accounting and what it takes to get a foot in the door of a public accounting firm. The Office of Alumni and Career Services offers so many opportunities for students to get that foot in the door, and Jack Reagan encouraged students to take advantage of those," Lowery said.