Exploring Career Paths in Accounting & Finance


Nearly 70 students joined us on Saturday, May 10th for our Accounting and Finance Career Day to learn more about the many career paths that are available for accounting and finance professionals. The structured format included presentations from industry leaders and professional association representatives who offered key insights and solutions for moving your accounting or finance career forward.

The event started with an energized keynote presentation by Paul Miller, Managing Director of First Foundation Advisors, who provided an overview of the career opportunities within wealth management and advisory services. Paul highlighted the key differences between positions that are “client-focused” versus “operational” and a recommendation to understand the skill set needed for both.

The event was highlighted by an industry panel that generously shared their life experiences within the field and provided invaluable career tips. The panel included:

  • Dean Bower, CPA,CFF, CIA, CFE, CGMA, Manager of Royalty Audit and Contract Compliance at RBZ, LLP
  • Norma Iadevaia, CIA, CISI, CRISC, CRMA, Director of Auditing Services at Pepperdine University
  • Ara Oghoorian, CFA, CFP, Founder and President of ACap Asset Management
  • Charles Osaki, CPA, Principal at RBZ, LLC

The panelists agreed that the outlook for the accounting and finance profession looks very good, though it is still an “employers market” with highly qualified candidates vying for the top positions. The importance of industry certification was discussed as well as the need for candidates to begin their networking activities well before they finish their coursework. It was also agreed that possessing good communication skills and Excel or other software competencies can be a big differentiator between candidates.

The career day also welcomed a number of professional associations who were able to meet with the attendees and communicate the many benefits these organizations can provide our students. The following organizations were present:

  • CalCPA
  • CFA Institute
  • Institute of Management Accountants
  • Becker CPA Review

The event ended with a lively Q&A session.

We thank all of our attendees who were able to join us on Saturday and we hope that you found the event useful and informative. We also look forward to seeing many of you at future career and networking events!

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