On October 26, 2017, the Student Accounting Association invited guest speaker Alphonso Dandridge to speak about an avenue that some accounting students may overlook. Dandridge graduated from IUP in 2005 with an accounting degree. When he first
arrived at IUP, he had no clear path of what he wanted to do. With the feedback provided by placement testing, he finally decided to choose accounting as his major.
Photo: Accounting major Lenny Williams (left) speaking with Alphonso Dandridge
One of Dandridge’s main points was how developing relationships with your peers, professors, and professionals along the way is very important. An important connection he made during his college career was with a government accounting professional, which
lead him to his previous job with Naval Audit Service, a federal government agency located in Washington, D.C. He worked there for 10 years, with his last position being senior auditor. Dandridge wanted to move closer to home, so two years ago he
did just that by accepting his current position as an auditor with the US Department of Justice–Office of the Inspector General in the Philadelphia Regional Audit Office. His job involves crime prevention.
Dandridge also emphasized the importance of networking with your peers while in college. He said, “Everyone will be competing against each other to find jobs, but you all have to lean on each other and support each other in the process.”
Photo, from left: SAA Faculty Adviser Kim Anderson, Alphonso Dandridge, and SAA President Katie Swauger
Another point Dandridge stressed was to find your niche during your college career. He told the students to find something that they enjoy and focus on becoming great at it. Whether it be audit, tax, governmental accounting, or any specialization in accounting,
find what you excel at. By finding something you are interested in, it can help you provide value in a company and you will hopefully enjoy what you do.
Dandridge also discussed the advantages of working in a government position. The most relatable advantage that most students might like is the limited work week of 40 hours. If you are interested, you can look on the USA Jobs website for more information for government jobs and internships.
The SAA’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 13, at 5:15 p.m. in Eberly Auditorium, which will include a student panel discussing how to obtain an internship.
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