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The College of St. Scholastica

Four CSS Accounting majors find jobs at Accounting firm Ernst and Young

For most students, the scurry to perfect their resumes, apply for jobs, hone their interview skills and make connections has become as much a part of the senior year experience as the cap and gown.

But not for Anar Erdenetsogt, Ariel Peterson, Margaret Fenda and Alec French – these four accounting majors already have jobs lined up at Ernst & Young, a “Big Four” accounting firm in Minneapolis.

So how did this opportunity come about?

“I researched the company online and was interested in applying but you can’t do it online, you have to have a contact,” Fenda said. “So I went to our professor, Paul Khoury, in September and he contacted them and got me the email addresses of two recruiters.”

Khoury passed this information on to the other students, and by the middle of October, all four had interviewed there individually. And it didn’t take them long to hear back.

“They told me they’d get back to me two weeks after the interview, and on the way home they called me and told me I had the job,” French said.

What made them so appealing?

“I think we all went above and beyond what the average student does,” French said. “We work hard, get good grades and had internship experience that allowed us to really know what we’re doing.”

The CSS difference

These grades and opportunities are, in part, a product of the level of individualized attention they receive at St. Scholastica. There are only seven or eight people in their accounting class, making it easy for professors like Paul Khoury and Dr. Rick Revoir to tailor coursework to their students’ needs and aid them in the job search.

“With a small accounting program, the professors actually know who you are, so they can speak about you to employers and recruiters, which really helps,” Fenda said.

This level of attention extends well beyond the classroom.

“Career services was great,” Peterson said. ” Whether it was helping me polish my resume or taking me through mock interviews, they made me feel completely prepared for this whole process.”

They also were able to gain more hands-on experience in Investment Club – which Peterson helped create – and Accounting Club – chaired by Fenda.

“I have friends at bigger schools, and they just don’t have the chance to get involved like we do,” Peterson said. “Here we can recognize people by face, talk to them and easily join in on what they’re doing.”

And it’s not just people like them.

“Our college has more international students than many schools,” Erdenetsogt said. “This helps students experience new cultures and broaden their horizons, which is essential to excel in our modern, diverse workforce.”

This openness and respect is a product of St. Scholastica’s unique culture.

“Benedictine values are very important to each and every student at our college,” Erdenetsogt said. “I think that they shape our lives well and give us good directions in becoming great citizens of our countries.”

With all this it’s easy to see why they all instantly nod when asked if they’re glad they came here.

“Without the knowledge I gained from the accounting program and the help and support of the accounting professors, I probably would not have had this opportunity,” Fenda said.