Alumni Spotlights

Stephanie Hobbs, BBA’10, MBA’11: Helping Others Find Their Perfect Job

July 29, 2019 by Lisa M. McMahon, M.A.'09

As a college student, Stephanie Hobbs, BBA’10, MBA’11, thought accounting was the right career for her. After working for a few years in public accounting, she realized that her favorite part of the job was assisting her clients, so she shifted her professional focus and now assists accounting and finance professionals find their ideal careers.

The Lockport, N.Y., native came to Niagara as a transfer student because she liked the campus and the small class sizes, as well as the accounting program’s success in placing graduates in jobs in their fields. The transition was easy, she says, noting that people were friendly and welcoming. She found a mentor in professor Al Oddo, who encouraged her to take on an internship at Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP, emphasized the importance of working with Niagara’s Career Services, and “made accounting fun.”

After earning her BBA and MBA, Stephanie started her career at Freed Maxick CPAs. She enjoyed helping her clients and was considering pursuing a job in human resources when a colleague suggested she think about joining a recruitment firm to help finance and accounting candidates transition into new positions, a niche role for which Stephanie seemed well-suited.

“I didn’t feel like I was wasting my accounting background, because I could use that, but then I also thought I could meet people and help them with résumés and to make the right career choices,” she says.  “So I made the jump.”

Today, as a senior recruiter with StaffBuffalo, she spends her days matching candidates with clients, ensuring that candidates’ career goals align with the clients’ workplace objectives.

Her enthusiasm for the job is evident as she talks about the “awesome companies” she works with, the ways in which she assists her candidates and clients (including fine-tuning résumés, scheduling interviews, negotiating salary and benefits, and offering input on the soft skills and personality traits of jobseekers), and the individuals she has helped, including a Buffalo native who wanted to move his family from Colorado back to his hometown. Stephanie was able to secure two interviews with clients who were interested in his background but did not have a specific job available. After the meetings, one company created a position for him, and since then, he has been promoted to another role within that organization.   

“I love bringing people back to Buffalo and placing them in awesome jobs in the Buffalo market,” Stephanie says. “I love when people get in their roles and they’re happy, and I helped them take that next step.”

She credits the experiences she had at Niagara University—specifically Meet the Accountants Night—with her ability to successfully connect with others. In addition to helping her secure her position with Freed Maxick, Meet the Accountants Night helped her develop a comfort level with meeting new people and starting conversations, she says.

In 2017, Stephanie was selected as one of Buffalo Business First’s 30 under 30, honored for her achievements at work and her service in the community, which includes the Hospice Niagara garden cleanup and the Ronald McDonald House “Cooks for Kids” event.

 “It’s always been ingrained in me to give back to the community,” she says. “I love helping people, so being involved in different committees and working with different volunteer organizations is just something near and dear to my heart for causes I care about.”

“To me,” Stephanie says of both her professional and volunteer work, “it just comes down to helping people.”