This may come as a surprise, but the field of accounting is a Catch-22. Recent Geneva graduate Heather Pinkerton can explain.
“Although keeping people ethical is the purpose of accounting, accounting only works if people are ethical,” she says. “The field is notorious for presenting ethical dilemmas.”
Such dilemmas are what at first deterred Heather from pursuing the degree.
“I came to Geneva somewhat hesitant about entering the field,” she admits. “I felt that it was cutthroat and ‘dog-eat-dog.’ However, the professors were quick to show how valuable the fields of business and accounting are, how necessary they are for human life and how many opportunities there are for businessmen and women to serve Christ and those around them through their work.”
Heather knows that ethical dilemmas are ahead of her but feels that Geneva has helped prepare her for them. She says her professors have shared real-life dilemmas that they've encountered, and that is an encouragement to her.
“Students who attend non-Christian colleges and universities are left to deal with problems with only their judgment to help them along,” says Heather. “Having a Christian foundation with biblical guidelines in our business education gives us a set of standards to live and work by, which can alleviate some of the difficulty.”
The accounting program at Geneva does more than train its students spiritually, however; it also gives students the skills they need to step right into jobs after graduation.
“Having started my job, I can honestly say that Geneva prepared me well to do my work,” Heather affirms. “I'm still learning plenty in my field, but the accounting program provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills on which to build.”
Geneva also helps its accounting students by participating in an accounting consortium each fall. There, students can interview with a variety of employers for jobs and internships. The accounting consortium helped Heather land a job as early as November, six months before she would even graduate. In July she joined Alpern Rosenthal, a regional CPA firm in downtown Pittsburgh.
There’s no more hesitation on her part: “The professors removed my concerns about going into business,” says Heather, “and I'm glad to be pursuing a field in which I have opportunities to serve and help those around me.”
- by Brooke Prokopchak ('08)
Heather Pinkerton graduated with her bachelor’s degree in accounting on May 12, 2007. She is originally from Cincinnatus, N.Y. After working for a regional public accounting firm for several years, she accepted a position as Denominational Controller of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, where she is currently employed. She is a licensed CPA in the state of Pa. and loves having the opportunity to serve the church in her work every day.
Students have opportunities for enrichment and networking through Geneva’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter.