La Salle business student will deliver commencement speech

Mar­celina Hol­lender

La Salle Uni­versity busi­ness stu­dent Mar­celina Hol­lender, a Somer­ton res­id­ent, will cap off her col­lege ca­reer by giv­ing the com­mence­ment speech at the uni­versity’s un­der­gradu­ate gradu­ation ce­re­mony.

At La Salle, the tra­di­tion is to have a stu­dent de­liv­er the speech at gradu­ation. Hol­lender ap­plied and was se­lec­ted by a com­mit­tee.

The ce­re­mony is set for Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at La Salle’s Mc­Carthy Sta­di­um.

“I was ex­tremely honored when I had learned that I had been se­lec­ted to rep­res­ent the gradu­at­ing class as the 2013 stu­dent com­mence­ment speak­er,” she said. “I un­der­stand that this role car­ries a great re­spons­ib­il­ity in in­spir­ing and mo­tiv­at­ing the audi­ence. It in­cludes re­flect­ing on the mis­sion and val­ues at La Salle Uni­versity, while trans­lat­ing each stu­dent’s ex­per­i­ence and jour­ney in­to the pos­sib­il­it­ies of the fu­ture.”

Hol­lender, an ac­count­ing ma­jor who has made the dean’s list every semester, re­cently re­ceived an­oth­er big hon­or. She’s been ac­cep­ted in­to the Dis­ney Com­pany’s Ac­count­ing Ro­ta­tion Pro­gram.

Only eight stu­dents are ac­cep­ted in­to the pro­gram each year. Hol­lender will earn her MBA in Au­gust and start at Dis­ney in Janu­ary 2014.

“We seek out top tal­ent from top schools around the coun­try with high aca­dem­ic stand­ing in terms of GPA and Big 4 (ac­count­ing firms) and For­tune 500 com­pany ac­count­ing-fo­cused in­tern­ship ex­per­i­ence,” said C.J. Masopust, a re­cruit­er with Dis­ney Con­sumer Products.

Masopust said the pro­gram also looks for stu­dents with “prom­ising lead­er­ship cap­ab­il­it­ies.”

A gradu­ate of Naz­areth Academy High School, Hol­lender sub­mit­ted an ap­plic­a­tion through Dis­ney’s web­site for the pro­gram in early Septem­ber.

Three days later, a re­cruit­er in­ter­viewed her for an hour over the phone, then in­vited her for a form­al in­ter­view at the com­pany’s cor­por­ate of­fice in Burb­ank, Cal­if.

That in­ter­view took place in Oc­to­ber.

“In Burb­ank, in­ter­views were be­ing con­duc­ted daily with stu­dents from across the coun­try,” Hol­lender said. “I met with re­cruit­ers, cur­rent ARP ana­lysts and oth­er ARP can­did­ates. It was in­ter­est­ing to listen to cur­rent ARP ana­lysts who de­scribed their per­son­al ex­per­i­ence in the pro­gram.”

The in­ter­views were con­duc­ted in four ses­sions, and Hol­lender was in­ter­viewed by two-per­son teams from the vari­ous busi­ness areas.

“I made sure to be pre­pared for the in­ter­views by con­duct­ing thor­ough re­search about the Dis­ney Com­pany, such as its his­tory, fin­an­cials and cur­rent news,” she said. “The in­ter­view­ers were im­pressed that I was know­ledge­able about the com­pany and that I came pre­pared with a port­fo­lio of art­icles and re­ports.”

While at La Salle, Hol­lender has com­pleted in­tern­ships with Charm­ing Shoppes and Price­wa­ter­house­Coopers.

For the last three years, she has worked part time as a loan mem­ber ser­vice rep­res­ent­at­ive at Tru­mark Fin­an­cial Cred­it Uni­on, where she has sev­er­al times been se­lec­ted as em­ploy­ee of the month.

Hol­lender is a mem­ber of the Na­tion­al So­ci­ety of Col­legi­ate Schol­ars, and she re­ceived the 2012 Pennsylvania In­sti­tute of Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­count­ants Award. She also won the Amer­ic­an So­ci­ety of Wo­men Ac­count­ants Na­tion­al Award in 2011 and ’12.

At La Salle, she was in­duc­ted in­to Beta Gamma Sigma, the in­ter­na­tion­al busi­ness hon­or so­ci­ety. BGS awar­ded her the La Salle/Beta Gamma Sigma schol­ar­ship, giv­en to the hon­or so­ci­ety’s top in­duct­ees. She has also par­ti­cip­ated in the Masque stu­dent theat­er group and stu­dent gov­ern­ment, and has taken lead­er­ship roles in pro­fes­sion­al ac­count­ing or­gan­iz­a­tions on cam­pus.

“Even as a fresh­man, she was al­ways among the first stu­dents to an­swer my calls for par­ti­cipants in vari­ous es­say and case com­pet­i­tions, in­clud­ing those sponsored by John­son & John­son and Price­wa­ter­house­Coopers,” said Susan Borkowski, a pro­fess­or of ac­count­ing and BGS ad­viser at La Salle.

“She man­ages ad­mir­ably to bal­ance these ex­tra­cur­ricular events — which make great de­mands on her time — with her stel­lar aca­dem­ic per­form­ance. Mar­celina has many strengths. She is a role mod­el for her peers, an ex­cep­tion­al stu­dent, in­sight­ful, ma­ture, re­spons­ible and de­term­ined to max­im­ize her ex­per­i­ences while in our BS/MBA pro­gram at La Salle Uni­versity.” ••

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