Alumni Profiles

Accounting Graduate Successes

Jamie Madonna, Class of 2004

The Accounting Program is Tough, But the Faculty Helped Me Through

My 4-year journey at SUNY Plattsburgh began in the fall of 2000. Right from the start, I knew that I wanted to go into accounting and I knew exactly what needed to be done to get there. As time flew by, Dr. Gaber became my mentor and led me in the proper direction. I quickly found the Accounting & Finance Association (AFA) and soon after became the President. I also joined the Student Association (SA) Finance Board.

Although it sounds like everything was coming along and all was well, I will be the first to admit that the accounting major was a lot tougher than I expected. With the encouragement of many faculty members, I pushed through my courses and excelled. I participated in the Bombardier Case Competition in February 2003, and although the Plattsburgh team didn't win, it was a valuable experience in preparing to research the working world.

Student Activities Prepared Me for My Career

During my senior year, I resigned from my two year AFA presidency to become the Account Executive for the SA. This was my most exciting experience because I met many students whom I otherwise never would have, learned a great deal about how state government finances work within a college, and worked with the talents of the 40th and 41st legislations. Little did I know that in a few months I would be working in a top 16 accounting firm auditing the Federal Government!

I began my career with the Washington, D.C. office of the Urbach, Hacker, & Young Advisors Company on June 23, 2004. The D.C. office performs contract services to the Federal Government. Two clients I have worked on are the Department of Defense: Defense Logistics Agency, and the Department of Defense: Defense Information Systems Agency. I've worked on a Compilation and an Audit of Other Liabilities. This line of work provides extensive opportunities for travel. Two places that I've gone to are Pensacola, Florida, and Battle Creek, Michigan. Although it is a huge transition from college to real life, I am doing well thanks to the preparation I received at Plattsburgh.

Paul Trimper, Class of 2005

Paul Trimper graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in May 2005. He is currently employed as a professional accountant at IBM, and attributes much of his success so far to the many life lessons he learned during his time at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Experience I Gained Here Has Already Led to Career Success

I can say from experience that the accounting program at Plattsburgh will prepare you for any career in accounting that you may hope to pursue. I have been very successful in my short time at IBM, receiving excellent reviews from my management team. In the following months, I will be sitting for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exam and am in the process of applying to the Masters of Science in Accounting program at the University of Connecticut. It is hard even for me to believe that I am only nine months out of school.

It is rare to find a school where you can call the chair of the accounting department your friend, but this is no exaggeration on my part. Dr. Mohamed Gaber, along with all of the other faculty members, was always willing to take the time to explain anything that I did not understand the first (or even second) time around. There is also some fun to be cool... I played some guitar in the basement of the business school with a marketing professor on some Saturdays, went on educational accounting trips to Boston, and have more stories than I can list here.

Brian Piotrowski, Class of 2003

Brian Piotrowski is originally from Woodstock, New York. He graduated from high school in 1999 and immediately entered into the accounting program at Plattsburgh.

Internships and Studying Abroad Led to Many Opportunities

While at Plattsburgh I engaged in many activities, varying from working as a technical director for the school's two different theaters and several other venues. I served as a member of the Judicial Review Board and Board of Judicial Appeals where I heard cases dealing with student violations to determine responsibility. I also served the university as a resident assistant (R.A.), in charge of managing the needs of 32 residents.

After serving as an R.A., I took advantage of one of the many internships offered. I worked for IBM as a Co-op in their Southbury, Connecticut, site. I was assigned to World Trade Accounting Services and specifically I supported internal activities within EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). One of the best opportunities of my entire life came in the form of a semester spent studying abroad in New Zealand. Plattsburgh and the SUNY network have a comprehensive study abroad program, with affiliate schools located all over the globe. I highly recommend to any student to spend a semester abroad -- the experiences and take-a-ways will never be matched.

After my trip and returning to the U.S. I was faced with the reality that graduation was close. During my final year of school, I did another internship at a local CPA office. From my past working experience at IBM, I knew that there was a full time position for me post-graduation if desired. For a variety of reasons, I made the decision to continue my education and pursue an M.B.A.

Plattsburgh has a 4+1 program established with a national ranked program at Clarkson University. This program is designed to take the appropriate classes as an undergrad in four years and then it will take only one additional year of graduate school to receive either an M.B.A. or an M.S. Currently I am doing extremely well in this program thanks to the preparation I received while attending Plattsburgh. I am only a few short weeks away from my graduation and I will be attending some special class sessions in France this May-June.

Upon my arrival back in the U.S., I have a position waiting for me at the world's largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin. This summer I will begin a rotational management-training program, where I will have the opportunity to work with some of the most advance technology available in the world!

I owe all of my accomplishments and success to the experiences gained while attending Plattsburgh. I can confidently say that the value of the education that I received at Plattsburgh surpasses all of my expectations and have not been matched since. I do hope you strongly consider attending Plattsburgh!

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like to find out more about the accounting program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Dr. Mohamed Gaber, Chair
Office: SBE/CS Room 209
Phone: (518) 564-4198 / 564-3185
Fax: (518) 564-4215

SUNY Plattsburgh
School of Business and Economics
Department of Accounting
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901