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Auditing Class Visited Local Accounting Firm

Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011

Westminster College students in the auditing class taught by Jesse Ligo, Westminster associate professor of accounting, visited the New Castle office of Carbis Walker Sept. 16.

"Experiential learning is one of most important things we do to start building a bridge between the academic and business world for our students," Ligo said.  "The value of the insights and impressions in the networking that takes place answers many questions students have about the profession.  It is very generous of Carbis Walker to provide our students this opportunity to improve themselves and develop their business acumen."

Brian Kassalen, a partner and coordinator of audit and accounting services with Carbis Walker, appreciates the opportunity to meet with the students: "This event gives us the opportunity for exposure and to relay our message.  It allows both us and the students the chance to see if they might be the right fit for our firm.  In addition, it is a beneficial networking experience for either current or future employment opportunities.  As we interact with students, we are not looking for people to fill jobs, but for future partners."

Student reaction to the experience was positive:

"The Carbis Walker luncheon and networking session was a fantastic opportunity for us to learn more about our options in public accounting after graduation," said Robert Brooks, a senior accounting major from Greenville.

"I left Carbis Walker with a great amount of detailed knowledge about public accounting firms," said Ryan Brucker, a senior financial economics and accounting major from Bethel Park.  "The presentation sparked more interest for me in the public accounting profession than I have felt before."

"I liked the fact that the people from Carbis Walker were interested in us and genuinely wanted to know our thoughts on their company and our plans after graduation," said Nicole Laurenza, a senior accounting major from New Castle.

"The most informative part for me was getting the opportunity to ask questions of people who have already gone through schooling and the experience to get their CPA license," said Melinda Miller, a senior accounting major from Chicora.

Ligo also attended the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Leadership Conference Sept. 19 in Harrisburg as a member of the PICPA committee for schools and colleges.  Discussion included: understanding the generations and building a better team; professional issues; and accounting for the new normal.

Ligo, a Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 2008, earned an MBA from Bowling Green State University and is a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania.

Contact Ligo at (724) 946-7167 or email for more information.