The Accounting and Finance Association (AFA) and the Department of Accounting brought in two Plattsburgh State ’16 alumni to talk about the dos and don’ts of college, and how to connect it to life after college.
Molly Lundgren and Darin Williams graduated together less than eleven months ago, yet have already secured associate positions for Grant Thornton, LLP, in New York City, which is a tax and accounting firm that was founded in 1924.
During the presentation, the students were asked whether or not they have been in a professional setting or not. Since Lundgren and Williams have gone through the hiring process in order to secure their respective jobs, the AFA and the Department of Accounting thought it would be a good idea to have them talk to students who are not too far behind from where they are in their careers. Since they only graduated last spring, they were able to connect with the audience, and supplied them with the proper information they need in order to ease the common misconceptions about the job market after college.
“At our weekly club meetings we promote professionalism, and we like to get our students ready for the professional world,” Ameet Kumar said, who is the president of the AFA and is triple majoring in accounting, economics and finance. “This is our third event so far, and we have a lot more planned.”
The AFA works closely with the school of business and economics to help bring alumni to campus and host events like this. There are many things that students should and should not be doing in order to prepare for the professional world after college, which is why this presentation in particular was important for its students to participate in.
“I think a lot of students realized they should be working on internships right now,” Kumar said. “We all work really closely together whenever there is alumni visiting because it helps all of us.”
There are countless steps to take in order to secure a good job. During the presentation, both Lundgren and Williams described the correct steps to take, and the ones worth avoiding, as well as the steps that each of them had taken to end up where they are right now.
“It was more so because of the professors I had and the connections I had that helped me get to where I am,” Lundgren said, who is a corporate finance associate at Grant Thornton, and graduated PSUC with majors in accounting, international business and business administration, and even minored in business analysis and global supply chain management. “I think events like this are incredibly important. It’s rewarding because only a year ago, I was where they (the students) are. Now, being on the flip side it makes me realize how valuable the things I have can be.”
Putting forth effort and maintaining a professional attitude were main points outlined in what Lundgren and Williams had to say, but being able to have fun in and outside of work and being happy are also very important when it comes to job searching.
“You need to be able to stay true to yourself no matter what culture or career you’re in,” Lundgren said.
“You don’t want it to shape you. You want to shape it. You want to be the change. There will always be situations that try you, but you can’t let it deter you or change you for the worse. For the better is good, but not for the worse.”
Williams and Lundgren work in the same building, and even in the same office vicinity at Grant Thornton in NYC, however, Williams works in the business risk advisory services, as opposed to the transaction services with Lundgren.
Williams, who graduated PSUC with majors in accounting and general business and a minor in economics, was able to reflect on his time spent at PSUC and how valuable every year is and how important it is to get involved.
“Events like this are crucial. As an undergrad, I always would go to the alumni visits, and it’s actually how I got my job,” Williams said. “Being around and getting your name out there is so important right now, and being familiar is a huge advantage in this day in age.”
The overall theme of the presentation wasn’t to make the students nervous about life after college, but more so focused on how time is ticking, and every minute is valuable to starting the career that is right for you.
“You need to put in the time to find what you like, and that takes a while,” Williams said. “I still don’t know if I’ve found exactly what I like, but I know I am on the right path to getting what I want not only financially, but for my happiness and the rest of my future as well. If you know what you want to do, then go for it and do it right away. But things change and you will need to be able to adapt and thrive, because it’s your life, and you have to live it.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at email@example.com