Highlighting Career Opportunities in Business and Accounting

College of Business and the Career Center Hosted Program for Long Island High School Students

Stony Brook University’s College of Business (CoB), in partnership with the Career Center, welcomed 90 accounting and business students from three Long Island high schools to campus on February 3 to learn about education and career opportunities in business and accounting.

Students from Amityville High School, Brentwood High School, and William Floyd High School took a campus tour, received an admissions overview, and attended a networking session and luncheon with CoB students and Stony Brook’s Accounting Advisory Board (AAB). 

“The College of Business is committed to supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives by providing this access and knowledge to local students,” said Amy Milligan, assistant dean for curriculum, accreditation and student services in the College of Business. “These high schools all have robust business programs, and bringing these students to Stony Brook provides knowledge about the possibilities available to them in their own backyard.”

“Accounting is not just about numbers,” said Cecelia Feng, associate professor of accounting. “There’s a lot of technology involved, and it crosses over into things like forensic accounting, fraud, misconduct, and more. What we do can be critical in court cases. Accounting is important and meaningful work.”

At a pizza lunch, AAB members introduced their firms and then collectively spoke about exciting career opportunities in the profession, the types of candidates firms seek to hire, and what students can be doing now to help determine their future education and career path.

AAB panel participants included representatives of KPMG, BDO USA, LLP, Cerini & Associates, PwC, and Protiviti Inc. CoB students shared their Stony Brook experiences, and the board discussed potential career paths and the pipeline for a diverse and well-trained workforce in the accounting profession. 

“When I was in high school, I wanted nothing to do with accounting,” said Michael Percent, a partner at KPMG in Melville, NY. “But I ‘accidentally’ ended up in the field, and it’s been a great career. Stony Brook is where I started, and this room is a place where you can get your start, too.” 

Alumnus Jacquelyn Bello ’20, also a KPMG employee, spoke of how her Stony Brook experience enabled her to enter the field.

“I got into KPMG through an internship opportunity I had while I was at Stony Brook,” said Bello, an audit growth senior associate at KPMG. “You’ve heard some speakers talk of various career paths that led to accounting careers. My career opportunity came straight from this campus.” 

Teachers who accompanied the students recognized the value in speaking to high schoolers about higher education opportunities available to them.

“It’s important that kids know of the opportunities that are available locally,” said Lee Cillo, an accounting teacher in the William Floyd school district in Brookhaven, Long Island. “Stony Brook has a quality program, and we’re happy to see our students get exposure to it.” 

“This event was a tremendous success, and is an excellent way for Stony Brook University’s College of Business to share with local high school students the educational paths that lead to outstanding and diverse career opportunities in accounting,” said Christie Comunale, professor of practice in the College of Business. “Hearing firsthand from the college’s Accounting Advisory Board, some of whom are Stony Brook University alumni, provided exciting insight into the path from backpack to briefcase.”

— Robert Emproto

Above photo: The Accounting Advisory Board panel included representatives of several firms and discussed potential career paths for business students. Photo by John Griffin.

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