Ashland University hosts 12th annual “Meet the Accountant Night”


Steve Shrenkel

AU students networking with various businesses at the 12th annual "Meet the Accountant Night"

Steve Shrenkel, Reporter

The Ashland University Career Services Center hosted its 12th annual “Meet the Accountant Night” on Sept. 6 in the Dauch College of Business and Economics.

The event featured 20 companies recruiting for internships and full-time employment of AU accounting and finance majors/minors.

Some of the companies at the event included: Becker Professional Education, the Ohio Auditor of State, The J.M. Smucker Company, Rea & Associates Inc., Gorman Rupp and Meaden & Moore LTD.

Nearly all the companies featured have been at ‘Meet the Accountant Night’ in years prior.

Lenroy Jones, the Executive Director of Career Services, credits the past relationships with the businesses that AU has built over the years for being able to continually put on the event each year.

“This has been going on for over a decade,” Jones said. “We have businesses that have already established relationships over the years at Ashland University. They have success here with our students, so they come back.”

Zach Morris, an associate from the Rea & Associates CPA firm, said that the students are very well prepared for networking with the different companies.

The firm itself has been coming to “Meet the Accountant Night” annually for nearly 10 years, he said.

“There’s a good partnership,” Morris said. “The staff at AU have been good with this type of event and getting the students engaged and prepared to meet the firms that take the time to come which is very beneficial to the conversations they have.”

Nearly 80 students were registered for the event this year with walk-ins being welcomed as well.

Jarrett Grandis, a junior AU accounting and finance major, who interned with Huntington Bank last summer made his connection because of the event last year. He was back again looking for a different internship this year.

His time at Huntington provided valuable insight into the business world, he said.

“Huntington was a really great company to work for,” Grandis said. “They have a lot of great networking events and public speaking events. Just that business world advice, even from an internship, really helped.”

Another student at the event this year was senior accounting/finance major Holly Dalron.

The networking event had benefited her greatly in the past, so she has attended each year, seeking out internships, she said.

“It’s a great networking event,” Dalron said. “You can kind of see your options for internships and full-time positions after you graduate. I got one of my internships with the help of this event last spring.”

She sees value in the experience even if students don’t land an internship, she said.

“Even if you don’t land an internship, you can still network,” Dalron said. “Networking is just as valuable as landing an actual internship.”

Staci Carnahan, the Employer Relations Coordinator of AU, said that the experience for students at “Meet the Accountant Night” is invaluable.

“Ideally you meet the companies as a freshman and then keep coming back each year,” Carnahan said. “You try to land an internship each year and potentially you’re networking with people in the field you want to be in when you graduate.”

This is exactly what AU alumna Skylar Mills, an assistant auditor for the auditor of state, did back when she attended “Meet the Accountant Night during her undergraduate career.

“This event actually helped me land my internship with Gorman-Rupp,” Mills said. “This helped me a lot out with networking as a student. I got more comfortable with answering questions and interviewing and eventually landed me a job when I graduated.”

Helping students land an internship or job to get experience in their field is the goal of career services in the end, Carnahan said.

While Jones sees “Meet the Accountant Night” as being successful, he would like more students to become involved and more knowledgeable about career events happening around campus throughout the year, he said.

“I would like to get to the point where we have a tipping point that the students I talk to would tell me they’ve heard of these events because they’ve talked to other students,” Jones said. “We have not reached that yet, but I hope one day we get to that point where all students will know this event is happening along with other events like this as well. That is the goal.”