#MySpartanSuccess Interview with Carolyn Kopf

When do you plan to graduate and what is your major?

I am a part of the five-year accounting program, so I plan on graduating in May 2018 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Sciences and then my Master’s Degree in Business Administration the following year. I am majoring in Accounting and have a minor in Mathematics.

21124145791_dd90bd85bb_oCan you tell me a little about the internship?

I interned at PKF O’Connor Davies LLC. It is a top 25 accounting firm located in Westchester, NY. I worked in the government auditing division within the company.

How did you hear about this position?

One of the partners of the firm contacted me to see if I had any interest in interning for the summer.

Can you explain the Interview Process?

I had to send in my resume in September of 2015, and then was selected to continue the interview process in October. I had a one-on-one interview with a partner in the government division that October. Then, I had follow-up phone and interview questions before I was offered the position in January. Then I began the internship in June of 2016.

Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?

I went to Career Development in September to tailor my resume to this specific internship to better my chances of getting selected. Only 12 interns are chosen for the summer, so Career Development really helped me put myself in the best position possible to get the job.

Can you tell us about some of your current responsibilities / roles?

As an auditor, I traveled each week to a new client. I was in the government division, so my clients included towns, villages and school districts. On the audit, I was in charge of accounts including cash, encumbrances, subsequent receipts and disbursements and accounts receivables. I also worked on budgets during the internship where I analyzed contractual expenditures, utilities, repairs and maintenance, space rental and debt service. I assisted with writing and preparing the budget reviews for clients. I also assisted researching way for the company to expand its Healthcare Department.

What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?

My favorite part of the position it the great community I have become a part of. I love the work I get to do, but working on a team has given me something to look forward to in my career. My favorite experience so far was working on my intern project. All 12 of the interns created a presentation that we then presented to the partners of the firm, displaying ways to expand and grow the company.

What do you plan to do after the Internship?

I was asked to return again this summer to continue my internship for a second year, which I am looking forward to greatly. I hope to grow my relationship with this company and hopefully continue working here while I complete my Master’s Degree at STAC.

What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for an Internship?

My advice for STAC students looking for an internship would be to start early. It’s never too early to ask around for possible job opportunities. I got my first internship the summer after my sophomore year and I am so thankful that I started growing my resume early because it has helped set me apart from other candidates in my field.


My Spartan Success with Caitlin Zungoli

#MySpartanSuccess Interview with Caitlin Zungoli

Conducted by Laurie Child


FullSizeRenderCaitlin graduated in May 2015 with a degree in Finance, and a minor in Math.  With her hard work and always positive attitude, Caitlin was a big hit around campus ultimately leading to great opportunities and success. This was made evident by referrals for internships; after taking a class with Dr. Orenstein, Caitlin was recommended and hired as a Wealth Management and Financial Services Intern with UBS in Paramus, NJ. In her senior year, Caitlin was contacted for an internship with Cross River Fiber (a start-up telecommunications company) by former adjunct, Professor Sokota.  After graduation this internship turned into a full time position as a financial analyst, making her the 9th full time employee with the company.

Caitlin is currently working at BMW as a business planning analyst after stumbling across the position on LinkedIn.  Seeing the headquarters first thing on her previous everyday commute, she was very excited about this opening, realizing the opportunity and desire to always work there.  LinkedIn directed her to the company’s website through which she was able to complete the application process.  Within two weeks was contacted to set up an interview.  The interview was a 2 step process; first with two members of the team she would be working with, then after hearing back, the department manager and the retail network manager.  Caitlin obviously made a great impression, and was quickly followed up with a job offer, pending a background check and drug test. She could not have been more excited!

A few months after being hired, she went to orientation in Jersey City, where BMW imports its cars.  At the end of orientation, they returned to headquarters where she was able to network with others in the company and learn about other areas of the brand. Some of the many benefits of working with BMW include: working aboard, discounted leasing options, health and retirement benefits, and getting the first glimpse at new vehicles and upcoming projects.  As business planning analyst, Caitlin is responsible for over 400 BMW and MINI dealers, working with their financial statements to create national and regional reports.  At year end she is also responsible for the dealer accounting manual and informing dealers of their working capital requirements to name a few things.  Let’s just say that the great perks don’t come for free!

Caitlin has some great advice, and urges everyone to realize that nothing is out of reach. When applying to BMW they had 400 other applicants on Linkedin alone.  Always be personable! You never know who and when someone might be able to help you!  By leveraging and working with her professors she was offered multiple internships, one leading to a full time job position.  Caitlin expresses the importance of internships and how they were a vital key to her success.  Internships give you the much needed real world experience, but with the ability to learn what you like and dislike in a position or a particular field.

Strive to be successful, both in and out of the classroom, your GPA is important but so are extracurricular activities.  Caitlin’s time at STAC was filled with extracurricular activities that helped build her resume.  Most highlighted was the Business club in which she went on to became President.  Part of her responsibility while President included planning speakers to come and present.  This really encouraged her to leverage LinkedIn and the people she had met throughout her college career to fully reap the benefits of networking and help others network as well.   A great way to build your resume and create connections is to utilize Career Development and take advantage of their events like resume writing workshops, Dining Etiquette and Recruit Westchester just as she had.

She recognized early on the importance of building relationships with professors by being friendly and attentive. They will notice and recommend you for events and leadership opportunities.  She advises to always sit front and center to make sure the professors know you are engaged and focused on the topic at hand.  These small yet effective details led Caitlin to internships, academic awards, but most importantly valuable experiences that made her the most qualified applicant for the job!

#MySpartanSuccess with Victoria Perrotta

St Thomas Aquinas College

When do you plan to graduate and what is your major?

I plan on graduating in May of 2017 with a Bachelors in Arts and Science. My major is Finance with a double Minor in economics and social media marketing.

Can you tell me about your internship?

I worked for Sterling National Bank in a Co-Op opportunity in the Spring semester of 2016. The Co-Op takes the place of courses; I went to work at the bank instead of attending class. I worked through three departments within their headquarters; Finance department, Wire Transfer department and Automated Clearing House department. Each department taught me something different about the functionality and the dynamics of the bank.

How did you hear about the position?

After working as a career ambassador for the past two years I have developed close relationships with Mrs. Mulhern and Mrs. Vota. I was approached with the opportunity by Mrs. Vota and I immediately jumped on board with the Co-Op process.

Can you explain the Interview Process?

There was only one interview with the Sterling National Bank Educational director. We met at the bank and she asked me questions based upon my resume and why I felt I would be a good fit for the bank. I was asked situational questions and how I would react to them.

What were some of your current responsibilities / roles?

Within each department I held different roles. In the finance department I worked creating and posting journal entries,
reviewing the 10k, preparing journal entries for the general ledger, assembled journal entries for the auditing department, and reviewed worked on financial systems to find discrepancies within the programs for the general ledger. Within the Wire Transfer Department, I worked on incoming wire to the bank, I made sure they went to the correct accounts if there were wrong account numbers listed, I looked over fraudulent wires, and I prepared and sent out drawdowns. Lastly, Within the ACH department I did not hold a specific function I merely watched and observed my co-workers about the functionality and the importance of the department. All three departments had important skill sets that I can now take away with me to any new job role.

Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?

The Career Development Office has been my biggest advocated since freshman year. I joined the team in the end of my spring of freshman year and have been provided with every material needed to be successful. I created a resume with Mrs. Mulhern which has grown with me throughout college, I have attended many if not all of the events offered. These events have helped to provide me with professional development and business etiquette skills. The advice and tips I have received from the Career Development Office is invaluable. 

What was your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what was your favorite experience?

My favorite part of working for the Sterling National Bank was knowing that my work was valuable at the company. I was preforming the same job functions as others and I was preforming at their caliber. Within the Finance department I was looking over the company’s 10k and finding miscalculations, I was sending out large sums of Wires in and out of the bank, I was preparing entries for the internal audit department. My role within the company was valuable.

What are you doing now?

As a senior I am currently applying for jobs and I am confident with this work experience now on my resume that I will be called in for Interviews.

What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for an Internship?

My advice to others is to take opportunities before it is too late. Having my internship gave me more experience than I had ever expected, not just technical skills but communication skills. Networking with your professors at STAC can lead to potential opportunities. They have internships and offer them to students that they know and trust will do good work.