EY and Deloitte Receptions Recruit High-Achieving Freshmen Class


EY direct admit reception at their corporate offices in Times Square in February

Twelve years ago, the School of Business began admitting high-achieving high school seniors into the School of Business as direct admits. Soon after, alumni at EY and Deloitte began sponsoring direct admit receptions held at their corporate offices.

EY and Deloitte Open Their Doors

When she was in high school, Lauren Tschinkel Grams ’00 went on a field trip to a Big Four firm in New York City with a teacher who had worked in public accounting. It opened her eyes. “I definitely wanted to do that,” she said.

Now, a managing director in audit services, Grams hosts young students at direct admit receptions at Deloitte’s corporate offices, alongside junior and senior members, ranging from Managing Partner George Warnock ’79 to recent graduate Najwa Zarook ’15, ’16. Another UAlbany alumnus, Deloitte Partner Randy DeYulio ’92, encouraged her to get involved in the direct admit events.

“We love helping high school students make this decision. We have a passion for sharing our work and educational experiences,” Grams said, “UAlbany is a good choice, the backbone of our careers.”

Deloitte’s offices are located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. EY overlooks Times Square. Both settings offer a professional atmosphere. Grams noted, “It shows students the successful careers that come from a UAlbany degree. They walk out of the event realizing, ‘Wow, I could work here!’”

It gives students a taste of what comes after college. “UAlbany is a bridge between high school and their future. A visit to campus does not supply that connection,” said EY Partner Elda Di Re ’83, who has spoken at the events.

EY Partner Elda DiRe speaks at a direct admit event at EY in 2016

It positions UAlbany as a chosen school of EY and Deloitte, as Di Re put it, “An independent indicator of a quality business school.”

What is the benefit to the firms? Besides giving back to their alma mater is the right thing to do, Di Re said, “Our people are our product. We are only as good as the people we hire,” noting the firm pays for the job hired for, not the school the student graduated from. She said, “They can walk out of school with $100,000s of loans or none at all. The salary is the same.”

Di Re mentions this as she mingles with students and parents after she speaks. As the parent of a high school senior, she has seen first-hand how students make decisions, often based on information they heard from their friends, and who prefer not to take advice from their parents. That where Di Re comes in, as an adult who can offer guidance that the kids might actually listen to. As a female partner at the firm and an alumna of UAlbany, she is proof of what they can accomplish.

The Results: Attracting the Best and Brightest

Victoria Tiranno ‘19 attended a direct admit reception at Deloitte as a high school senior. Now a triple major in business, economics and financial market regulation, she is one of many successful students who began their School of Business careers through the direct admit program.

Hearing success stories from alumni of UAlbany allowed to her to picture herself in their shoes after graduation. She said, “It affected my decision because no other school that I applied to offered an event like this, where you can go to these prominent companies and connect with alumni before even setting foot on campus. The whole experience solidified that UAlbany was going to help me create my own success story.”

Victoria Tiranno attending a Direct Admit reception at Deloitte as a high school senior in 2016 

Harlan Ginsberg, a 2018 recipient of the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and who co-founded the Albany Sports Business Organization, had an experience similar to Tiranno’s.

“As a senior at Albany High School, I had no idea which university I wanted to attend. I was blown away and incredibly impressed by the reception at EY. Not only was the venue incredible, but it was also a wonderful opportunity to meet current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. I met Jason (undergraduate advisor Jason Cotugno) and was introduced to Albany Business Leaders Emerging, the organization that I currently serve as president.

Before going to the event I wasn't sure about UAlbany but after, I knew it was where I wanted to be and that if I worked hard, the School of Business would help me on the road to success.”

When Ginsberg spoke at the EY hosted event this spring, he was able to put himself in the shoes of the young students yet to embark on their college careers.

“The fact that EY and Deloitte host these events is huge because they not only provide incredible venues for the students and families to get excited about, but they also offer an opportunity for these students to meet various successful UAlbany graduates.

When I went in high school, I was in awe of the venue and the alumni there. These incredible, world renowned companies host a special event for UAlbany direct admits and people realize what a big deal the program is.”

Emma Blodgett '19, Victoria Mansa '18, School of Business advisor Jason Cotugno, Harlan Ginsberg '18 and Christina Sigismondi '16, '17, assurance staff at the EY direct admit event this spring