Release Date: August 23, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. — For more than 40 years, the University at Buffalo School of Management’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi has garnered national recognition for its programming, service and accomplishments. This summer, at the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando, several students added to the chapter’s long legacy of success by bringing home some hardware and representing UB on the international stage.
Founded in 1919, Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization for financial information students and professionals, with more than 300 chapters nationwide. UB’s Zeta Theta chapter was chartered in 1981.
In the Best Practices competition, the School of Management’s “Art of Change” team won second place internationally for a workshop they developed and implemented on campus to help fellow students overcome pandemic-related challenges in their professional development.
The winning team was made up of undergraduate and master’s students Katriel Agregado of East Amherst, Huiwen Chen of Brooklyn, Justin Froese of Wantagh, Kristina Jiang of Brooklyn, Zengzeng Mu of Kings Park and Vicki Wang of Woodside. In addition, they benefited from the mentorship of three MS Accounting students: Sydney Merritt, Tien Nguyen and Christina Pham.
“The pandemic greatly affected the degree to which students were able to develop the soft skills typically strengthened through in-person interaction,” Agregado says. “We aimed to support students as they prepare to transition from higher education to young professionals facing a new hybrid environment.”
For their project, the group hosted an advanced interviewing skills workshop for Beta Alpha Psi members. The two-day session started with a discussion on how the pandemic has changed the recruiting process, facilitated by Michael Draves, BS ’93, executive in residence for accounting in the School of Management.
On day two, participants could practice their skills through mock interviews with School of Management accounting alumni. Along with Draves, the following alumni volunteered as interviewers: Matthew Silver, BS ’13, MS ’14, from Roviant Sciences; Stephen Turner, BS ’08, from the Bonadio Group; Jeremy Sharkey, BS ’93, from SPX FLOW Inc.; Jerry Jacobik, BS ’03, from Friedman LLP; Shawn Frier, BS ’90, MBA ’91, from Freed Maxick; and Min Zheng, MBA ’08, from TransUnion.
“By bringing in Beta Alpha Psi alumni as mock interviewers, we are connecting our student body with professionals and keeping our alumni connected to the chapter community,” Agregado says. “With this practical skills workshop, we are shaping the next generation of leaders within Beta Alpha Psi.”
Going forward, the students hope to make their award-winning interviewing workshop an annual spring event that complements a networking workshop they host each fall.
The School of Management’s chapter was well represented throughout Beta Alpha Psi’s annual meeting.
Colleen Chen, a senior in the accounting program from Amherst, was selected to participate in Project Run With It, a competition that furthers the organization’s community service mission by engaging students in a real-world consulting project. Alongside teammates from other universities, Chen had less than two days to develop and present a solution to a pressing issue facing this year’s nonprofit client, the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA).
In addition, during the chapter operations portion of the meeting, senior accounting students Andrew Chin, Amy Lian and Ting Zheng presented on the UB chapter’s peer mentorship and Accounting Advisory Council mentorship programs.
“Their presentation was an excellent way to showcase our chapter’s mentorship efforts and share our knowledge with other chapters from around the world,” says Rose Hu, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law and faculty advisor for Beta Alpha Psi. “Our chapter, our school and our community are better because of these student leaders.”