Zarb Student Success Stories
Name: Billy Keogh
Major/Degree: Master of Science in Accounting
Hometown: Smithtown, New York
Why did you come to the Zarb School?
The three main factors that solidified my decision to attend Hofstra for my Master of Science in Accounting was the proximity to New York City, Zarb's AACSB accreditation, and the presence of Big 4 accounting firms during the recruiting cycle. Since I majored in mathematics at the undergraduate level, I knew that it would take a tremendous amount of learning and guidance to meet the specific state requirements for eligibility to sit for and eventually obtain the CPA designation. This is where the AACSB accreditation became extremely useful, as I knew that I wouldn't face any barriers when the time came to apply for the exam.
Additionally, it was my goal from day one to work in public accounting for a Big 4 firm upon graduation. Therefore, I knew that I wanted to attend a school whose graduates were targeted by these firms and I was confident that Zarb's brand recognition and relationships with the various Big 4 firms would be a huge asset to my job search.
The summer before I graduated I secured an internship with Deloitte in their business tax services group. I applied for this position through Handshake, Hofstra's internal job search platform and subsequently received an invitation to interview for the position. What I enjoyed most about my internship with Deloitte was they treated you as if you were full-time staff and provided valuable learning experiences throughout my journey.
After completing my internship with Deloitte, I was extended an offer to return full-time the following year upon graduation. I recently began my employment with them as a tax consultant in their business tax services group, which provides services to help many diverse business entities with the various, and often complex, aspects of taxation they face including planning, compliance and controversy services. Working for Deloitte has been a great opportunity thus far; I've enjoyed working for a firm that invests heavily in their employees and whose name carries such huge influence in the business world.
Throughout my career search, I received a tremendous amount of guidance and support from Zarb Graduate Business Career Services. From countless resume critiques prior to applying for jobs to mock interviews upon securing an interview, there is no doubt in my mind that their assistance played a pivotal role in helping secure my current position. Graduate Business Career Services is a huge asset available to all Zarb graduate students and I would recommend every student make multiple appointments throughout their tenure at Zarb.
How did the Zarb School prepare you for your career?
Academically, Zarb provided me with challenging coursework taught by professors who are knowledgeable in the profession and have relevant, real world experience in accounting to support the concepts taught in class. However, to say that the only thing provided by Zarb was academics would serve as an injustice to the countless lessons and skills that supplemented lessons learned in the classroom. From learning networking practices at alumni/employer events to cultivating leadership and management skills as the president of the Zarb Accounting Graduate Association and actively participating in events and extracurricular activities, I continue to apply these lessons both personally and professionally.
What is your favorite memory/experience at the Zarb School?
My favorite experience at the Zarb School was serving as the president of the Zarb Accounting Graduate Association (ZAGA). This organization helped me meet like-minded individuals who will eventually become my colleagues and peers down the line. I became involved in accounting outside academia through a partnership with the New York State Society of CPAs, and planned events for both accounting and other business school students. It was a great leadership and networking opportunity.
What advice do you have for students who want to follow in your footsteps?
A piece of advice I have for my fellow peers would be to fully immerse yourself in your graduate education. While at Zarb, I worked as a graduate assistant in Zarb Graduate Business Career Services, assisted a professor with data collection and analysis for his doctoral research, and held the role of president in ZAGA. Prior to getting involved on campus, I would just head home after my classes had finished for the day. Getting involved made my experience infinitely better and allowed me to learn new skills, make lifelong friends, and ultimately grow as a person.