On October 3, 2017, the Student Accounting Association’s invited guest speaker was Kerry Wright, a ’95 IUP alumna. Wright works for Highmark as their senior Risk Advisory Services consultant.
She began by sharing a few personal details about her life and family before jumping into the presentation. Wright began her career in accounting at Cooper & Lybrand, now known as PwC, as a business assurance associate. She obtained her promotion to senior
assurance associate “on time,” as she called it, in two years. After five years of working with them, and obtaining her CPA license during that time, Wright changed career paths and began working for Highmark, which she has been with for 17 years.
“Why pursue a career in public accounting?” she asked, and answered right away with, “Public accounting gives you great exposure of the different industries as well as an exposure to different managers,” which ultimately opens a path of growth and development
in your career.
Wright’s career at Highmark has been nothing but boring. She had a handful of promotions and career changing opportunities: she began as a financial analyst and worked her way up to manager in six years; from there she stepped down as manager and began
as senior product specialist, and was later promoted to product consultant in the Individual and Small Group Markets, where she was able to conduct focus groups and other responsibilities that were new to her.
Wright is currently an internal auditor, where her responsibilities involve physician site audits, investigations, budget coordinator, and audit committee support to the Alleghany Health Network.
She finished the presentation with a few tips to prepare students and their resumes. She emphasized the importance of getting involved, assuming a leadership role, networking, finding an internship, and, most importantly, having a positive attitude.
The students were engaged during the presentation as well as afterwards. “This presentation helped me start thinking about my long-term career goals, as far as public accounting versus the private accounting,” said Laria Moore.
The Student Accounting Association hopes to see you at our next meeting on Thursday, October 26, at 5:00 p.m. in the Eberly Auditorium. We will host Alphonso Dandridge from the Department of Justice.
Department of Accounting