Grace College Accounting Fair Celebrates 10 Years
Grace College’s Accounting Career Fair celebrated its tenth anniversary on Wednesday, Sept. 20. More than 70 students from seven area colleges, including Grace College, interacted with representatives from 12 accounting employers.
This year, Tammara Jongkind returned to the fair representing her employer, CapinCrouse LLP. Jongkind is a 2010 Grace College graduate and senior audit manager at CapinCrouse in Colorado Springs, Colo. She attended the first-ever Accounting Career Fair in 2008. “As a student, the point of the fair was to learn about the building blocks of the industry,” Jongkind said. “It provided an opportunity to interact with accounting professionals and receive career guidance.”
Although Jongkind did not interview with CapinCrouse representatives in 2008, the career fair was a stepping stone. “I love Grace,” Jongkind said. “I’m a big proponent of the school, especially the accounting department. Dr. Stichter and Marsha Yocum set me up well to succeed. Grace provides more than an education; it teaches students how to be Christians in the professional world.” Dr. Roger Stichter is professor of accounting at Grace College; Marsha Yocum is administrative assistant in the School of Business and facilitates the Accounting Career Fair.
As an employer at the fair, Jongkind was excited to interact with current students. “Grace students are key to our success as a business,” she said. “We want to pull from students who are already grounded as Christians. And even if students don’t want to enter public accounting, interacting with someone who has succeeded in the field is valuable,” she said. CapinCrouse is a biblically-based organization specializing in tax, consulting and audit services for non-profits, churches and higher education.
During the Accounting Career Fair, students mingled with employers and asked questions about the field. After lunch, employers held interviews with individual students. The face-to-face conversations provide connections with potential future employers. “Every year, quite a few students are called to the companies for more intensive interviews and are offered jobs,” explained Marsha Yocum. “Juniors who attend may be selected for internships in the spring.”
Ashley Myers is one such junior who endeavors to find an internship from today’s career fair. “I hope to find a spring or summer internship that will lead to a full-time job in the future,” she said. Myers is an accounting major from Nappanee, Ind., who aspires to be an auditor at a CPA firm in the future. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to meet and interact with potential employers today. I’m hopeful that the connections I made will advance my career,” said Myers.
The Accounting Career Fair at Grace College was started by Dr. Roger Stichter in 2008. Originally, four accounting firms and 30 students from four area colleges participated. In ten years, participation has more than doubled. This year, the growing event was sponsored by RSM and Kruggel Lawton CPAs.