Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Name: Kathy Koval
Position: Assistant Dean, Director of Business and Public Management Programs
Name: Cindy Cheyney
Position: Assistant Dean
Name: Laurie Christie
Position: Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Name: Danah Allen
Position: Communications and Impact Coordinator
Name: Paige Carey
Why did you choose WCU and/or CBPM?
"When looking at universities, I had two major requirements: a study abroad program and a campus tutoring center where I could be a tutor. WCU offered the opportunity for both, where I also felt I would fit in with the students."
How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?
"The quality of education of the Accounting Department is outstanding. I credit my ability to pass all four parts of the CPA exam within six months of graduating largely to the CBPM curriculum and the qualified professors within the college. At KPMG, your colleagues are the best students from the top universities, and my education from WCU allowed me to feel just as prepared as those from the Ivy League and other well-known schools."
What is a typical day like for you?
"On a typical day, I spend my time working with several different teams for my various clients. I work in business tax services preparing federal and state return filings, as well as provision projects for large- to medium-sized corporate firms. Tax at a large firm is a lot about teamwork to get a return prepared and filed."
What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
"Public Accounting is all about being part of a team. The ability to work well with others and manage team members is crucial. Work to build those skills early so you have a diverse experience of teamwork under your belt before getting out into the professional world. Joining different clubs and serving on student boards is a great way to refine those skills and are key resume builders."
What advice would you give to our graduating seniors?
"Start studying for the CPA exam as soon as possible. This advice was passed on to me while I was in school, and I will continue to pass it along to the seniors. It can be difficult to devote your "last summer off" to studying, but if you are truly passionate about passing the exam, you wo't regret it. The farther along you progress in your career, the more challenging it will be to find time to study. Earning your CPA license at 24 or 25 years old is an impressive accomplishment, and something all WCU students have the ability to achieve."
What makes our college standout to you?
"WCU students have a lot of heart and great personalities. It is a large enough campus to offer plenty of new opportunities, but small enough that you all feel like a family. I believe that dynamic helps the students learn more about themselves while at West Chester, and shines through when they graduate. The students are mature in addition to being well educated."
When you were a student at WCU, did you do an internship and/or study abroad? If so, describe those experiences.
"While at WCU I participated in a six-week summer study abroad program at Kings College, London. It was amazing! The curriculum I was enrolled in was exclusively for study abroad students, so the courses they offered were interesting and fun. For example, I attended the King College during the London 2012 Olympics, so they offered a course on the effects of the Olympics on a host city. It was a great way to get extra credits towards the 150 required for the CPA that were engaging and unique. I highly encourage students to study abroad. Not only does it teach you a lot about yourself, it gives strong talking points during an interview that can show an ability to get out of your comfort zone. Do't let the high sticker price scare you. The value is worth the investment!
I also participated in a summer internship at KPMG, the firm I work for now. The internship was a way to get a peek in the door about what work life will be like after college. Most internships also will offer you a full-time position after graduation, which is a relaxing feeling to ease the stress of senior year."
What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
"My favorite CBPM memory was starting the Nu Zeta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors fraternity, at WCU. The fellow founding board members and I all worked hard to get the chapter started and I am so happy to see the success BAP continues to have whenever I return to campus.
Outside of the business college, my favorite WCU memory was being a tutor at the LARC. I made so many great friends and I loved helping the students."
Wha's the most interesting thing about you that we would't learn from your resume alone?
"I have been to Sweden three times, and it is my dream to live there. People always ask 'why Sweden' I encourage you to google the country; their culture and beauty truly speaks for itself."