In This Issue:
What's New with the Accounting Major?
The Accounting department continues to evolve. First, we welcomed Keith Farrell, chief financial officer of RHenergytrans, as a new member of the Accounting Advisory Board and as one of our executives in residence. Keith joins Janel Bonsell, of Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Company, and Christopher A. Elwell, from Maloney, Reed, Scarpitti & Company, as accounting professionals in the Executive in Residence program. Executives in Residence serve as guest lecturers, provide career advising, and mentor students, among other things.
Second, we held a successful Accounting Day on September 21. Our partners and alumni, as well as regional CPAs and other industry professionals, talked to students regarding the possibilities in various accounting careers. The day included a networking luncheon, giving our students an opportunity to practice their skills in conversations with professionals. Special thanks to Dr. Chuck Brown for organizing the event.
Third, the Accounting curriculum continues to evolve with the infusion of technology courses into the curriculum, providing in-depth knowledge of spreadsheets, databases, and data analytics. Our accounting students also have opportunities to take cybersecurity and AI courses through the Management Information Systems department. Additionally, Professor Zach Williams will offer a Forensic Accounting course in the spring.
Finally, we graduated a strong, career-ready accounting class in May. Many of our students landed jobs with premier accounting firms and corporations. The job market for accounting graduates remains superb.
—Dr. Ash Deshmukh, chair, Accounting and MIS
Robert Patterson is a second-generation Behrend faculty member. While he has taught many accounting courses over the years, his primary focus is tax accounting.
What inspired you to pursue a career in your field of expertise?
I'm an "accidental" faculty member. I originally became interested in accounting as a major after serving as treasurer for my high school yearbook. At that time, I was certain I would never follow in my father's footsteps; he taught math at Behrend for over 36 years. In graduate school, I was asked to tutor a few fellow students who needed help in meeting the program's math prerequisite, which ultimately led to me teaching a class. I really enjoyed it and stuck with it. If you're open to it, your career may find you.
What's a fun fact about yourself?
During the 1990-91 academic year, I helped a group of students establish a Behrend chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. I am currently the longest-serving chapter advisor of Delta Sigma Pi in the country.
Ana Ng '23
Ana Ng, a May '23 graduate, is a tax associate in Business Tax Services at KPMG, where she assists a variety of clients with tax planning, compliance, and consulting needs.
What were some of your most memorable experiences or activities during your time at Behrend?
Being part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was a very special memory for me. This program allowed me to have the same experiences as a traditional tax internship, and I was able to see firsthand how I was helping the community.
What advice would you give to current students looking to pursue a similar career path?
Get as much experience as possible. Professors update students about new internships and opportunities, and it is important to take advantage of them. This will grow your résumé and give you talking points during interviews.
Alex Duguid '23
Alex Duguid '23 is pursuing a dual major in Accounting and Finance and plans to graduate in December. He is involved with the Accounting Club and has had several internships.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of school, and how do you balance these with your academic commitments?
My favorite hobby outside of school is golf, which is a summer/fall sport. I try to do most of my school work during the weekdays so that I can golf and relax on the weekends.
Have you had the opportunity to participate in any internships or hands-on learning experiences related to your major? What are your future aspirations or goals for after graduation?
I was a tax intern at Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Company in the spring of 2023, which was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone majoring in Accounting. This internship inspired me to seek a public accounting job, and I will start as a full-time tax associate at BDO in Pittsburgh in January. I was also an internal audit intern at PNC in the summer of 2023.
Accounting Club Updates
During the spring semester, the Accounting Club organized a series of meetings that provided students with a broader understanding of the accounting field and its opportunities. The highlight of the spring semester was a résumé workshop, held in collaboration with McGill, Power, Bell & Associates, where students learned what professionals are specifically looking for in a résumé.
This fall, the Accounting Club kicked off the new academic year by hosting its annual pizza party, which was a great opportunity for students and faculty to get together and socialize. The club also hosted a résumé before the fall Career and Internship Fair.
The club's most recent event, a collaboration with PNC, provided insights into the company's diverse offerings for students, including internships and development programs.
For more details about our club or to stay updated on our upcoming events, students can visit the Accounting Club's BehrendSync page, follow them on Instagram, or email our president, Noah Wienczkowski.
Celebrating Behrend's 75th Anniversary
We are busy celebrating Penn State Behrend's 75th anniversary!
A fun accounting fact: Behrend's accounting degree became the first four-year business degree offered at Behrend! The year was 1977. The Bee Gees were on the airwaves and John Travolta was on the big screen in Saturday Night Fever.