Accounting Students Get Career Boost at Meet the Firms Event

by Jason Cunningham

More than 100 Azusa Pacific students pursuing careers in accounting boosted their prospects recently at the inaugural Meet the Firms event, held at APU and featuring representatives from several top local, regional, and national accounting firms.

APU graduate and undergraduate accounting students, along with students from California Baptist, Biola, Pepperdine, and the University of La Verne, engaged professionals from 15 firms, including such industry giants as KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the latter of which sent seven representatives.

“The overarching goal of Meet the Firms is creating exposure for the students and allowing them to network with firms for potential leadership opportunities, accounting internships, and—one day—jobs,” said Rachelle Little ’16, president of APU’s Accounting Honors Society, which played a significant role in planning Meet the Firms. “The event is designed so the firms come and set up so students can approach them, develop relationships, and hand out résumés.”

Another driving force behind Meet the Firms is John M. Thornton, Ph.D., CPA, professor and chair of Azusa Pacific’s LP and Timothy Leung School of Accounting, part of the School of Business and Management. Thornton is pleased with the inaugural run, noting that many of the firms have already reached out for follow-up interviews with students.

“Several of the firms have also expressed interest in scholarship contributions for a $100,000 matching fund set up through the Leung Endowment,” said Thornton. “We hope to make our high-quality graduate and undergraduate programs even more affordable.”

“I believe doing a Meet the Firms event has always been one of Dr. Thornton’s dreams,” said Little. “I was blessed with the opportunity to be president of the Accounting Honors Society this year, and in conversation with Dr. Thornton it was evident we needed to go for it with this event.”

Jason Cunningham is a writer/editor in the Office of University Relations.