Students Visit Firms and Alumni in New York CityStudents Visit Firms and Alumni in New York City
Alumni welcome School of Business students on their home turf.

Be active. Concentrate on more than academics.    

That was the takeaway lesson for Jackelyn Branco ’14, who has twice taken the annual September visit to New York City for top accounting and finance students.

“The most important lesson was to get really involved in the Business School and on campus, to be a well-rounded person, not to just try to get a 4.0 (GPA) but be active in sports and clubs, be a multifaceted person,” said Branco, a dual major in business administration and accounting.

“I heard the message last year and that’s when I changed everything,” she added.

The New York City trip includes visits to employers and alumni at major accounting and finance firms, allowing students to learn about jobs, internships and industry trends. At each visit, students network with employer representatives and alumni. Thirty-three undergraduate and two graduate students made this year’s two-day trip.

After the 2012 visit, Branco applied to become president of Ithaca College’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor organization for financial information students and professionals. She is now the president, as well as the communications manager for the Ithaca Real Time Fund, a $100,000 fund students manage in the Real-Time Portfolio Management class.

For Jonathan Wheeler ’14, an accounting major and legal studies minor, the lesson was to apply to company leadership programs as a sophomore or junior.

“This allows both the student and the company to get to know each other and gives the students a better opportunity to be selected for an internship,” said Wheeler, who also has made the trip twice.

“The trip changed my approach to my career because I realized that public accounting is what I want to do.”

 Next semester he will intern in the tax department at UHY Advisors in Albany as he also applies to the MBA-PA graduate program in the School of Business.

The trip is a signature event of the Business Link-Professions Program, explains Assistant Dean for Student Services Dawn Kline, the lead organizer. She credits the school’s Professional Development Coordinator and accounting Professor Pat Libby for coordinating the schedule and preparing students in how to best to represent the school and themselves.

“At each site, the students had to be pulled away from their conversations so that we could remain on schedule,” Kline said. “Their professionalism and initiative in making those connections was striking. We have had a number of firms post positions or solicit resumes from students participating in the trip.”

Dean Mary Ellen Zuckerman calls the New York City trips “a hallmark of our programs that provide excellent value and experience for our students. The alumni and employers have been very positively impressed with the preparation and demeanor of our students, and it has definitely helped with jobs and internships.”

The trip’s first day ended with an alumni networking reception in the Triumph Room of Providence NYC, 311 W. 57th St. Students from the ICNYC Semester attended as well.

“Meeting with the younger alumni in New York City and getting their fresh perspective on working in the financial services industry,” was invaluable for Branco. “They gave advice on applying for jobs and what courses to take on campus. They talked about what they would have done differently when they were students,” she said.

Tips on taking an extra course in advanced spreadsheets and in accounting and finance have helped Branco on her career path. She will intern at PwC next summer in assurance-financial services before studying for her MS in accounting.

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