Alumni from PNC Speak to Student Accounting Association

Posted on 9/1/20 2:49 PM

On August 27, 2020, the Student Accounting Association hosted its first meeting of the fall semester virtually via Zoom. There were 74 students in participation at the meeting. Guest speakers from PNC talked to the SAA, giving students advice and informing them of the different functional areas of employment at PNC. 

The speakers included three IUP alumni: Brady Wise ’95 (BS, accounting), EVP, head of enterprise risk management, COO of independent risk management; Samantha Frye ’19 (BS, accounting), accountant senior; and Matt DeCesare ’20 (BS, accounting and finance), independent risk management development program analyst. In addition, the following PNC professionals spoke at the meeting: Brittany Dreher, AVP, independent technology risk specialist; Bryan Zalaznik, VP in the PNC financial department; and Allie Gardner, PNC campus recruiter.

Wise started the meeting by talking about the corporate culture at PNC. Wise noted that PNC offers as many opportunities for job growth as major companies in New York City. PNC believes that giving back to others is very important. Community service events are a part of the PNC culture, with several ways for their employees to give back to their community. One of the community events that PNC partakes in is a program called “Growing Up Great.” This program allows PNC employees to help grade-school age children succeed academically and personally.

DeCesare added that the PNC environment is very similar to the environment at IUP, including fostering an environment that creates leaders and builds communication skills. DeCesare said that he was well prepared for his career at PNC because of the accounting, leadership, and networking skills he learned during his time at the Eberly College of Business.

Zalaznik talked about the different types of internships that Eberly students can apply for at PNC. There are many different internships offered for accounting and finance majors. Some of the main areas include risk management, audit, asset management, and many others. Zalaznik said upon entering the internship, students will be assigned a peer mentor and will be trained to do their jobs. During the time of the student’s internship, the student will have the opportunity to rotate through four or five functional areas in the bank. Interns will be assigned real business-related tasks to complete. This is a great benefit for students because they can see what area they are most interested in for their careers. During the internship, there will be opportunities for communication with executives and senior level staff.

Frye and Dreher told students that the more involved they can be on campus and with PNC, the better their chances for being accepted into an internship position. Zalaznik, who guides new interns and employees when they come to PNC, said that they look for applicants who present themselves in a professional manor, are adaptable, good with teamwork, and most importantly, have a positive attitude. Applications for the 2021 internship program are currently being accepted and should be submitted by the end of September. To look over a list of internships and jobs offered by PNC, please visit the PNC student jobs website.

The next SAA meeting will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, September 2, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The featured guest speaker is Jan Shellenbarger from IUP’s Career and Professional Development Center. Shellenbarger will discuss the upcoming SAA Career Day, which is a career fair geared toward accounting and finance majors. This year’s Career Day is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16, and will be held virtually via Handshake.

This year’s SAA officers are Sarah Crownover, president; April Murdick, senior vice president; Bobby Kanick, vice president; and Larry Jones, vice president of finance. The SAA faculty advisor is Kim Anderson of the Department of Accounting.

—Sandra Shanshala, SAA publicity chair