By Ashley Quintela, Contributor
“I never thought I’d be the one down here looking up,” University of Nebraska at Omaha alumnus Larry Bradley said as he looked up to a crowd of students.
From UNO to New York to London, Bradley is now head of audit for KPMG and served as a keynote speaker at UNO’s third annual Accounting Speaker Series. Accountant Helen Sharkey also spoke at the event. The event was held at Mammel Hall on Sept. 26.
A continental breakfast was available from 7:30 a.m to 8:30 a.m followed by a presentation from Bradley. A short break was administered between the two speakers.
The event was open to the public; however, tickets were $120. UNO students were admitted for free. Students attending earned four continuing education credits, including two ethic credits but had to be approved by the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy.
Topics from the presentation included professions in auditing, accounting and an outlook on future obstacles or changes. Bradley touched on past financial occurrences and how it impacted the world today.
“The world has changed and this is the new normal,” Bradley said.
Bradley started off by making connections to those in the audience by sharing his experiences at UNO and the programs he was involved in as a college student. The crowd chuckled at his jokes dealing with long walks across campus and funny YouTube videos about how dry auditors could be.
Throughout the presentation, audience members were free to ask questions. The speakers were enthusiastic to answer the questions that were thrown their way.
Students attending classes associated with accounting and business management found that their professors expected more from students than just showing up for lectures.
“I really don’t know too much about it,” freshman Jing Cui said. “My teacher wanted us to go, so I came.”
While some students came to please their professors, others came to gain knowledge in the world they will soon be entering.
“I want to gain experience and to hear about the programs and what they have learned from it,” senior Kafele Williams said.
Sharkey worked with Dynergy during a security fraud scandal. Sharkey served jail time in result of the scandal. Due to her past experience, Sharkey discussed ethics and what she learned about the business world.
Through this event, students were given an opportunity to view the business world through a different lens.
“I guess as a student you don’t really get aspects of the business world,” sophomore Justin Korth said. “It’s helpful to hear about the things that are changing because in the classroom we really only learn what’s happened in the past, so it’s interesting learning about what is in store for the future.”
As Bradley’s presentation came to an end and a “Thank you” slide occupied the screen, he left the crowd with one last quote.
“With great change comes great opportunities,” Bradley said.