Standout Seniors: Meet Connor Kasten

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Connor Kasten:  

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Majors: Concurrent majors in Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies, Project and Supply Chain Management, and International Business

Hometown: Bradenton, Florida

On choosing Penn State Behrend: I chose Behrend because I love the resources available on a smaller campus. There are so many opportunities to excel in your interests here, and the faculty and staff members are always willing to go the extra mile to help you.

Campus involvement: I have been involved in many different campus activities during my four years at Behrend, but the ones that stand out the most are my times as president of Lion Ambassadors, as secretary of the Student Government Association, and as a Resident Assistant.

What you’d be surprised to know about him: I lived in New Zealand for four years when I was growing up.

What he’s passionate about: Helping others, in particular, helping my residents. We are like a family here in Niagara Hall. I want to make sure that the students I’m responsible for have everything they need to have a successful start to their college career.

Advice for new students: Having lived with first-year students for three years now, what I always tell them is that it’s okay to be yourself. If you like different music, that’s okay. If you like to stay up all night or go to bed early, that’s okay. You’ll be much happier if you are doing things that you like to do and you will meet people who like doing the same things as you, especially at Behrend where there are so many great people. You can find some truly lifelong friends here.

Lion Pride: I am so proud to say that I am from the Penn State Behrend family!

Following his graduation in May, Connor has accepted a position as an operations manager at theTarget distribution center in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Standout Seniors: Meet Nicole Kuhn

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Nicole Kuhn:

Nicole Kuhn cropped

Major: Marketing

Minor: Biology

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On choosing Behrend: I actually transferred to Behrend in my sophomore year from a small college in Pittsburgh. At my previous school, I was on the women’s volleyball team, which consumed most of my time. I was looking for a medium-sized school with a lot of opportunities that was not in a city and was a couple of hours from home. When I visited Behrend, I was able to check off all of those boxes.

On choosing her major: I began as a biology major, but soon realized that I couldn’t see myself working in a hospital as I’d planned. I chose marketing because it is an exciting and ever-changing field. I kept biology as a minor because I think it is important to differentiate yourself and having a STEM background will do that.

Career outlook: Short term, I think digital marketing is an area where I see a lot of growth and excitement. Long term, I hope to transition into a branding position that will enable me to combine all ofmy marketing experiences.

Campus involvement: I’ve been involved in several clubs and through them I’ve found some of my best friends and created lifelong memories. I have been a member of Behrend Benefiting THON for three years. I was the executive director my junior year, and this year I was the fundraising chair. I also had the honor of representing Behrend as one of the 700 dancers in THON 2018 to raise money for pediatric cancer and the Four Diamonds Fund.

I’ve also been involved with Lion Ambassadors for three years. This year, I was one of the membership chairs and was responsible for interviewing, inducting, and training all of the new members into the family.

The most recent club I have been involved with is Reality Check. I had the amazing opportunity to go with this club to Houston, Texas, to participate in Alternative Spring break this year. Nearly thirty of us worked to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

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Nicole helping at an animal shelter in Beaumont, Texas, during Alternative Spring Break in March.

Learning to serve others: One thing I’ve solidified throughout my college career is my underlying love of community service and helping others. Every club I’ve been involved with is service-based. Whether it is organizing events to raise money for THON, helping pack and move thousands of books to a local high school, participating in TOPS soccer, or helping flood victims in Houston, service projects have significantly impacted my overall character.

Advice for new students: Don’t feel like you need to have everything figured out in this moment. Don’t stress over the things you can’t control, and live in today. Enjoy the late-night study sessions in the library, early morning coffees with your roommate, Saturday afternoon tailgates, and everything in between.

After her graduation in May, Nicole hopes to secure a marketing position with an established firm.

 

 

 

Standout Seniors: Meet Brianna Riley

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Brianna Riley:

Brianna Riley

Brianna working on a job site at this year’s Alternative Spring Break in Beaumont, Texas.

Major(s): Concurrent majors in Accounting and Management Information Systems

Minor: Finance

Hometown: Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: I received the Erie Insurance Group Leadership Scholarship and the Stan Latta Dedication Scholarship.

On choosing her majors: I chose Accounting because I like to have a clear definition of what is right, what is wrong, and what my next step is. I chose Management Information Systems because information technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. It turns out that the Accounting and MIS pair well together. I ended up finding a full-time job that will utilize both of them.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Participating in an Alternative Spring Break trip to San Francisco in 2017. When I went on the trip, I knew just one person, but I came back with twenty-seven new friends. This is an accomplishment to me, because before that, I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone and friend circle. Soon after the trip, I ran for treasurer of the club (Reality Check) that sponsors ASB. Now I am heavily involved with Reality Check and the planning of this year’s trip. It is truly a blessing to have friends with similar passions, with ours being service.

Campus involvement: I have held executive board positions in the Accounting Club, Reality Check, Circle K, the Entrepreneur Club, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. I am also involved with the Management Information Systems Club. I am a part of Beta Gamma Sigma and ATHENA Connections. I have participated in two Innovation Through Collaboration (ITC) projects that are sponsored by the Black School of Business. One focused on the accounting systems of a local winery and the other focused on bitcoin in accounting.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I love photography. I aspire to be like one of my high school teachers who continued her passion for photography alongside her career.

Passionate about service: I love to help others and make their day better, whether that means donating clothes, making cards for Meals on Wheels, or traveling across the United States for a week of manual labor to help with disaster relief.

Who inspires her: My mother is my inspiration. She is an astonishing woman. She has four children and a full-time job, but that is not what makes her so remarkable. It is how she comes home every day from her nine-hour workday with a smile on her face. She is selfless, compassionate, and an inspiration to everyone she meets.

Advice for new students: Get involved early. Maybe in high school it was not cool to be involved with clubs, but college is different. Getting involved with clubs, whether they are directly related to your major or not, gives you the chance to take on leadership roles, learn from your peers, and get some valuable hands-on experience. Also, clubs can help you meet some of the best friends you will ever have.

Brianna has accepted a position as an IT auditor with Deloitte Advisory in Pittsburgh following her graduation in May.

Standout Seniors: Nicole Overby

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s seniors are ready to make their mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.
Today, we’d like you to meet Nicole Overby:
 Nicole Overby

Major: Accounting

Minor: Management Information Systems

Graduation date: December 2017

Hometown: Nazareth, Pennsylvania

Scholarship: I received the National Bank of North East Leadership Scholarship, the Lawrence and Elizabeth Held Scholarship, the Behrend Faculty and Staff Scholarship, and the Edward P. and Barbara F. Junker Scholarship.

On choosing her major: I was drawn to numbers in high school, and I knew early on that I wanted a business degree. After I took some accounting classes, I realized it was a perfect fit for me.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: I was the student marshal at commencement. It meant so much to me and my family that I was selected by faculty members to represent the Black School of Business.

Campus involvement: I was involved in Circle K, Business Analytics Team, Accounting Club, Athena, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Behrend Beacon, and I helped produce and write the Black School of Business program newsletters.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I have a twin sister

What she’s passionate about: Spreading goodness. This is a broad statement, but that is why I love it. Whether it is doing community service or simply smiling and saying hello to strangers, I think it is important to spread joy every day. I am a stronger believer in positivity. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will have a positive impact on everyone you come in contact with.

Advice for new students: Set goals, but be flexible. If you are too set on one path, you might miss another one that is best for you.

Nicole graduated from Penn State Behrend in December of 2017. She will return to the college in August to begin earning a Master of Professional Accounting degree. She plans to work in public accounting.

 

 

 

Standout Seniors: Meet Angelia Clear

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Angelia Clear:

Angelia Clear.jpg

Majors: Concurrent major in Marketing and International Business

Hometown: Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania

On choosing her majors: I love the international aspect of business, but marketing is so versatile and interesting to me, so I decided to dual major.

Scholarships: I received the Presidential Scholarship, the Addison Gibson Foundation Grant, and the John K. Henne Scholarship for International Study.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend? Receiving and accepting an invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma, an academic honor society, while balancing a heavy course load and working full time.

Campus involvement: I have attended the School of Business spring business trips and I am a Black School of Business Ambassador. I am very involved in the Marketing Club and also enjoy playing intramural soccer when I can. I’ve studied abroad and I am a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Multitasking master: I am someone who has to have a lot of things going on all the time. I enjoy managing my time and being busy!

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I am a very observant person who can be shy at first, but I honestly enjoy learning about different people and cultures and immersing myself in new experiences.

Advice for new students: Time management is huge in college. Students need to get organized from the beginning because it is easy to fall behind. Also, get involved and do things that you really enjoy. College is not just about academics; it is about you. You get out of it what you put into it.

Following her graduation in May, Angelia plans to start her career in business.

 

 

 

Standout Seniors: Meet Cathy Brooks

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Cathy Brooks:

Cathy Brooks (2 of 3)

Majors: Dual major in Accounting and Finance

Hometown: Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

On choosing Penn State Behrend: I have always wanted to attend Penn State, but University Park was overwhelming to me. Behrend was big enough to provide great opportunities, but not so large that I felt lost in the crowd.

On choosing her majors: During my freshman engineering seminar (I entered Behrend as an engineering major), I took a personality test that said accounting was a 100 percent match for my skills and interests. After taking Physics 211, I had a feeling engineering was not the right path for me, so I decided to switch majors.

On double majoring: After taking a few business courses and seeing how similar finance and accounting were, I decided to add the Finance major in order to put me closer to the 150 credits I need to sit for the CPA exam and get value out of those credits.

Campus involvement: I am a member of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity on campus. For the past year, I’ve been the group’s vice president of alumni relations. Before joining the fraternity, I could be quiet and shy. The group has been great for building my confidence, and being involved with them has made the last two years of college fly by.

On motherhood: I have a two-year-old at home and she has motivated me to succeed. I do everything for her because I want the best for her. Having a family, a job, a role in the fraternity, and going to college full time has forced me to overcome a lot of obstacles. But I have learned that stressful days are just temporary and organization is everything when you have a lot on your plate.

On taking chances: The best advice I can give to anyone is that you will never know until you try. If you try and fail, you’re in the same spot as if you’d never tried at all, so what do you really have to lose?

What you would be surprised to know about her: I love to sing and play trumpet. I haven’t had much time in my life for it since I started college, but I hope to join a community band when I move to D.C. this summer.

Advice for first-year students: Get involved! It’s one thing to get good grades in class, but to show that you also helped other students, the school, or the community will really set you apart from other candidates interviewing for the same job that you are.

After her graduation in May, Cathy will be working as a federal auditor in Washington, D.C., on KPMG’s Army Engagement Team.

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Finance students rub elbows with 3,000 professionals at industry conference

By Heather Cass

Publications Manager, Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend Finance majors Paige Espenshade and Jared Orr recently attended TD Ameritrade Institutional’s National LINC conference in Orlando, Florida, where they were able to get an insider’s view of their chosen field of study.

Espenshade and Orr, who were accompanied by Eric Robbins, lecturer in finance, were two of fifty-six financial planning students from twenty-eight colleges and universities who attended the annual conference in late January.

While there, they had the opportunity to explore job opportunities and connect with more than 3,000 financial advisors and other financial services industry professionals and experts from across the nation.

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Finance students Jared Orr and Paige Espenshade are flanked by TD Ameritrade Institutional President Tom Nally, left, and Kate Kealy, managing director of TD Ameritrade’s Generation Next Program. LILA PHOTO for TD Ameritrade Institutional.

TD Ameritrade is a leading provider of brokerage custody, technology and practice management services for more than 6,000 independent registered investment advisors (RIAs). Since 2007, the firm has been inviting undergraduate financial planning students and their program directors from schools across the U.S. to attend its annual conference, covering travel and hotel expenses for them to do so.

Being Penn State students, Espenshade and Orr garnered special attention from some alumni in the finance industry.

“I was very honored to be actively sought out by alumni and advisors looking to talk specifically with Penn State students,” Espenshade said. “I spoke to an alumnus with an alternative investment firm as well as one with a firm in North Carolina. Altogether, I exchanged contact information with about ten advisors and five vendors.”

At this year’s conference, students attended feature sessions by Ian Bremmer, president, Eurasia Group; Viola Davis, award-winning actress of film, television and theater; Marc Goodman, New York Times best-selling author of Future Crimes;  April Rinne, advisor, Pathfinder, and member of the World Economic Forum; and Jeremy Siegel, the “Wizard of Wharton” Wharton School finance professor.

They also heard about the convergence of financial services and technology from a keynote panel on innovation that included Adena Friedman, president of CEO, Nasdaq; Tim Hockey, president and CEO, TD Ameritrade; Ric Edelman, executive chairman, Edelman Financial Services; and Lex Sokolin, director of fintech strategy, Autonomous.

“Throughout the week I was able to learn about the role of wholesalers, which is a division of the industry that I had never been exposed to,” Orr said. “I now understand the importance of this niche and have a greater understanding of the financial services industry as a whole.”

The students also participated in smaller breakout sessions and panel discussions on investing and evolving as a financial advisor, and attended networking events with advisors and leaders of our firm, including Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, and Kate Healy, TD Ameritrade’s managing director, Generation Next.

Both Espenshade and Orr say the trip exceeded their expectations.

“It was an amazing event that has had a positive impact on my both my professional network and my awareness of the financial services industry as a whole,” Espenshade said.

“It was a transformative experience,” Orr said. “I now have a better understanding of the different roles within the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) industry,” Orr said. “The conference exposed me to several aspects of the industry, and because of this, I was able to see what a great community RIAs across the country have created. I hope to attend the conference one day as an RIA so that I, too, can give back to the students as the advisors did for me this year.”

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