Around 140 Lehigh students attended a panel held by the accounting club in conjunction with various accounting and business related clubs and organizations Aug. 28.
This program was the first sponsored by not only the accounting club, but also ASCEND, a Pan-Asian organization for business professionals in America; the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting; the National Association of Black Accountants; and the Society of Queer & Undergraduate Allies in Business.
It was also the largest event the accounting club has held, where more than 140 students confirmed that they would attend.
Elizabeth Pines, ’16, president of the accounting club, said that she had two main purposes when planning this event: getting the students to network with professionals and letting students know that these other organizations are available as resources to them.
“A lot of what we do has been very fragmented before, so let’s say ALPFA or NABA would have one event and the accounting club would have one event, but there wasn’t much interaction,” Pines said. “When I became president of the accounting club, I really wanted to be more collaborative and also have a lot more stake in each other’s success.”
Mayra Juarez Gutierrez, ’15, president of ALPFA, said, “The main reason we did it was to show the university we’re really serious about diversity and we’re very serious about collaboration.”
The panel, which featured young professionals from accounting firms like Prudential, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers answered questions about diversity, mentorship and their transition between college and the working world. The panel consisted of recruiters from each of the companies and a professional from the each of the firms.
Most panelists were Lehigh alumni and spoke specifically about their experiences transitioning from Lehigh into their respective firms.
After the panel, students could mingle with the professionals, network with them or ask them more questions about their experiences.
“We’re spanning insurance, finance, accounting and just really kicking off the new year for any student that wanted to attend,” said Joseph Manzo, an accounting and business professor.
Pines also mentioned that another one of her goals as president of the accounting club was to get these organizations more exposure and that collaborating with them actually helped the event have better attendance.
“I want those organizations to thrive because our collective mission is to get students jobs and to get students prepared for the work force, and if we’re working together it’s so much stronger,” Pines said. “I think it showed in the numbers and in the quality.”
Most of these clubs and organizations are fairly new to the Lehigh campus even though they have national chapters. The organization ASCEND has not yet been established at Lehigh, SQUAB was established last year, ALPFA has been at Lehigh for a year and NABA for two.
“I think it’s wonderful that the clubs are coming together and working together to bring a great benefit to their classmates and peers,” Manzo said.