Accounting, finance students get a firm understanding of job market

Kayla Crawford and Matt Smith

RU student Kayla Crawford discusses details with Matt Smith of Yount, Hyde & Barbour during Thursday's Firm night in COBE.

Matt Boyd loves numbers and has always had "a mind for business."

The Radford University senior accounting and finance major, whose goal is to be a certified public accountant, must have felt as if he had stumbled upon paradise Thursday night.

The Grundy native was taking in all the offerings of Firm Night, a 90-minute networking event sponsored by RU’s Department of Accounting, Finance and Business Law that gives students an opportunity to meet and communicate with local accounting, business and finance firms.

On Firm Night, accounting and finance seniors were encouraged to provide resumes to participating firms in hopes of landing a post-graduation job.

"I’m graduating in the spring and I’m looking for job opportunities now. I feel this is a good start, getting close access to people from the businesses and learn information from these companies I could maybe work for in the future," said Austin Roher, a finance major from Alexandria, who said he hopes to find a position working in analytics or financial planning and advising.

Juniors and sophomores also attended the event to network and seek potential internships. Grayson Roberts, a junior accounting major from Richmond, said he was looking to speak with a firm representative about an internship so he could “better prepare for a career.”

Freshmen also were encouraged to attend Firm Night, said Dan Davidson, chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Business Law.

Timothy Touch and Joseph Johnson

Timothy Touch (l) talks with Virginia Farm Bureau Representative Joseph Johnson at Thursday night's Firm Night at the COBE.

“Firm Night is a great opportunity for our students. They get to meet potential employers and they begin to get a feel for the real world,” Davidson said. “Our students show some real professionalism, and a number of firms have become annual guests. This was our seventh year hosting a Firm Night, and it looks like it will be the best one yet.”

Ed Clyburn of Edward Jones in Wytheville was one of the many representatives participating in Firm Night. The 1994 RU alumnus said his company is looking for approximately 3,000 advisors in the next five years. “I’d like to find someone here tonight who’s graduating in May and wants to start working this summer,” Clyburn said.

RU alumnus Mark Woolwine ‘93 of the accounting firm Brown Edwards, said he participated in Firm Night to “look for good people” to work for his firm. He also wanted to give back to his university.

“I want to pay it forward,” he said. “I want to give students the same advantage I had when I came out of school and entered into the world.”

Radford University is a comprehensive public university of more than 9,900 students. RU serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation through a wide range of academic, cultural, human service, and research programs. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment and vibrant student life on a beautiful 191-acre American classical campus, Radford University offers students many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. The university offers 69 degree programs at the undergraduate level, and 21 master's programs and three doctoral programs at the graduate level. A Division I member of the NCAA and Big South Athletic Conference, Radford participates in 19 varsity sports—11 for women and eight for men. Since 2005, the university has secured approval and funding for nearly $300 million in capital projects, including both new construction and renovation.

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Sep 24, 2013
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7761