Q: Why did you decide to come to RMU?
A: When I was looking for my potential college I wrote up a checklist of attributes that that college must manifest: a competitive and recognized program, small class sizes allowing for the teachers and students to form a strong network, a college just outside of a city – granting a true “campus feel” but in range to provide ample internship opportunities during the semesters, and the prestige that comes with a private school diploma. I actually came and toured the campus twice and it was ideal. The campus was beautiful, the students were friendly, and my tour guides talked of how engaged the campus is and how easy it was to get involved to become part of the RMU family.
Not to mention the timing. The new School of Business building was just completed what better time to come to a university than when they’re promulgating their cause and ability, when they’re preparing and working to become a household name. I knew that that was energy that I could feed off of.
Q: Tell me about your current position at your job and how you got it.
A: I have accepted a full-time offer to work as an auditor for BDO starting in the fall of 2016. The offer came after I completed my first BDO internship my junior year, in the spring of 2015. RMU and the Career Center – especially Sheila Broman and Carol Weldon – get 100 percent of the credit here because they make the process so unbelievably easy. I had never heard of BDO until I logged onto ColonialTrak. All I had to do was search for accounting interviews, upload a resume, and click “apply”.
In addition to ColonialTrak, the Association of Future Accountants, as well as our department head, Carol Macphail, and Professor (Vicki) Fratto, go above and beyond when it comes to helping students find competitive internships. It all goes back to that small-school feel and the personal relationships that you develop with our professors here at RMU. They genuinely care about you succeeding and they eagerly assume the mantle to see you do well. To them our level of success is personal and as a student I can’t express how phenomenal that feeling is.
Q: Do you feel the courses at RMU prepared you for the workplace?
A: Our courses at RMU are extensive and rigorous, yet, still very achievable. Not that any class along can truly prepare you to step into the corporate world, but I strongly feel that our curriculum has given myself and other RMU students an advantage over our competition. It’s really the teachers that make the difference because they are well accomplished in the business field. Having teachers that have experience outside of the world of academia not only makes class more interesting as they wrap in real-world scenarios, but also grants our instructors more credibility. I did the integrated program, which usually takes five years, but I was able to do it in four, which gave me the 150 credits needed to sit for the CPA Exam.
Q: Did anyone at RMU change your life?
A: I actually had a handful of people change my life. First, an upper class student-mentor, and now RMU staff member, Alan Buehler. He shepherded me around campus teaching me how to genuinely network and foster long-lasting relationships. I owe my involvement to him.
Again, professors MacPhail and Fratto epitomized dream professors; not only were they phenomenal teachers, but they cared about us – not just our grades, but rather, who we are and what we are passionate about. And Professor William Repack, who unabashedly encouraged and emboldened me to chase big dreams.
The Dean of Students, John Michalenko, who I’m privileged to call a friend, showed perpetual wisdom and kindness throughout my years here. And finally, the RMU student body, every student I shook hands with, went through class with, ate a sandwich in RoMo’s with – I never thought so many individuals could impact my growth.
Q: Did you ever have to work on an extensive, semester-long project?
A: For my capstone business foundations course, I worked with one group on two multi-week presentations: Under Armour and Lululemon. For each of the athletic apparel retailers, we delved though articles and reports deep into the company -- into the financial statements, sales, supply chain, product design, target markets, innovation -- the list goes on and on. They may be two similar companies but they provided me with two very different learning opportunities. The assignment “put us on the board,” per se, and that viewpoint was nothing short of pure excitement.
Q: What all were you involved in at RMU?
A: I was a community advisor for two years. I rushed Alpha Chi Rho my freshman year and went on to become president. My senior year I was the vice president of the Class of 2016. I played on many intramural sports teams and co-hosted a sports radio talk show. Finally, I was a founder of Beta Psi business fraternity, and general member of Student Conduct Board, Association of Future Accountants, and College Republicans.