Manning School of Business, Career Services Respond to Industry Demand

A young man in a blue polo shirt talks to a student at a career fair table Image by Ed Brennen
Manning School of Business alum Jack McDonough '20, a quality engineer at Dell Technologies, talks to senior business major Stephanie Kemp about analytics jobs available at the company during the recent Accounting, Finance and Analytics Career Fair at University Crossing.

By Ed Brennen

Tammi McCarraher, deputy comptroller for the U.S. Navy, was as happy as anyone to see “analytics” added to UMass Lowell’s annual Accounting, Finance and Analytics Career Fair this year.

McCarraher had tried recruiting students for business roles in past years at UML’s campus-wide fall and spring Career Fairs, with minimal success.

“Nobody cares about the business side when our technical people are with us at the Career Fair with their cool robots,” says McCarraher, who is based at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. “We don’t get any love on our side, so having this fair specifically for business and data analytics is perfect for us.”

Close to 50 accounting firms, financial institutions and data-driven companies — from Liberty Mutual Insurance to Gorton’s Seafood — attended the recent fair at University Crossing, where hundreds of Manning School of Business students came in search of internships, co-ops and future full-time employment.

Adding analytics to the mix for the first time this year was something that employers wanted, according to Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs for Career Development Greg Denon.

“Some of the accounting firms are hiring for analytics consulting and audit analytics roles, so we wanted to grow that side of it,” he says. “And it opened the fair up to a number of other types of organizations that wouldn’t normally come, like Liberty Mutual, Fidelity and the Undersea Warfare Center.”
Two women shake hands while a man looks on at a career fair booth Image by Ed Brennen
Alum Danny Lane '20, a staff accountant at BerryDunn, looks on as colleague Bethany Laverriere shakes hands with a student at the Accounting, Finance and Analytics Career Fair.

For undergraduate business administration majors, the analytics and operations management (AOM) and management information systems (MIS) concentrations provide foundations in analytics. At the graduate level, the Manning School offers a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA), an MBA with a business analytics option and a Ph.D. with a management information systems concentration.

“The buzzword being ‘analytics,’ we are trying to cover it several different ways” at the career fair, says Operations and Information Systems Department Chair and Assoc. Prof. Amit Deokar. “We have a good set of analytics companies right now — not as big as finance and accounting — but the idea is to grow.”

At the Dell Technologies booth, two recent Manning School alumni, quality engineer Jack McDonough ’20 and senior analyst Christie Phelan ’20, told students about their work and collected résumés.

“Everyone wants to hire an analyst. It’s a fast-growing role and an area of opportunity for a lot of students,” says McDonough, who works with Microsoft’s interactive data visualization software Power BI. 

He says Dell jumped at the chance to expand its reach at the Accounting, Finance and Analytics Career Fair.
A woman and man pose for a photo together at a career fair booth Image by Ed Brennen
Manning School of Business alumni Leanne Winton '21 and Jeremy Prezioso '22 represented Edelstein & Company at the Accounting, Finance and Analytics Career Fair.

“We know the curriculum at UMass Lowell is preparing the students,” says McDonough, whose concentrations were in AOM and MIS. “We like what they have.”

Stephanie Kemp, a senior business major with concentrations in AOM and marketing, hopes to find a job in operations and supply chain. She appreciated the chance to speak with employers like Dell.

“The more I do events like this, the more confident I get,” says Kemp, a forward on the UML women’s soccer team from Mansfield, Massachusetts. “The university makes it really easy to find opportunities.”

Of course, accounting and finance students found plenty of opportunities at the fair as well.

“I met a lot of people and got to know what they do,” says Wilton Ortega, a sophomore from Methuen, Massachusetts, with concentrations in accounting and finance. “My long-term goal is to get into real estate private equity, so I want to see where I can start to get there.”

John Geraci ’97, managing partner at accounting firm LGA, was excited to be back on campus for the first fair since the pandemic.

“It’s great to see the energy in the room,” says Geraci, who was looking for interns, co-ops and full-time employees “in all service lines.”

With a decrease in enrollment of accounting students nationwide over the past five years and a hot job market in general, Geraci notes that accounting grads are in high demand.

“It’s a good time to be an accounting graduate,” he says.

The Career and Co-op Center is hosting the Fall Career Fair at the Tsongas Center on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 7 p.m.