Making It Count
As a partner with the Lohman Company, a Mesa-based
accounting firm, Northern Arizona University alumnus Seth Marty, Jr., is
committed to his company and clients. He is also committed to his alma mater as
a member of the university’s Accounting Advisory Council. He participates in
career panels and other volunteer work with the accounting fraternity Beta
Alpha Psi, and also coordinates his company's university recruiting efforts. During his time in the role, he has often hired Northern Arizona University graduates.
"Our firm has about 20 people. It's a local
firm, with more of a family atmosphere, and you obviously get to know people
pretty well when you are working that close," Marty says. "The skills
that NAU students are learning translate to being successful with us. The skill
level that they're learning, and the environment they're coming from are a good
match. It seems to be a good fit."
As a undergraduate student, Marty earned two
scholarships, participated in intramural soccer, worked as a manager on campus,
and was the treasurer of Beta Alpha Psi. Through his participation in university
life, Marty says he formed lifelong bonds. During his time as an intramurals
player, for instance, Marty built friendships that last to this day. He also
found mentors in some of his professors and advisors. Marty says he formed an
extremely meaningful bond with Dr. Ronald Pitt, formerly the Associate Provost
for Academic Administration, who also served as a business professor and the
faculty advisor for Beta Alpha Psi during Marty's university tenure.
"Dr. Pitt and I established a relationship where I
could feel comfortable and he felt comfortable telling me what his thoughts and
opinions were," says Marty. "He was helpful in assisting me with my
employment decisions. Doing that was a big deal and really helped me."
A solid foundation
His university mentors were just one block of the
foundation that helped Marty build his career. Marty has worked in public
accounting since 1995, first working with one of the largest public accounting
firms in the U.S. before joining the Lohman Company in 2002. Marty says that although
he's learned a lot in his profession since graduating, he is where he is today
because of the groundwork laid at Northern Arizona University.
"After graduating, I always felt like the university
had given me a good foundation," says Marty. "I had a pretty good
tool box of skills to build from. The things I learned—in the accounting
curriculum, research, and writing—had a direct correlation to what I was going
to do at a CPA firm."
Marty advises students to visit university campuses
before deciding where to attend, and to look for the environment that will best
fit their needs. Having been involved extensively with universities as both a
student and professional, Marty says that "fit" is key, and that
understanding the difference between how a place looks on paper and what it is
actually like is critical to future success.
"Go visit the campus. Find out what you are
interested in—whether it is a big campus where you're a number or a small one
where you're not," he says. "Talk to people there, sit in on a
class—really see what it's like—and you'll be able to make the best decision
for you to succeed."