Calculating Career Success: Tax Principals Featured at Women In Industry Speaker Series Event Friday, September 27, 2019
"I have had so many incredible opportunities and made countless connections that I never would have been exposed to if it weren’t for Point Park. I owe everything I have accomplished this far to the relationships I have with my professors.”
The Rowland School of Business welcomed to campus tax principals Celeste Suchko, CPA, and Mandy Merchant, CPA, from CliftonLarsonAllen — the eighth largest accountancy firm in the United States — as part of its Women In Industry Speaker Series.
Suchko has more than 20 years of public accounting experience focused on closely-held businesses in the construction, real estate and manufacturing industries, while Merchant has 18 years of experience providing auditing and consulting services to state and local government and nonprofit agencies.
“It was so inspiring to see and hear from women who were once in my same position. Both speakers discussed the importance of taking risks and finding a career that you love. They also emphasized traveling. This made me realize to always keep these factors in mind when I'm doing anything related to my career field,” explained Prim Green ’19, a broadcast production and media management alumna and MBA graduate assistant.
“Point Park has great professors who guide students to where they have always envisioned themselves. I am so grateful to learn from these professors as I pursue my career goals,” said Green, who graduated from North Springs Charter High School in Atlanta, Ga.
“Both speakers were insightful on a wide range of topics in the industry — from flextime to the best way to negotiate promotions. Most speakers who present to students encourage networking. These gals pushed it to the next level by encouraging us to have a touch point with every person in our network every six months,” explained Courtney List ’19, a public relations and advertising alumna and MBA student concentrating in management from Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, Pa.
List added: “My favorite part of the lecture was when Mandy and Celeste gave advice on how to move upward within a company. Their advice was if you really like where you work, but want to take on a more challenging role, communication is needed. If you do not vocalize to your employer that you want to move up, he or she will never know. I found this lesson to be beyond helpful as a grad student working my first full-time job.”
Stacey Federoff, a student in the M.A./MBA program, said: "Point Park is supporting my transition from newspaper journalism into the public relations industry, and the concurrent M.A./MBA program is preparing me for management roles, building my business-related skills."
"I realized these skills were important after my experience on the staff of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As a graduate assistant at the Center for Media Innovation, I'm able to use my experience as a journalist and interest in the future of journalism to reach my academic and career goals," added Federoff, a graduate of Yough High School.
For SAEM alumna and MBA student Miranda Klein ’19, the most valuable takeaway from Suchko and Merchant’s presentations was when they highlighted the importance of appreciating the teams you work with every day.
“They both mentioned the greatest successes they experience are watching their employees and co-workers succeed. Knowing that the leaders in your organizations want you to achieve your goals is so encouraging, and I think more companies need to incorporate this level of motivation,” Klein said.
Klein added: “Point Park continues to give me all the necessary skills to achieve my goals. I have had so many incredible opportunities and made countless connections that I never would have been exposed to if it weren’t for Point Park. I owe everything I have accomplished this far to the relationships I have with my professors.”