For my undergraduate degree, I went to a small liberal arts college in southeastern Ohio. Life was slow but enjoyable. Four white geese and a flock of mallards swam back and forth in a small lake on campus. In spring, the lake would be dominated by dozens of Canadian geese, which would make sidewalks by the lake “unwalkable” when students came back from spring break. Although I love my undergraduate college’s country appeals, I wish Big Four recruiters had found the same. 🙂
Sadly Big Four recruiters never came to my small liberal arts campus. I might have missed lots of free pizza at those Big Four events. However, I have surely caught up with all these in the first quarter of the Fisher MAcc program. Last fall recruiting season, the Big Four each held networking events in the “backyard” of Gerlach Hall (the quad space between Gerlach and Schoenbaum Halls) and invited job candidates to pre-night dinners. By the end of fall quarter, like many of my classmates, I was lucky to secure a full time job offer with one of the big four public accounting firms. I want to take this opportunity to share with you my experience going through the job search process.
First of all, admitted students will complete a career marketing plan in the summer before school starts. The career marketing plan helps students not only understand their top selling points and areas of weakness, but also help them clarify their target industries and companies. A deep understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses will give one a head start in preparing for upcoming job interviews. Besides, the sooner one sets a clear job target, the sooner one can launch his or her job research.
After one has developed a career marketing plan, s/he will work on perfecting resumes and honing interview skills. During the whole job search process, students will have tons of resources at their disposal provided by the Fisher career management office. To name a few, professional resume templates for MAcc students, industry information, city overviews, interview dos and don’ts, and one-by-one appointments/mock interviews with Steve Singer in the career management office.
Finally, I want to briefly touch on job interviews with a special note to international students. During my job interviews, the advice I have found most useful are “Be Yourself” and “Be Positive”. For international students, I will add two more: Practice Your Conversation/Language Skills and always Be Confident. The rigorous one-year training in the MAcc program will prepare you well for your future accounting career even if you are not an undergraduate accounting major. Therefore, international students should be confident in their job searches.
In close, good luck to everyone in the upcoming recruiting season 🙂