On March 18, 2021, the Student Accounting Association held its fourth meeting of the Spring semester with guest speaker Brittany Jellison, a campus recruiter, and IUP alumnus Dave Bluemling, a tax partner for BKD CPAs and Advisors, Pittsburgh office.

These speakers shared advice on how to network in the “new normal,” information about BKD, and a bit about their internship program and life as an associate.

A brief bulleted summary of the key points in the meeting:

  • Jellison emphasized the importance of LinkedIn, attending school career fairs and virtual conferences, and finding a mentor. The most important tool in making great connections, especially in a virtual setting, is soft skills. Being able to be an efficient communicator, working well in a team, being coachable, and showing pride as all important skills that will make for a successful career. Jellison and Bluemling shared how these skills have made the transition to working remotely smooth. 
  • BKD strives to give their clients “unmatched client service.” They offer services in audit and assurance, tax, consulting, and accounting outsourcing, and within many industries such as health care, commercial services, and financial institutions. Though the pandemic was very unpredictable, BKD did not let that hinder their success as they were awarded the Glassdoor Best Places to Work award for 2021. Jellison had also mentioned that employees are now able to go work at their own discretion in the Pittsburgh office. 
  • Internships at BKD are very hands on and a great growing experience. During the internship, interns will have important responsibilities, make lasting relationships, and grow into being a better professional. All interns are provided a mentor who will always help and support them throughout. Jellison shared that many times after a successful internship, there will be a full time offer. As far as becoming an associate for BKD, there a many great benefits offered such as CPA exam incentives and support, career advancement opportunities, and compressive onboarding. 

The next Student Accounting Association meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom, when we will welcome guest speaker and IUP alumna Elle Gandolfi ’17. She is an associate attorney (a 2020 graduate of Duquesne University School of Law) at Fowkes Rodkey, a local law firm.

The SAA president, Shelby Lowery, will email the link to this Zoom meeting to all accounting majors.