Marietta College's Public Accounting program continues successful placement of graduates into jobs

Headshots of the five graduates

Continuing a positive trend for Marietta College's Public Accounting program, all five students from the Spring 2021 capstone seminar secured jobs prior to graduation and are enjoying the early stages of their careers.

Since 2014, 82 percent of Marietta's Accounting and Public Accounting graduates have secured full-time accounting positions within three months of graduation, according to Grace Johnson, McCoy Professor of Management and Accounting.

Gage Herb '21 and Kate Dreas '21 are at Plante Moran, Eric DeLong '21 is with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Alyssa Shawger '21 is with Hamilton, Waltman, Obenour, Melsheimer & Associates, and Evan Scott '21 is at Tenney & Associates.

"Our Accounting program's emphasis on verbal and written communication, research, analytical problem solving, ethics, and professionalism certainly serves our students well," Johnson said. "And in addition to the more traditional classroom work, we offer students experiential learning opportunities, use relevant accounting and business software, and provide professional get-togethers such as the Accounting Meet & Greet series and weekly Friday Forum discussions in the senior capstone seminar."

Shawger returned to her hometown (Zanesville, Ohio) and plans to sit for the first part of the CPA exam in June.

"Once I earn my CPA certification, my long-term goal is to become a partner at the firm," she said. "Professor Johnson and Professor (James) Karan helped me receive several internships during my time at Marietta College. These internships and the experience I gained in the classroom have proved to be extremely beneficial as I enter my first tax busy season."

A Marietta native, Scott has also remained close to home working for Tenney & Associates in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He plans to complete the CPA exam by the end of 2022.

"Without the connections I made at Marietta College and without Professor Johnson's guidance, I do not think I would have found a job as easily as I did," he said.

Dreas and Herb are both in Columbus working at Plante Moran. Dreas is an Assurance Staff Member and Herb is a Tax Solutions Group Staff.

Dreas is enjoying the experience and is working on completing her CPA.

"I see myself continuing to work in public accounting for some time, and in five to 10 years, I hope to be moving down the partner route," she said. "Marietta College was extremely helpful in helping me secure my first full-time job. Not only did they prepare me by providing me with the adequate skills and competencies, but they also helped me make connections, leading to my job offer."

She interned with Plante Moran in the summer of 2020, and that led to her full-time job offer.

"I was able to gain my internship through connections I made at one of the Accounting Meet and Greets that Professor Johnson holds," she said. "The Accounting Meet and Greets were an excellent way to make connections and practice interacting with real-life accountants. During my junior year, one meet and greet was with alumna Brittany (Kidd) Alexander '15, who works at Plante Moran. She was able to hand my resume and information to recruiting at the firm, which started my interview process."

Herb also completed an internship in 2020 with Plante Moran and it resulted in a job offer. While he said he is enjoying the experience, Herb has decided to enroll in law school in the fall.

"The faculty at MC were an integral part of securing a public accounting position after graduation, as their professional relationships afforded me the opportunity to make connections that later turned into offers," Herb said. "My time working in public accounting will be a great experience as I pursue a J.D. in the fall of 2022. Not only has it provided technical knowledge but working in a professional services firm will influence the path I take in law school and in the job market post-graduation."

DeLong doesn't start his job with PwC until August, but in the meantime, he has been preparing for the CPA exam and will move to Columbus, Ohio, in July.

"Through PwC, I have all my CPA review courses and materials financially covered. My goal is to have all four parts of the CPA passed before I start my employment in August," DeLong said. "Marietta College has had a major impact on allowing me to obtain my goal of working for a large, big-four accounting firm. Professors Johnson and (Michele) Marra were two faculty members who were always there to provide valuable guidance from excelling in academics to sparking interests in different career paths."

When combined with one or more internships, Marietta's program has traditionally prepared its graduates well.

"Alyssa, Eric, Evan, Gage, and Kate took advantage of every opportunity presented and used each as a means to learn and mature into young accounting professionals," Johnson said.