Meet the Firms event provides networking and employment opportunities
- Author: Stacey Gish
- Author: Thursday, September 12th, 2019
The opportunity to network with accounting professionals and potentially gain employment are just a couple reasons why accounting graduate student Madison Contri from Murray attended her first Meet the Firms Event at the beginning of her junior year in 2017.
“It was important to me to meet potential future employers and to practice speaking to professionals in my field,” she said. “I wanted to start making connections early on in my accounting career, and Meet the Firms is a great way to do that.”
Meet the Firms is an annual event hosted by the Department of Accounting and the Beta Alpha Psi honor society. During the event, more than 80 accounting students meet with almost 20 firms and organizations to discuss the possibility of employment – internships as well as full-time opportunities. Students dress professionally, practice delivering an elevator pitch, and offer a resume while learning about the positions available with attending companies.
Organizations such as Bowling Green accounting firm Hensley & Throneberry attend Meet the Firms every year because they meet a new crop of talented young professionals eager to learn.
“We are so blessed to have WKU just right up the road from us,” said Kimberly Pfefferkorn, Sales and Marketing Liaison for Hensley & Throneberry. “They have both a wonderful undergrad program as well as graduate program. We look at it as a win-win for our firm and the student. This is a way for us to give back to WKU what they give to us.”
Both of the current interns serving at Hensley & Throneberry were hired as a result of the relationship built at Meet the Firms. Madison Contri is one of those interns.
“I was interested in Hensley & Throneberry because I liked the idea of working at a local firm and I was interested in the opportunities they presented – namely, getting to work in tax, audit, and bookkeeping,” Contri said. “I was drawn to them specifically because they were all so personable during Meet the Firms and gave me the impression that their employees are like their family – which I am happy to say is true!”
In her internship, Contri prepares tax returns for individuals and businesses and completes monthly reconciliations for clients. She also has assisted on several audits. All duties she says are preparing her for the full-time accounting career that will begin soon after her December graduation.
Pfefferkorn added that two of Hensley & Throneberry’s current full-time staff accountants previously served as interns.
“When a position is open we certainly look first to our graduating interns who are wanting to stay in public accounting or logistically want to stay in this area,” she said.
Contri encourages all of her accounting classmates to attend Meet the Firms, even if it sounds like a daunting experience.
“I was nervous before Meet the Firms,” she said. “Especially the first time I went. However, once I got there, my nerves disappeared quickly. I enjoyed talking to everyone at the event and learning more about my chosen field. All of our accounting professors and the career coaches make sure you are prepared for it.”