Alumna Kline From S&T Bank Speaks to Economics Club

Posted on 2/25/2019 11:55:29 AM

On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, Stephanie (Perkovich) Kline was the featured alumna speaker at the Economics Club meeting. She earned a degree in economics/mathematics with minors in applied statistics and political science from the Cook Honors College at IUP in May 2007 and later obtained her MBA from IUP in 2013. Kline also earned a Stonier Graduate Banking diploma and a Wharton Leadership certificate at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.

Kline currently is vice president and assistant treasurer at S&T Bank in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Her 12-year career trajectory at the bank began with a marketing analyst position followed by a stint as a finance analyst and included several other assistant vice president and vice president roles. Managing a team of three analysts, Kline is responsible for managing the bank’s interest rate risk, liquidity, and capital.

Angela Mosbrucker, Valerie Berryman, Stephanie Kline, Brooke Allen, and Shannon Ferguson

From left: Angela Mosbrucker, Valerie Berryman, Stephanie Kline, Brooke Allen, and Shannon Ferguson

Kline began her presentation by highlighting the fact that students can expect to work a long time, and she told them to think about what they want to do professionally. In her own case, she discovered via her IUP education that solving puzzles intrigued her, and so she sought analyst positions as she embarked on her job search. Similarly, she advised the students to check out available jobs in areas of their interest on sites like Monster and Indeed.

While studying at IUP, Kline’s presentation, titled “Factoring Finance into Film: A Study of Box Office Revenue in the Motion Picture Industry,” won the Best Paper Award at the inaugural Undergraduate Scholars Forum in 2006. When queried about the topic of her econometrics paper by a student currently enrolled in Advanced Econometrics, Kline explained the key elements of her study about movies and enthused, “The econometrics program was hands down one of the best things I did at IUP!” Furthermore, she encouraged the econometrics students present to take a copy of their research paper with them to interviews to offer as a professional writing sample.

Kline explained that S&T Bank ranks as the 173rd largest among 5,500 banks nationwide, has a presence in three states, and employs 1,200 people. Having the opportunity to begin her career at the corporate headquarters of a large bank and then to advance professionally without the need to geographically relocate is an aspect that Kline deeply appreciates about working at S&T.

Having just completed the hiring of a new analyst for her team, Kline compared the interview process to speed dating where you have to make a long-term decision in a rather short period of time. Given the importance of interviewing, Kline offered specific advice to the students beyond the givens of being on time and showing up well dressed. In particular, she encouraged them to bring a pen and a pad with five “good” questions written on it. Kline emphasized that the questions should not be ones that easily could be answered via a Google search. Her examples included, “Could you tell me about a typical day?”, “How does the job training work?”, “How long have you been working here and what do you like about it?”

Kline often finds transcripts to be useful in interview settings and urged students to be honest and to take ownership of their grades rather than blaming their professors. She also advised students to be able to say three sentences about the company and suggested that students consult the About Us or Investor Relations pages of the company’s website for the necessary information. As a follow-up to an interview, Kline encouraged students to send a thank-you note within 48 hours—something only about 50 percent of interviewees actually do.

Kline also recommended that students’ résumés should include a grade-point-average, part-time employment, and student clubs. They should be visually appealing and completely error-free with respect to spelling and grammar. Having at least two people review a résumé also was mentioned. Kline emphasized the change in mindset necessary when going from a college environment to the workplace. As an example, she offered that earning 92 percent on an exam in college is a reason for celebration, but 92 percent accuracy on a résumé or work product is unacceptable.

The Department of Economics values its many accomplished alumni, and we always appreciate having the opportunity for our current students to learn from the personal and professional experiences of our graduates.

Stephanie Kline was invited to speak to the Economics Club by James Jozefowicz, professor of economics. Stephanie took Jozefowicz’s Managerial Economics, Introduction to Econometrics, and Advanced Econometrics courses during her undergraduate career at IUP.