April 10, 2006

Accounting firms' recruiters set up regular office hours at Fisher

PricewaterhouseCoopers recruiter Sheri Bartlome during one of her regular visits to Fisher Hall.

PricewaterhouseCoopers campus recruiter said the firm now has a home field advantage in its recruiting strategy. The company has put a recruiter on-site in Fisher Hall to ensure it gets a first-round pick of top accounting talent.

PwC, along with Deloitte Services LP, and Ernst and Young, maintain regular office hours in Fisher Hall. KPMG's recruiters also plan to make use of the office, according to J. Richard Dietrich, chair of the Accounting and MIS program.

"We certainly see the accounting program here at Fisher as a premier program. We wanted to get more than our fair share of the quality students that are produced by Fisher," said Sheri Bartlome, campus recruiting manager for PwC and a 1985 graduate of the honors accounting program at Fisher.

The initiative supports Fisher's on-going mission of strengthening its relationships with corporations. "It fits well with the Dean's objective of developing deeper relationships with our corporate partners," Dietrich said.

Fisher's office hours for accounting recruiters may be the first of its kind in the nation, Dietrich said. "We are the only program as far as I know that provides in-house office space for recruiters from accounting firms," Dietrich said.

Jeffrey Rice, Fisher's career services director and president of the international MBA Career Services Council, confirmed that campus recruiters with regular on-site office hours at business schools is out of the ordinary.

Fisher's recruiters expressed a desire to accommodate students along with serving the interests of their firms. Linda Burstein, a recruiter for Deloitte & Touche USA. LLP, screens job candidates for the firm's offices in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, as well as Columbus.

"From a student perspective, we know it's a big production for them to come downtown for an interview," said Burstein, a Fisher alumna. "We have always been aware that it disrupts the school day."

Both Bartlome and Burstein indicated their efforts are not all about filling jobs; their door is open to students seeking advice or encouragement. "I feel good about being accessible to students beyond the formality of an interview situation," said Burstein, who added that she has taken Fisher students working as Deloitte Services interns out to lunch.

The three firms' regular contact with faculty and students is providing support to the college's educational mission.

"One of the objectives that our firm has is that we want to be of value to our educational partners," Bartlome said. "If I know what the faculty is struggling with and where they need help, then I can possibly assist. We can provide faculty with information on what type of skills we need to see students have when they come to us."

PwC's vice chairman John O'Connor, based in New York, will visit the sophomore 211 accounting class to observe the new lab format. "The professors would like our response and get our impression of this new format," Bartlome said.

The reciprocity is an important bottom line for Dietrich. "We are intertwining what they do with what we do. There are so many common touch points where we both benefit," Dietrich said.

"It's a win-win situation that will only enhance the profession as a whole," Bartlome said.