What's Next: Alumni Key to Grads' Employment

Moravian accounting majors met with alumni and prospective employers at the Futures in Accounting Networking reception held October 8. Alumni will be key to job placement for 2010 graduates, said Professor John Rossi. Photos by Eddie Flaherty '12

Preparing to enter the most difficult job market in decades, accounting majors donned business suits to meet with alumni mentors and prospective employers at the second annual Futures in Accounting networking reception last Thursday, October 8. More than 30 alumni and 25 local and national employers attended.
Unlike many fields, which recruit college seniors in spring, most recruiting for accounting occurs in fall, explained John Rossi, associate professor of accounting.

Joe Mattes '85, CPA and deputy director for financial compliance and business integrity for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, discusses career paths with Chrystie Giangiobbe '11.

Career placement efforts by the Moravian Department of Economics and Business and Career Services appear to have made a difference for the accountants of the Class of '09. By their May graduation, more than 70 percent of the 24 accounting graduates found professional positions with national or local accounting firms or at local employers, such as Air Products. Alumni connections have made the difference, says Rossi. "Our students' best hope for finding employment in this difficult economy will be our alumni—through alumni networking, students learn about possible careers and opportunities."

Career Center Launches Pilot Program

Alumni mentors also will be an important part of the Career Center's new Career Connections program. Launched this fall, the pilot program is designed to help students make informed career decisions and help in the transition from college life to the workplace. Students are matched to advisors based on their academic interests and the advisor's profession.

"Our students' best hope for finding employment in this economy will be our alumni," said Professor Rossi.

Last month, faculty members nominated students to participate in the pilot program and 38 students registered. "We were expecting only 20 to register and were pleasantly surprised to have more," said Amy Saul, director of career development. Dr. Kathy Thomforde worked with the Career Center to identify potential advisors, some of whom are alumni. Students will shadow their advisors at their workplaces during the winter break. All of the students have been matched with advisors for this year, but "we will begin planning for next year in the spring and will be looking for many more advisors in all career areas," added Saul.

How Alumni Can Help

The Career Center continues to seek alumni willing to extend a hand to students. If you are an alum and would like to serve as a mentor, panelist, or as an advisor for the next Career Connections program—or if your company can offer an externship, internship, or employment opportunity—please contact the Alumni Career Advising Program (ACAP) through its web page. Students also can contact alumni there.