Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Externs Rebecca Utzinger '15 & Julie Schuldt ‘17 @ AT&T

Learn about Rebecca Utzinger's week on her own blog and read about Julie's experience below!

The Ins & Outs of AT&T, Extern edition - Julie Schuldt

My externship experience at AT&T was phenomenal. Alum Jack Duffy, Vice President of Customer Service, prepared a fantastic week for us filled with AT&T education, meetings with executives, and exposure to corporate life.
On our tour of the GNOC, Global Network Operations Center (AKA the Disneyland for data managers), we got a sneak peak into the “ins” of AT&T data control through 140+ television monitors. I learned how large of a corporation AT&T is. Besides wireless, AT&T encompasses wire line and data processing services for companies ranging from a business like Pizza House to IBM. As a technological company, AT&T has successfully expanded from its original invention of the telephone to a major player in the technological field today.
We had back to back to back meetings with executives from various levels at AT&T, all bringing a unique story and tid bit of advice we externs could take with us. Many executives, rather amazed, revealed they had been with the company for
     “23 years”
     “28 years…wow”
     “Almost 32 years”
     “There’s a guy who has been here for 60 years!”
That’s not just dedication; it’s loyalty as a result of a company that provides incredible career opportunities within its corporation.

 Many of the associates from the small business side discussed the importance of active listening, and finding solutions for a customer’s needs. Executives dealing with larger accounts began as sales associates, and were given opportunities of more responsibility within the company. They emphasized communication skills as a necessity for managing a large team. The top most executives, who all began as young graduates and took opportunities that allowed for growth, even if they were a big uncomfortable, shared their success story, which was achieved through determined attitudes, risk taking, and networking.
Networking, a key word seen in many Gettysburg College Center for Career Development events.

During the week we had a conversation with AT&T Recruiters, but never met them in person. During our Telepresence meeting, a very sophisticated skype session, we talked with recruiters in Atlanta in charge of the Business Sales Leadership Development Program (BLSDP). This popular program, especially among Gettysburg graduates, is an intensive sales leadership course that prepares AT&T hires for sales by delving into the “ins” of AT&T but also the “outs” in understanding sales success in any situation. The BSLDP more importantly serves as their foundation for jump-starting an incredible career. Many of the executives we met with applauded the program, and discussed their higher success within AT&T as a result of their background in sales.

Obviously the corporate culture of AT&T is unique; valuing integrity, collaboration, teamwork, customer satisfaction, and passion. During my externship I was exposed to positive corporate culture, but more importantly began building my network and relationships to help kick start my career.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Extern Ryan Selfridge '16 @ Comegno Law Group

My week with the Comegno Law Group has been an incredible experience from start to finish, and I am so grateful that I have been afforded this opportunity. There were so many different things for me to attend and learn about over the course of the five days I was here, and I count myself extremely lucky for that. The town that the office is located in is around forty minutes from where I live and I was familiar with the area, so the commute was not an issue for me.
The different experiences that I was able to observe were numerous, and I was more than happy to attend anything that I was able to. From labor negotiations between school boards and the teachers’ union to an emergent relief hearing regarding a school prom, every day I saw something new and interesting. Heading into my externship I was pretty certain about my desire to go to law school, but there was some doubt, and I had no idea what type of law would interest me the most. Coming out, I am almost completely positive that law school is what I want to do with my life. Education law is now a definite option for me, because of how interesting it was, as well as the rapport I saw between the attorneys and their longtime clients.
To be able to watch an emergent relief case essentially begin and end was the highlight of my week. The case focused on a student who wanted to bring her boyfriend of four years, a high school dropout who has a history of violence and drug problems, amongst other things, to prom at that very school. The school denied the guest during the review process, so there was a petition for emergent relief filed to allow him to attend. I was able to watch the entire case develop, and listen to the attorneys’ thoughts on it. I was able to do research on several of the court cases that were cited in the brief, and some of my notes were used in the preparation of the brief, and it was nice to see that I was able to contribute. The case culminated in litigation, with Mr. Comegno representing the school district, and it was a tremendous experience to watch an attorney as skilled and seasoned as he is argue his case.

The Comegno Law Group, P.C. has truly been great over this week. From giving personal insight to the process of applying to and going to law school, to showing me some of the nuances of being an attorney, every employee has been wonderful. Mr. Comegno has been a phenomenal host, and I was more than happy to absorb as much knowledge as he could offer. My externship has been extremely positive, and being able to attend all of these different events has been a definite learning experience, and one I plan to use when deciding on my future.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Navigating My Diverse Accounting Path - by Abigail Dalessio ‘08

After an introductory accounting course my sophomore year at Gettysburg College, I knew accounting was a career I wanted. Soon after, I declared a double major in economics and management, the closest thing Gettysburg had to an accounting major and set my sights on a career in public accounting. I landed a spot in a “leadership conference” for a big four accounting firm the summer after my sophomore year and my performance there earned me a spot in their internship program the following summer. The internship experience was a valuable one and through it, I learned I had to continue my studies in order to not only be eligible for the CPA exam, but also to get the attention of other public accounting firms. What accounting firm wants an economics and management major?

Turns out after a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting, ParenteBeard was that firm. I worked for almost four years in ParenteBeard’s audit practice until recently. I have transitioned into a different role within the firm. In this new role, I manage and schedule activities for our audit practice. My liberal arts degree has proven to be a strong base for both roles. Auditing proved to be more than just accounting; here at ParenteBeard, auditing is providing exceptional client service, team work and communication on top of the numbers. Four years at Gettysburg gave me the well-rounded education that I needed to be successful in public accounting. This also set me up for the position I now hold as Utilization Manager of the Audit Practice which involves communication across all levels of our firm and strategizing our people and clients, in addition to an analytical mind.

One of my Gettysburg professors asked me why I wanted to be an accountant, knowing that Gettysburg did not offer it as a major. She almost suggested I transfer. I was utterly stunned, for I chose Gettysburg for the liberal arts education as its invaluable teachings and the critical thinking skills honed in each class. I encourage those liberal arts students out there to seek whatever career interests them, despite what major is offered. Find the closest thing to it and make it worth your while, or even make your own major (that option was there when I was at Gettysburg)! So you may have to take some extra credits at some other schools, but it will be worth it.

Abigail Dalessio ’08 is Utilization Manager at ParenteBeard, a top 25 accounting, tax and business advisory firm headquartered in Center City Philadelphia.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014