Education

PNC Execs Share Career Advice with YSU Students

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – When Stacy Juchno was six years into her career as an accountant she decided it wasn’t the path for her.

“Trust your gut if it doesn’t feel right, ask questions and be true to yourself,” Juchno said Wednesday during a presentation before accounting and finance students at Youngstown State University’s Williamson College of Business.

Juchno graduated from Gannon University in Erie, Pa. She resigned from her position in the accounting department at the beverage company where she was working because of concerns she and some of her co-workers had that the company’s reporting was inconsistent.

“I was making good money at this company and didn’t have another job lined up. But it wasn’t right to sit around and be guilty by association,” she said.

Juchno thought about going back to school to become an attorney when she heard that one of her former coworkers was an auditor for a publicly traded company. He told her about the need for regulatory compliance and auditors to review financial statements. About the same time, she learned that executives at her former firm did in fact lose their jobs and the business. With this insight into the importance of auditing a business properly, she joined PNC Bank in 2009 and in 2013 became the general auditor.

“This is why I want to protect PNC and its CEO and CFO from any harm that’s going on in the bank because at the end of the day they’re accountable.”

Her responsibilities at PNC include all aspects of the internal audit function — providing assurances on the effectiveness of PNC’s risk management, control and governance processes to the audit committee and board of directors.

“Whether it is your second, third, or fourth job, don’t be afraid to try and go into something that you don’t know completely,” Juchno told the students.

On top of her auditing responsibility, she serves as an executive leader of the PNC Military Employee Business Resource Group and member of the PNC Foundation board of directors.

“Ask to get involved in other projects and network with people,” Juchno advised. She also serves on the boards of the Veterans Leadership Program, United Way of Allegheny County and Western Pa. Humane Society.

To succeed in business, Juchno told the students that everyone needs to have a “champion” or someone to look up to as a mentor inside the workplace.

“Having someone to bounce ideas off of makes balancing work so much easier and the diversity of thought is really important,” she said. “The champion isn’t always someone more senior than you or high up in an organization, but someone who inspires you.”

Ted Schmidt, PNC’s Youngstown regional president, and Ryan Pastore, vice president, client and community relations, joined Juchno at the presentation.

“We’re 24/7 in our role, you need to be ready and get the job done,” said Schmidt, a graduate of YSU’s Williamson College. He noted that one needs to put in the extra effort to achieve success and work may not always be a “nine to five” job, he said.

“You can’t wait for your next position. You need to go find what’s available,” Pastore added.

“I think it’s great experience to hear from upper-level management at PNC,” said Evan Landgraff, a junior studying accounting at YSU, who one day wants to own his own accounting firm. “I think you have to put in the work and extra time to achieve your goals and be successful.”

Another student who attended the presentation, Mario Diiullo, a senior studying accounting, is interested in becoming an auditor. This summer he is an intern focused on corporate and institutional banking with PNC in Cleveland.

“I enjoyed learning more about what Ted and Ryan do, and hearing Stacy’s background. How she got from where she started to where she is now is really interesting,” he said.

“The internship is going to set me up well if I want to go back into internal audit. My first day, I didn’t know a lot about it and they told me it’s different than anything you learn in school. But just seeing how it works and a lot of the acronyms they use, helped me out. I feel like I’m in a great position now for the future,” Diiullo said.

Pictured: Stacy Juchno, general auditor of PNC Bank.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.