“I like dealing with financial information and numbers,” Jeff explains. “I think contrary to a lot of the stereotypes out there, there’s a lot of interpersonal skills required. I work one-on-one with clients.” What to do with a love for numbers and math, but also a desire for interacting with people? According to Jeff, consider accounting.
Jeff participated in a variety of popular activities at college: he played various seasonal rec sports and participated in the Student Government Association. He did much more, however, than just partake in the common activities of campus life. He also spent time as a work-study assistant to accounting professors, where he picked up a lot of tips and insight into the business. Jeff appreciated the opportunity to spend time with his professors outside of class, learning about his field and earning some extra dollars while he was doing it. “It’s a very strong accounting program,” Jeff says. “I think the focus that [the faculty] brought from their prior job experience made coursework relevant to the real world and to our faith. It was demanding and required constant effort in integrating work with real world ideas and considering the implications to our faith.”
Jeff views his Messiah education as the fundamental groundwork for his engagement with the world around him. This particular infrastructure continues to help Jeff build his knowledge even today. “The coursework is the platform, the foundation, that you build on once you leave,” Jeff explains. “You really need to learn how to learn. Things are constantly changing in the world, so the educational process never ends.”
• "Use the resources out there, such as the Career Center and alumni."
• "Do a lot of questioning, see what’s out there."
• "Be confident in your abilities, and be persistent."
Jeff went out independently as a student and interviewed for an accounting job, which he received right after graduating. In the field of accounting, it doesn’t usually take much soul-searching to figure out what to do with the degree; one must simply determine where to work.
Jeff started his career with Big 6 firm Arthur Andersen in Lancaster. He worked his way up within the company, beginning as a staff member, then a senior, and eventually a manager. He then moved on to KPMG, a Big 4 international firm, where he rose to the level of senior manager. Jeff left KPMG to join the regional accounting firm of Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP, where he joined the firm as a partner.
Jeff spends the majority of his time with his clients advising them on ways to save money on their taxes. He assists his clients with tax compliance and tax consulting needs. He is also in charge of managing the staff in the office, so his daily routine features many opportunities to apply his interpersonal skills with coworkers as well.
Jeff lends his financial abilities to his church, where those skills are often needed and those willing to help with fiscal responsibilities are sometimes lacking. He is a member of his church’s Stewardship Commission, where he provides financial expertise and leadership. In addition, his firm is "often asked to be involved in non-profit organizations,” and Jeff volunteers his services for these requests frequently.
Profile by Brianna Davidson, June 2005