Chatham Business Students Attend CMU’s Heinz Finance Club Event!

Chatham’s students and faculty with Ms. Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, MBA, MSIT

On Friday, March 31st, 2017, Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz Finance Club invited Heinz College alumna, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor to discuss the latest accounting industry trends, including Millennials’ increasing influence and how technology and globalization are creating new opportunities in the profession.

Kimberly Ellison Taylor, Chair, AICPA

Ms. Ellison-Taylor also shared how the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is staying on top of these trends with initiatives to capitalize on opportunities in cyber-security and data analytics. Ms. Ellison-Taylor works for Oracle as the Global Accounting Strategy Director. She is also the current Chair of the AICPA board of directors.

Dr. Rachel Chung and Professor James Pierson took several Chatham Business students to this educational presentation and professional networking event.  This event was a perfect networking opportunity for Chatham faculty and students interested in Accounting and Management Information Systems to meet with professionals from firms like Deloitte, BDO, Baker Tilly, Case Sabatini, and Maher Duessel, as well as students and faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University, and Point Park University.

Dr. Rachel Chung, PhD, Chair and Director of Chatham’s Business & Entrepreneurship Department

“It was such a wonderful opportunity for Chatham students to meet the AICPA chairwoman and PICPA president. It is so important for the students to hear critical updates from these inspirational leaders directly.” – Rachel Chung, Ph.D., Business & Entrepreneurship Department Program Chair/Director 

James Pierson, Assistant Professor and Accounting Coordinator

“AICPA President Kimberly Ellison-Taylor shared a very positive and dynamic future for aspiring Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and also for Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA) within the business profession to pursue varied pathways to professional certification.  She highlighted the lifelong career development and networking opportunities within the AICPA as a leading professional organization.  Kimberly further shared her vision of how data analytics, increasing global commerce, and business disruption through technology will impact the students during their careers and how a broad business perspective and education will provide  the foundation to pursue outstanding opportunities and challenges.  Finally, she also touched upon diversity, mentoring and work-life balance within the profession in a very candid and personal way.”James Pierson, J.D., M.S. (Tax), CPA, CGMA, Assistant Professor and Accounting Coordinator

Chatham students share their experience about the AICPA event:

Sierra Ungerman, BA Marketing ’20

“The event gave me the opportunity to network with a wide variety of people. I met the President of the CMU Heinz Finance Club, who was pleased to see a student from another local campus at this event. By making these connections, I feel I was giving myself a lot of opportunities to learn from the older students around me. The speaker Kimberly Ellison-Taylor was very inspirational. She made going into the business field from any angle less intimidating and far more exciting. Although the profession Kimberly focused on was accounting, she spoke about the various opportunities in the business field. This sparked my interest because as a marketing-management major, there are a lot of career choices I could pursue. She gave me confidence to pursue an exciting career in business.” – Sierra Ungerman, BA Marketing ’20. 

Andrew Guanci, BA MIS ’20

“Kimberly Ellison Taylor spoke to her audience about the importance of learning about technology for business professionals. The reason is that companies are trending towards using technology to improve their current business operations. The important take-away from Ms. Ellison-Taylor’s presentation was to make the most of the opportunities that are in front of us now. She also discussed the benefits of becoming a CPA and the need for accountants as the older generations retire. Currently, in my information systems and operations class with Dr. Chung we are discussing topics such as search engine marketing and analyzing data via IBM Watson. What we are learning is aligned with Ms. Ellison’Taylor’s emphasis on the need in the job market for young people to be able to analyze data creatively.”  – Andrew Guanci, BA Management Information Systems ’20

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) represents the CPA profession nationally regarding rule-making and standard-setting, and serves as an advocate before legislative bodies, public interest groups, and other professional organizations. Its mission is to power the success of global business, Certified Public Accountants, Chartered Global Management Accountants and specialty credentials by providing the most relevant knowledge, resources and advocacy, and protecting the evolving public interest. The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) is the second-oldest CPA organization in the United States. They preserve the legacy and propel the integrity of the CPA profession.

Chatham’s Business and Entrepreneurship (B&E) Department encourages students to attend professional development opportunities like this one to build up their professional networks and witness how academic theories are applied in the real world.  The B&E Department often reimburses  student-level fees to professional events inside and outside of campus. Students interested in participating in any event should contact the B&E Department to for more information at .

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