Firm Night gives students a jump start on careers, internships
Two years ago, Kevin Reid '14 walked into Firm Night eagerly looking to engage with potential employers.
As a senior accounting major on schedule to graduate from Radford University in May, Reid was eager to line up a job to get him started on his career.
He visited with several representatives at the networking event that night, including someone from the Yount, Hyde and Barbour accounting firm.
Flash forward to the present.
Reid, now employed by Yount, Hyde and Barbour, recently came back to campus Sept. 17 for Firm Night, this time as a recruiter. He was looking for other talented Radford students, just like him, to join the firm.
"We're looking for people who can come in right away and make an impact. Someone we can have confidence in," Reid said. "We're looking for someone who's enthusiastic and can talk to clients. In accounting, that's a big part of what we do."
Shannon Sparger has that enthusiasm. The senior accounting major from Reston went to Firm Night looking for potential jobs and internships. She loves auditing and is "beginning to love" her current tax class. "So, I'm torn between the two. I hope I'll find somewhere to fit in."
Firm Night is an annual 90-minute networking event sponsored by Department of Accounting, Finance and Business Law in Radford University's College of Business and Economics. The event gives students, mostly seniors and juniors, an opportunity to meet and communicate with local accounting, business and finance firms.
Representatives from 21 local and regional firms attended the event this year.
"This event gives students and the companies represented here a chance to interact, and it gives our students contacts for when they're looking for employment," Finance Professor Clarence Rose said. "A lot of the firms are here tonight because they've had very good luck when hiring our graduates from the College of Business and Economics. When they have good luck hiring our students, they come back for more."
Deanna Cox of Robinson, Farmer, Cox and Associates began visiting Firm Night last year. They had such "good luck," she said, with their efforts, they made a commitment to the event even though it falls during the firm's busy season.
"We're looking for good new talent, and in the past, we've gotten good talent from Radford," Cox said. "We were impressed by last year's turnout and impressed by the students we visited."
Cassie Caron was one of the many juniors who attended Firm Night. "I came here tonight for the experience of meeting people and networking," said the finance major from Chesapeake. "I always have an ear open for internships."
Ameriprise Financial's Mark Tapp participated in Firm Night to search for prospective interns.
"We have a pretty robust internship program in our office," Tapp said. "We're looking for people who are critical thinkers, self-starters and professional. We want somebody who takes their job seriously. Radford University does a great service to our community in preparing its students."