November 07, 2022

When seniors enter their final semester of undergraduate study, most are anxiously looking to the future, hoping that by Commencement Day, or shortly thereafter, they will have secured their first job. For several seniors in Susquehanna University’s accounting department, that day came in early fall.

Jessica Arias, Ashley Grudzien, Jake Newell and Megan Sypniewski have landed full-time positions at some of the nation’s top accounting firms — JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte, respectively.

“It is exciting knowing that I have a job post-graduation. It is such a relief to be able to not worry about interviews or applications during my senior year,” Grudzien said. “I am able to focus on completing my last year at Susquehanna.”

The Sigmund Weis School of Business provides opportunities for students to grow academically, professionally and personally, Sypniewski said.

“During my first semester at SU, I attended an event called ‘Meet the Firms,’ during which accounting and finance students networked with a variety of representatives, from Big Four to local firms,” Sypniewski said. “Afterward, I received an internship offer and my professors joined me in celebrating this career milestone. Moments like those reminded me how much SU cares about each student and their different goals.”

Michael Ozlanski, chair and Allen C. Tressler Professor in Accounting Michael Ozlanski, chair and Allen C. Tressler Professor in AccountingMichael Ozlanski, chair and Allen C. Tressler Professor in Accounting at Susquehanna University, said the early job placements are the first among seniors looking forward to their 2022 graduation.

“The majority of our accounting students finalize their job search by the end of the fall semester, and we have a long-standing tradition of placing our students before graduation,” he said. “Initial placements at these prestigious firms provide our seniors with a path for long-term career success. I can’t wait to see how they thrive.”

In addition to being accounting majors, the four have something else in common — they were all offered full-time employment at the successful conclusion of an internship.

As an intern, Arias worked in JPMorgan Chase’s Global Finance and Business Management Analyst Program. As a full-time employee, Arias will be in a two-year rotational program that will place her in various roles while providing financial analysis and coordinating with partners across the firm.

“Throughout my internship, I made it my priority to not only learn about the firm, my team’s responsibilities and my tasks, but also to work hard and contribute in any way to help my team,” Arias said. “Through my courses I developed skills in accounting, technology, data-analytical work and finance that prepared me for my internship. It allowed me to quickly adapt during my internship.”

Grudzien worked in KPMG’s retail bank department in external audit where she will also work after graduation.

“When deciding where I wanted to do my accounting internship, I was looking mainly at the Big Four. I knew I wanted to start off my career in a well-established firm such as KPMG,” Grudzien said. “I also knew I wanted to be in New York City. I knew KPMG was the best option for me.”

Newell completed not one but two internships with PwC — a six-week virtual internship and an eight-week internship in the firm’s New York City office.

“I wanted to work for PwC because from the first day, they exhibited an inclusive and supportive culture. The work at any Big Four firm is going to be similar — difficult and strenuous — so the people who surround you are what differentiates the firms,” Newell said. “The people at PwC made me feel valued and cared for.”

Sypniewski was first introduced to Deloitte when she served the company as a tax Intern within the Global Employer Services sector. Her responsibilities as a full-time employee will be similar and will increase after she completes the CPA exam.

“During the meeting in which I received my offer, I felt a mix of pure joy and excitement. Over the ten-week span of my internship, I grew more and more eager to fully join Deloitte,” Sypniewski said. “It is important to love what you are doing, but more important to love your company. I can easily say that Deloitte is a company that I am not only proud to be a part of, but the only company I could see myself joining.”

Mixed with her feelings of relief and excitement is just a tinge of something else.

“Knowing my professional future prior to starting my senior year brings a bittersweet feeling,” Sypniewski said. “I am enjoying every moment I have left on this campus but am continuing to grow more and more excited for the future.”