Fall break marks the end of our first session of Fall semester, as well as the end of recruitment season for many MAcc students who are very excited to be done with the process. Though I didn’t go through the process as I did it during my undergraduate program, I recognized some differences between the two experience when talking to my friends so I wanted to outline them below, as well as offer some tips on how to tackle recruitment season when starting the Fisher MAcc program.
1. The process is so much shorter!
This is the clearest difference between the two processes. While undergraduate recruiting season often lasts for almost the
entire semester with many different networking and social events organized by the firms, my graduate classmates started their job searching process around the end of August when classes started, and had most of their interviews done at the beginning of October. So the time pressure was intense. I highly advise you to prepare well during the summer by polishing your resume and practicing your interviewing skills and be ready to jump right into the process when the program starts, or you’ll be very overwhelmed with events and homework.
2. Full-time vs internship.
Most students applied for internships in junior year and completed them in senior year of undergraduate. However, once you’re a graduate student, often you would apply for full-time positions. Since internship is like another round of interview where firms can take another look at your ability before offering you a full-time position, the competition is a bit more lax and firms often hire more interns to cut some out later. Full-time positions can be more challenging to get, especially when firms already retain a decent number of interns, and they often expect more of you to adapt quickly with the way of working as you did not go through the internship with them.
3. Location preferences.
Many of my classmates, including myself, did our undergraduate studies out of state, so attending OSU allows us to apply for firms and offices in Ohio, nearby Midwest states, and other states farther away since OSU is a huge university with a very recognizable brand name and an extensive alumni network. It was more restrictive for me when I applied for internship at my previous college since it is a small liberal arts school so most students went to companies/offices within the same state. However, many of my classmates can apply to positions in cities such as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. That’s why I often recommend my friends, especially those who did not do an accounting internship, to complete their Master’s at a big university like OSU to expand their opportunities.
Those are all the tips I have to prepare you for a successful recruitment season in graduate school. The main restraint is definitely time, as the program lasts for only nine months and you would want to secure a job before graduation as soon as possible. However, if you come prepared from the beginning, you should feel much less stressful about the entire process. Good luck!