The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

CEO of KPMG visits SJU

The faculty of the Department of Accounting and Taxation welcomed John B. Veihmeyer, CEO and Chairman of KPMG LLP , who provided useful career advice to business students in attendance last Thursday.

KPMG  (named after Klynveld, Peat, Marwick and Goerdeler, four partners who merged their accounting firms) is one of the top four global networks of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. They also have a special relationship with the University, having hired over 150 St. John’s alumni across different departments.

“St. John’s is a big recruiting school for us,” Veihmeyer said. “The students we attract from St. John’s do really well once they get with the firm, so it’s one place we pay a lot of attention to.”

Throughout the informal “fireside chat” moderated by Dr. Joseph Trainor, assistant professor of accounting and taxation, Veihmeyer addressed pre-determined questions from students.

Speaking about success and leadership, Veihmeyer enlightened students by validating the critical role of ethics and integrity in business along with the importance of diversity and an inclusive culture within an organization.

“Diversity is metrics,” Veihmeyer said. “And culture is the biggest differentiator that anyone can have.”

He stated that diversity provides the linkage in an organization that allows you to become successful, as well as different strategies to achieve success. He also shared words of wisdom in regards to how he got to where he is today and what advice guided him to make positive decisions.

“I never felt like it was about planning every step of my career,” Veihmeyer said. “There is no definite career path.”

The dean of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Dr. Victoria Shoaf, and the Provost, Dr. Robert A. Mangione, were in attendance. Along with Veihmeyer, they presented the annual Stanley Shirk and Edward Smith Scholarship Awards to 10 current seniors who will be entering their 5th year in the combined accounting/taxation degree program. Among the winners were Anneysa Andrews, Thomas Cunningham, Michael Fill, Ilija Huljev, Carla Marian, Zhengnan Miao, Quinn Rochford, Kevin Schlakman and Wal Man Sammi Sy.

“I think it’s very important for our students to recognize how well prepared they are to be successful and to be proud that they are graduating from St. John’s University,” Dr. Mangione said. “They possess integrity, critical thinking skills and inquisitive natures that could apply to live or learning, all things Mr. Veihmeyer had mentioned.”

Shoaf also put emphasis on not just the importance of mentorship and networking, but on the various accounting/ taxation programs students have to make themselves better.

“We try to give students a lot of opportunities over their entire five years to learn the importance of networking and mentorship,” Shaof said. “There are probably at least five or six organizations in accounting where the students meet as a club and invite professionals to campus, and I think that connection with the professions is extremely important”

“Sophomore Sophia Terzulli felt privileged to have attended the event but most of all, she was more than satisfied with the connections St. John’s has to offer.

“This event just reassured my confidence that St. John’s maintains outstanding connections and enables their students to network with such influential professionals,”  Terzulli said.

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Alexa Vagelatos, Opinion Editor
Alexa is a  junior communications major who intends to allow students to express themselves freely.

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