Cabrini accounting alumni imparted helpful information on how to get ahead in the business world to current students in the mansion.
The alumni who bestowed their wisdom onto accounting undergrads were John Casparro ’07, Lisa Fusaro ’09, Christine Knopf Meller ’08, Mike Kubacki ’04, Chrissy Petrilla ’05, and Anthony Stola ’11.
Each alumnus took turns providing the audience with their impressive resumes and success stories on what you can become after graduation.
With an encouraging opening by director of the Center for Career and Professional Development Nancy Hutchison, the evening was not only beneficial to accounting majors, but for any other students looking to “advance their career.”
After another short remark by Cabrini’s provost Anne Skleder welcoming the “esteemed alumni,” it was the former students’ chance to take the floor.
To begin, recent Cabrini graduate Anthony Stola spoke of how much can be accomplished even only being two years out of school. What helped him gain so much momentum to jump right into the business world were his three internships that he gained powerful connections in.
Another enticing benefit to his extensive internships was that they were generally paid positions. He describes this luxury when he says that he “bought [his] first car with the internship money.”
Next to take the stage was a former student with a more distinct background. Lisa Fusaro spent twice the amount of time in achieving her undergraduate degree due to the fact that she was working full-time and caring for two-and-a-half year old triplets.
Even still, Fusaro had a resume full of experience and background that helped her gain the success she has today. One of the more prominent points that she brought up was made to benefit more than just accounting majors. “The more you expose yourself to, the more you’re going to learn.”
While the panel was technically for accounting majors, the advice that was given could be applied to any major or profession.
Fusaro also encouraged students to “find a mentor and challenge them to teach you,” wisdom that can be carried out through any avenue.
To follow Fusaro’s encouraging stories came former accounting and finance double major, John Casparro.
Having graduated six years ago, Casparro has built a resume around the connections he made while attending Cabrini. He says “network with the connections you have at Cabrini” in order to create relationships with potential future employers.
Even after graduation Casparro says “networking is constant,” making the move from one business to the next much easier.
In between each speaker, associate professor of accounting Anne Servey maintained the energy of both speakers and audience members by adding in her own input and experience.
“You want to be a piece of the network,” Servey said. She encouraged her students to not be shy and to be confident in themselves and about what they are capable of doing in order to achieve strong connections with the business world.
Christine Knopf Meller shared her success as a result of confidence by describing a job interview she had where she “received the job offer the next day in the mail.” Her secret to success in this was that she was not afraid of being interviewed because she knew that she was capable of handling what the company would present to her.
Another double major was present to provide her insight on what it takes to be successful. Chrissy Patrilla further proved the benefits of networking during your undergrad years by saying “get out there, talk to people and get involved in the different events.”
The night’s final speaker Mike Kubacki gave more detailed insight on how to handle the future after college. He started this by describing how he came into his specialty.
It began as a class that he thoroughly disliked. He even said that “it was the first class that I didn’t get an A in.”
That class’s distinction from the rest of his college career gave him a certain drive that then grew into passion. He now spends his time doing exactly what that class taught him.
While the more specific topics would be difficult to relate to for students who are not accounting and/or finance majors, the broad idea was something that could hold true for anyone. The main idea touched upon by all six speakers was that you need to be aggressive in your field and do not hold back on what you want to do.
As said by Mike Kubacki, “find something that you really love to do and learn everything about it.” Once you figure out what it is that you love, “take what you learn and don’t take it for granted.”