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Opinion

UW-River Falls accounting students attend conference

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October 7, 2011

On Tuesday Sept. 27, close to 40 students in the accounting program at UW-River Falls attended the 14th annual Accounting and Auditing Student Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Although colleges from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas are encouraged to come, the students from UWRF were one of the top two schools in attendance, and it showed. As the day went on, more and more representatives of CPA firms, business associations, and graduate schools commented on how they were impressed with the attendance, enthusiasm, and professionalism that was presented to them by the students of River Falls.

Throughout the day, students were able to network with over 50 accounting firms, professional associations and government agencies, with many receiving an offer for an interview in the near future. Some of these students impressed the representatives so much that they were pulled aside to be given an interview right on the spot. I spoke to Stephanie Noreen, a recent UWRF alumna and accountant with Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen, and Russ and she said, “Some people I spoke to today didn’t make eye contact, had no idea what to say, or seemed very nervous, but everyone that came up to me and told me they were from UWRF seemed confident, knew what the firm I represented was all about, and asked some good questions.”

Besides networking with all the venders at the show, the students were also able to receive one-on-one sessions with professionals on interviewing and resume tips, attended a panel called “Behind Closed Doors” in which students who had graduated in the last couple of years explained what they might expect at their first job, and during lunch listened to guest speaker Karl Mulle, the co-author of “Put Emotional to Work: Equip Yourself for Success.”

The conference was a smashing success for all the students who attended. They really showed the accounting profession what the students and the accounting program at UWRF is all about. Good luck everyone with your interviews and hopefully this time next year most of you will be back at the conference as venders, instead of students.

Frank Ranallo is a student at UW-River Falls.