Students Learn Real-Life Takeaways From 2018 Annual Convention & Expo

by Kathleen Hoffelder, NJCPA Content Editor – June 28, 2018
Students Learn Real-Life Takeaways From 2018 Annual Convention & Expo

Ten Stockton University students who attended the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) 2018 Annual Convention & Expo June 12-15 learned practical hands-on accounting lessons as well as a glimpse into the future of the profession.

Knowledge Sharing

Pui Man Chan, of Southern China and an NJCPA scholarship recipient, credited speakers with providing energetic discussions about the field of accounting. “I found that my passion and my confidence in the accounting field both increased through the speakers’ continual encouragement and sharing of their knowledge, skills and experience during my time at the Convention.”

Other students had a similar experience. Lucia Dudo of Mays Landing said, “after the Convention, ideas ran through my mind about how I can grow professionally and what I can do to maintain my growth. Looking into my future, I see an endless amount of possibilities, and because of my experience at the NJCPA Convention and Expo, I know I can turn those possibilities into reality.” Dudo added that “change is inevitable and building strong relationships will allow both the client and the professional to grow.”

Allan Koltin, CPA, CGMA, a keynote speaker at the Convention and CEO of Koltin Consulting Group based in Chicago, gave the students a lot to think about — beginning with three levels of categories accountants often fall into on the job. Koltin said accountants take the shape of a “content” worker, a “climber or “crazy” worker (typically an overachiever). “When listening to his speech I was able to relate the three levels to my experience at the NJCPA Convention. At the beginning of the Convention I experienced the first level, content. As the day moved along and I went from seminar to seminar, I began to transform into the second level, climber. Finally, I reached the last level, crazy,” said Dudo.

Life lessons certainly were plentiful at the Convention. As Jiyun (Oriel) Hao of Galloway said, “I learned so much accounting knowledge and life experiences that cannot be taught in school.” Hao added that, “it was very nice to meet the professionals in this field and listen to all of the speeches that were given.”

Networking Opportunities

Students also enjoyed socializing with other attendees and visiting the exhibit booths. As Devin Hulse of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, explained, “as a young adult trying to build my professional career, meeting other certified professionals is paramount.” Hulse added, “when we arrived, we had plenty of time to associate and network with the CPAs at the event. Furthermore, we got a chance to attend several seminars on accounting topics that intrigued us.”

Kristin Solano of Brigantine agreed. The Convention “allowed us to network with CPAs and other business professionals, learn about new developments in the industry and develop new skills to help us grow as professionals,” she said. “I am so grateful for this opportunity and wanted to thank the NJCPA for being so welcoming.”

The students were offered the chance to attend the Convention thanks to NJCPA member Dan Barbera, CPA, MBA, CGMA, and CFO of Lydia Security Monitoring, Inc. and Stockton Professors Barry Palatnik, CPA, (NJCPA member); Leo Previti, CPA; and Jean Abbott, CPA (former NJCPA trustee).