Recruiting Tips

At this point in the MAcc program, students are finishing midterm exams and are in the midst of first-round interviews for full-time positions at public accounting firms. The first seven-week term of the program been certainly been a whirlwind, so this is a good opportunity to sit back and reflect on all that has been happening as well as share some advice for future students.

Here are my 5 Recruiting Rs:

#1: Reflect
Use the opportunity of upcoming interviews to think about yourself and your experiences. Not only are these reflections useful to answer behavioral questions during interviews (“tell me about a time when…”), but they are also incredibly helpful when having conservations with recruiters at pre-interview recruiting events. It helps you to articulate your story and communicate to others what you are looking for in a company.

#2 Research
Most know to research a company before an interview. However, it’s not just memorizing the stats and figures on the company’s website that is going to land you the job. You have to utilize your network to reach out to current and former employees that can help paint a picture of what it’s like to work at their company. Having these conversations and personal connections in the back of your head during interviews will help you immensely.

#3 Relay
Don’t let your research and preparations go to waste because you get nervous during your interview and forget to relay what you know. It’s important to be excited about the position, have educated questions to ask, and show that you put time and care into preparing for the interview.

#4 Relax
Remember to stay calm and think of the whole recruiting process as a chance to get to know people and a company. It’s all simply a string of conversations that will help determine if you’re the right fit for the position.

#5 Rejoice
At the end of recruiting season, it’s time to rejoice! Hopefully you have received an offer (or multiple) and you are pleased with the results. Remember that things have a way of working out. Recruiting is a mutual selection process, and you should end up where you’re supposed to be!

MAcc Men in Black
MAcc Men in Black

Holding On and Letting Go

B-school life is full of times to hold on or to let go.  Lately it seems I continually face the decision to hone my tenacity or choose the way of Lao Tsu and “go with the flow”.  Insider hint: the Tao of Eve needs some major work.

I’m really not one to make new year’s resolutions because I can never seem to stick with them.  When I fail, it becomes one more thing to gnaw on my conscience.  This year, however, things are different.  During break, I realized it is really important for me to let things go and I resolved to make a concerted effort to do so during 2011 (and beyond).  A few things prompted my decision:

(1) Grades: One thing you’ll hear time and time again in b-school is that grades don’t matter.  As a first-year, I’ve heard this from various people across disciplines and departments.  I suppose old habits die hard because I waited with great anticipation for my grades to be posted online.  All in all, I did alright and was pretty happy with my results.  But there’s always that one class… in my case, it was Organizational Behavior.  I missed the next letter grade by one point and wasn’t one of the students that was moved up based upon class participation.  “Disappointed” is a fair way to describe my feelings on the situation.  What to do?  Let it go and move forward.  I’m not happy about it but there’s not much I can do to change it at this point.  I could dwell on it and let it affect me or release it and focus on the next term.  I choose to focus on the future.  And, although I realize that grades do matter to me (at least somewhat), I also know that I want to take full advantage of the other opportunities & activities available in the full-time MBA program.

(2) Clutter: If there’s any advice I can give you that will prove helpful, it’s PURGE NOW especially if you’re moving to Columbus from somewhere else.  Downsizing is extremely important to do in advance; you really don’t want to move everything and then realize it doesn’t fit.  In my case, I was faced with the closet storage reality over break.  I finally had time to fully switch my wardrobe from warm weather to cold weather.  I ended up with several bags of trash and six piles of clothes that need to be donated to Goodwill.  Some mementos are worth keeping but all the stuff you have set aside “just in case” should be dumped before you get here.  You won’t have the time to do it when classes begin and you’ll feel so free by ridding yourself of the excess baggage.  Let it go and make room for good things to come into your life.

(3) Rejection: Recruiting season is heading into full swing and I can honestly say I have already gotten my share of rejection.  I *really* don’t need any more.  Realistically, it could be a lot worse.  The good news is that I have a few angles that may pan out.  The ones that didn’t work out really didn’t suit me anyway.  My advice to you is: do your homework and decide what matters most and what you really want.  Have the conversation with your Career Management counselor and make sure your goals are realistic.  If you have a specific target, you can focus all your energy toward that goal.  If you’re anything like me and are unsure, or are switching careers, you might need to spend extra energy and take a path less traveled.  I believe we all want to be wanted and it is normal to feel validated by a potential employer wanting to speak with us.  But when your request for interview is rejected, it doesn’t invalidate you.  In my case, each “no” pushes me closer to a “yes” and the path I trod is not the most worn.  Fisher provides many resources for us to use to build our networks.  Finding the ideal career fit may involve on campus recruiting but it may not.  Some of us choose a path less common.  At Fisher, faculty, staff, and alumni are very willing to help each one of us discover our way.  They really see us as individuals.  Personally, I’m letting go of the “no”s and holding on to the perfect fit being out there.  It just takes some of us longer to find it.

This quarter proves to be getting better by the minute.  To gain momentum and keep the right pace, I resolve to hold on to what’s truly important and let go of the things that can slow me down.

The characteristic of a genuine heroism is its persistency.  All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ready… Set… Recruit!

With OSU being such a big school, it is a key school for the recruiting circuits of countless firms, nationwide. I know there are a ton of companies in general that are in the process of recruiting the highly coveted Fisher students, but specifically, there is a great line-up of accounting firms interested in the MAcc students. I won’t list all of the firms here because I do not want to leave anyone out, but trust me, they have a great lineup.

This week is when most of the bigger accounting firms begin their first-round interviews, and of course, a lot of those firms tend to have a pre-interview social the night before their interviews. So what does that mean for the MAcc students who are career hunting? A very busy next few weeks! On the one hand, it’s great to see all the career opportunities that are open to students here, but on the other hand, I do not envy how busy they’ll be during this time-intensive process.

For those of you new to the recruiting process, most companies start the season with some welcome event, followed by an appearance at the career fair, then they start the selection process which starts with a first-round interview with a “pre-night.” After a few weeks, the applicant pool is narrowed down and then come the second-round interviews which typically involve doing an actual office visit (most likely of the office you are interested in) and then a whole second day of interviews. After all this, they usually can narrow it down enough to make their offers a few weeks later. Overall, it is an extremely quick process to go from applying online to accepting an offer for a full-time position or internship, but speaking from a perspective of someone who has been there – it is all completely worth it. I honestly applied to about 15 accounting firms back in CO and was accepted to first round-interviews to all of them. After that I was able to narrow it down, but going through recruiting for so many firms at the same time was extremely intensive. I do have to say my favorite part of recruiting season was the chance to network with so many new people, not to mention the other students who were right there with me. (The free meals every other night were also a nice perk).

So for those of you going through recruiting right now, I just wanted to wish you the best of luck!


Nestle Networking Event

Last Thursday night I attended the Nestle Networking Event downtown at the Elevator Brewing Company.  It was fun, informative, and everything I could have asked for out a recruiting event.  Nestle did a great job putting it together and it was nice to have an event off of Fisher’s campus.

The focus of this particular event was on marketing positions at Nestle.  More specifically, the aim was to use this opportunity to fill us in on their brand management program and at the same time check out potential candidates in an informal setting.

All three of the recruiters were recent Fisher grads who were eager to share their thoughts on the classes we were taking (read: professors), as well as detailed info about some of the projects they were involved in at Nestle and what we could expect if we came to work there.  They were genuinely interested in finding out about us, what our goals were, and they were kind enough to stay well after the event was over to talk with students.  They also organized a trivia game which turned out to be pretty fun and also helped everyone learn a little bit about all the different product offerings they have.

Several second-years who interned at Nestle last summer, all of whom received full-time offers to work there next year, were also in attendance and offered a lot of helpful insights into the company.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the event.  It was very informative and it was easy to get around and talk to all the recruiters and second-years.  Admittedly, not every event at Fisher has been this much fun, but I think this was a great example of the high-caliber companies and networking events that we continually have access to here at Fisher.