Ali Evans is a Finance and Accounting major at the Shields School of Business. She is graduating in December 2018.
Why did you major in Accounting and Finance?
I came to this school as a Chemistry major. I didn’t really know at the time what I wanted to do. My freshman year, I decided to go on the Spring Break in London trip with the Shields School of Business. That’s where I fell in love with the London financial district. We toured the Bank of England and Lloyds of London, and met with several alumni who work there.
When I got home I immediately spoke with Dr. Logue and Dr. Frye about transferring to the School of Business. At first, I didn’t know where I would fit in, but they suggested I start with Finance and go from there. Within a year I got an internship at CFO Strategies as a public accountant. That’s when I decided to add Accounting.
Learn more: Spring Break in London | Double Majors at the Shields School of Business
What do you like about SFU’s programs?
For starters, we have a brand new building. When you walk in you see the stock ticker and just feel like you’re at a big-city corporation, even though you’re in Loretto. It kind of makes you feel like there’s a bigger picture.
Getting to travel was a big selling point for me. I’ve been everywhere because of the Shields School of Business. Aside from my trip to London, I’ve traveled to places like Kansas City with the Enactus team, toured PNC Park in Pittsburgh with the Marketing department, and went to Maui, Hawaii for a week for an Economics conference. I’ve also been to AEA conferences in Philly and to NYC to tour the New York Stock Exchange.
At career fairs and consortiums, I’ve gotten to personally network with representatives from Fortune 100 companies like Pepsi, Walmart, Target, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson. SFU also has successful alumni that work for these companies, so students have the opportunity to meet with and even be mentored by alums who were once in our shoes.
Another great thing about the School of Business is that they help you become a well-rounded person. I’m majoring in Finance and Accounting, but I’ve learned a great deal about marketing, economics, product management, strategic planning, and how to manage a group of people. Professors and advisors make sure you’re ready for the business world in every way, beyond your majors.
Learn more: Business Alumni Successes | Shields School of Business Faculty | Student Opportunities
How did you start your job search process?
My job search process started with Enactus. I was able to start networking with huge companies my sophomore and junior years. This gave me an idea of what these companies have to offer. For example, Unilever makes a bunch of small products, but they need accounting and finance. Because every company has major accounting and finance positions, I quickly realized I can go anywhere with these majors. At some point I started leaning toward public accounting, specifically.
Learn more: Enactus | Career Services
What is the Accounting Consortium, and how did it help you land a job?
It’s basically one large accounting job interview. You send in your application, and a list of employers will read through accepted resumes and select who they want to interview for the day. Juniors apply for internships, and seniors for full-time positions.
Closer to the event, counselors from Career Services came into our classes and laid out all the information that Accounting and Finance majors needed to do to prepare for the consortium. They walked me and several other students through the process.
I attended six interviews that day, and was called back for second interviews by two companies. I later received two job offers.
Learn more: Student Academic Services | Student Opportunities
What other student opportunities did you take advantage of at Shields?
Greek Life is really important on our campus. I got involved with my sorority, Phi Delta Kappa, as a freshman, and have held a position every year since. I went from Treasurer to Recruitment Chair and am now the New Member Educator. Our sororities on campus are pretty large, so any chapter you join you’re dealing with a nice group of individuals. I’ve gotten great leadership experience through Greek Life.
Academically, I attended several of Dr. Timmons' economics colloquiums. They were basically day-long discussions on themes like occupational licensing and the police system. We’d be given the topic a couple of weeks prior to the event, then IHS (Institute for Humane Studies) would come in and we’d have a discussion panel led by students and an IHS representative.
Learn more: Greek Life | Economics | Center for the Study of Occupational Licensing
Why do you recommend a 17-yr old choose SFU for Accounting/Finance?
I’m sure some 17-year-olds are looking for a big college campus feel; however, if they’re looking to pursue a bigger career in the long run, SFU is where they want to be. The opportunities here are honestly hard to beat.
Our small class sizes give us one-on-one learning opportunities, and the many, affordable (often at no cost!) travel opportunities provide unique ways to learn outside the classroom. You also get to network with huge companies. Plus, our alumni connections are the best. Dr. Miko has the SAM program. That’s a great way to get out there. It would have benefitted me, for sure. It started late and I was already on my search. Investment Club, SAMs, Enactus, Economics conferences, Marketing trips—Literally anything you could want in every department, they’ve got it.
If you’re really looking for somewhere where you can grow and learn while you pursue a corporate career, this is the place to be.
Learn more: SAM Mentorship Program | Backpack-to-Briefcase Program | Clubs & Organizations
Shields School of Business