On Thursday, September 11, 2014, the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) hosted “Speed Networking with Grant Thornton.” The event was geared towards giving students the opportunity to gain insights on the firm, its different service lines, and the industry. ZGAS President Charles Hwang welcomed students and professionals, and thanked everyone for attending. He introduced Grant Thornton Manager Chris Kandi, who gave a brief background on his experience and offered a few words before the speed networking began.
BAS Manager Chris Kandi, is a chartered accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a native Australian. Chris has experience with internal audit, IT consulting and risk management. He stressed that the night was not about business, but instead students should use the opportunity to get to know people and make connections. ZGAS President Charles Hwang emphasized this point by adding that the goal is to make meaningful relationships.
The night consisted of closed networking sessions where a table of 8 students had the opportunity to network with at least one professional for 10 minutes. At the end of the evening, the floor was opened for an additional 30 minutes of open networking, which allowed students to connect with other Grant Thornton professionals and stock up on Grant Thornton swag.
Closing remarks followed from Aracelis Torres, ZGAS Vice President of Event Planning. She thanked professionals, students, and ZGAS Board members for attending and making the event a success.
At the close of the event we had a chance to catch up with a few students and professionals, who shared their thoughts on the event. This is what they had to say:
“Awesome event. I like that we each had the opportunity to speak with 5 professionals in 1 hour in a non-aggressive environment. It wasn’t like other events were you’re usually waiting a very long time and end up speaking with a professional for about 2 minutes.” - Xiao Ling Zhu, MS Accountancy Student
Baruch alumni Bryan Conboy, Grant Thornton LLP, Audit Associate, shared that these events are a really great opportunity for students to network and learn more about firms. He was impressed with the students as well as ZGAS for hosting events as this one, and offering students these opportunities.