Student Accounting Association Fall 2017 Speed Networking Event

Posted on 5/15/20 8:38 PM

On November 2, 2017, IUP’s Student Accounting Association teamed up with the Institute of Internal Auditors and Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs to host a speed networking event. This first-time event for the SAA was held to provide the 35 accounting majors in attendance the opportunity to improve networking skills, build relationships with professionals, and learn about various accounting career paths. Twenty-five professionals from 13 different companies attended the event, including bank personnel, public accounting firm representatives, FBI agents, and a sole practitioner. 

After a brief introduction in the auditorium where students were given some networking tips, attendees disbursed to their assigned tables in the Eberly atrium where 16 tables were set up. Two to three students had three-and-a-half minutes to network with professionals at each of these tables, and at the sound of a buzzer they would move on to the next table of professionals.


The objective of the speed networking event was to remind students that a degree in accounting opens a plethora of career opportunities. For example, representatives from the FBI discussed forensic accounting, while Kathleen DeMarchi discussed her experience as a sole practitioner. There are many certifications and career paths available for accounting graduates rather than just taking the traditional public accounting route, so this event was designed to remind students that they have many options to consider with an accounting degree.

Also in attendance were two HR representatives: Lindsey McNickle from IUP’s HR office, and Sherry Bender, who is an HR generalist/recruiter from IRMC. These HR professionals provided students with valuable insight regarding interviewing and resume building.

After the speed networking portion of the night had concluded, students and professionals were able to casually continue networking at their own leisure while enjoying refreshments.

This first-time event was made possible through the efforts of several people within the SAA, IIA, and PICPA. SAA President Katie Swauger and IIA Student Ambassador Kylie Hissem put in many hours of hard work organizing this event in collaboration with LaDawn Yesho, chief audit executive at S&T Bank, Board of Governors member, Advocacy Committee chairperson of the IIA, and PICPA Southwestern Chapter president; as well as Jeff Sottile, senior audit manager at S&T Bank and member of the Schools and Colleges Committee of the PICPA; and Trudie Kozar, audit manager II of S&T Bank and IIA Advocacy Committee member. Kim Anderson, faculty advisor of the SAA, was responsible for advertising the event and lining up the 35 accounting majors who participated, and Cyndy Strittmatter helped with many of the logistics of setting up the needed facilities and refreshments.

Thank you to the following companies for participating in the event:

  • Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc.
  • Demarchi & Associates
  • Diamond Pharmacy
  • Ernst & Young
  • FBI
  • First Commonwealth Bank
  • Indiana Regional Medical Center
  • IUP
  • KPMG
  • PNC Bank
  • Schneider Downs
  • Sisterson & Company

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology