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28th Accounting Banquet encourages students to seek opportunities at small firms

Published on May 02, 2024

28th Accounting Banquet encourages students to seek opportunities at small firms

Alex Bancoft '06, CPA, partner at Mystic Accounting Group, delivers the keynote address.

Provost William Salka speaks at the banquet.

President Elsa Núñez addresses the group.

More than 100 guests attended the 28th annual Accounting Banquet this April to hear from keynote speaker Alex Bancroft ’05 and honor current accounting students with scholarship awards. The annual event drew dozens of alumni who are leaders in the accounting field and left students with inspiration for their budding careers.

Bancroft, CPA and partner at Mystic Accounting Group, explained why students should seek professional opportunities at small accounting firms. Her number one reason: “The opportunity for advancement is endless.”

Whereas accountants may get pigeonholed at larger firms, she says at smaller firms they have the opportunity to learn “a bit of everything,” thereby gaining more valuable experience and bolstering their resumes.

Her next reasons in favor of smaller firms include workplace culture and work-life balance. “The reason most people leave big firms for private industry is due to burnout,” she said. Recognizing that accounting can be a demanding field characterized by long hours, she emphasized that students should take charge of their careers without compromising their personal or family lives.    


The Accounting Banquet took place in a packed Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center and featured a formal dinner with ample mingling. President Elsa Núñez commented on how the banquet has grown over nearly three decades.

“The first Accounting Banquet in 1996 was a far cry from what it is today ... a reunion and a networking event, a career fair and a scholarship fundraiser ... It takes a lot of persistent effort on the part of Dr. (Mohd) RuJoub, but this event is a labor of love for him. Seeing you all here today brings him great pride. The accounting program is truly a family.”

Professor RuJoub, coordinator of the accounting program, said, “It was amazing to see more than 60 alumni take their time to travel all the way to Eastern immediately after completing their busy tax season to participate in the banquet and hear our awesome keynote speaker, Ms. Alex Bancroft. We value all our guests, especially our alumni’s continued support over the years and look forward to seeing them at future accounting events.”

Professor Mohd RuJoub presents a RuJoub Family Scholarship to Morgan Ajos.

Professor Mohd RuJoub presents a RuJoub Family Scholarship to Livian Rodrigues-Brito.

Professor Emeritus William Sisco presents the Accounting Founders Scholarship to Beatriz Lawler.

Sumi Paul receives the Fiondella Milone & Lasaracina Scholarship, presented by Destiny Hartman '17 M'18, manager at FML.

Professor Mohd RuJoub presents a RuJoub Family Scholarship to Lilyann Kenefick.

Professor Mohd RuJoub presents a RuJoub Family Scholarship to Michael Collins.

Elijah Johnson received the CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) Scholarship, presented by Katrina Wheeler '20 M'21, CLA manager.

Bo Wang (right) received the PFK O'Connor Davies Scholarship, presented by Katherine Patneaude '10 (middle), partner at PKF O'Connor Davies.

The event concluded with several accounting students receiving scholarship awards. Elijah Johnson received the CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) Scholarship; Sumi Paul received the Fiondella Milone & Lasaracina (FML) Scholarship; Daniel Cormier and John McCarthy received the Fredrick and Virginia Hughes Scholarship; Beatriz Lawler received the Accounting Founders Scholarship; and Morgan Anjos, Michael Collins, Lilyann Kenefick and Livian Rodrigues-Brito received RuJoub Family Scholarships.

“To the alumni, thank you for remaining connected to Eastern,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs William Salka. “To the students, remember you’ve received a liberal arts education ... We expect you to be more than just successful, but to be lifelong learners, to be open minded and to try new things.”

Written by Michael Rouleau