Rowland School of Business

Point Park Career Counselor Helps M.B.A. Grad Transition to Accounting/Finance Field

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pictured is M.B.A. alumna Ericka Watkins, credit analyst for Koppers, Inc. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Meet Ericka Watkins 

Job title: Credit Analyst
Employer: Koppers, Inc.
Degrees earned: M.B.A., management concentration, Point Park University, 2012 and B.S. in management with a minor in marketing, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, 2010
Hometown and current residence:
Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School:
Samuel P. Langley High School
Hobbies/interests:
Spending time with family and friends, vacationing, education, hair, shopping, volunteering, cooking, baking, sports and active with Point Park Alumni Association and Penn State Alumni Association
LinkedIn profile:
https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=202681098

"I liked that the professors had jobs in the fields they were teaching. What we learned in class was based on their real-world experiences."

-- Ericka Watkins



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Describe the Career Development Center's role in helping you land your current position.

Toward the end of graduate school, I frequently met with career counselor Laura Dulaney. She helped me search for jobs on the Point Park Career Network website. I landed a job in HR upon earning my M.B.A. degree but it wasn’t the right fit for me. I missed working with numbers and wanted to move into the accounting field so I reached out to Laura again — this time as an alumna — and she connected me to the accounting internship with Urban Design Associates. The internship was a great experience and ultimately led to my current position in accounting and finance with Koppers.

Why did you choose Point Park for your M.B.A.?

I chose Point Park because I heard it was a great school and I really liked the University's Downtown Pittsburgh location. Also, I liked that I could enroll in the graduate program soon after applying.

What did you enjoy most about the campus?

I enjoyed grabbing coffee at Starbucks before class and going to Point Park’s library. The library was nice and peaceful; it allowed me to study and focus. Also, I really liked the overall campus atmosphere and how everything was close to each other. Being in the middle of the city, Point Park's campus had a New York City type of feel to it.

What were some of your favorite M.B.A. classes?

My favorite classes were accounting for managers, corporate finance, global environment of business and managerial economics. I liked that the professors had jobs in the fields they were teaching. What we learned in class was based on their real-world experiences.

What are your career goals?

I am really happy in my current position but I’d like to grow within the finance department at Koppers. Eventually, I’d like to be vice president of a company. I also see myself working in sales and doing some traveling for work.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I encourage anyone who has a doubt about advancing his or her education to definitely do it. My M.B.A. degree has made a positive difference in my career and really helped me mature. At times, having an advanced degree can be worth more than experience. It may take time but getting your education does pay off.

A special thanks goes out to Laura Dulaney for always keeping in touch with me. For more than two years, she was a big help to me with job searching, giving me tips to improve my resume and helping me transition my career from HR to accounting and finance. Her efforts have been very beneficial and really made a difference in my career. 

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