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How should I begin my accounting career after I graduated college?


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Austin’s Answer

Hi Joshua,

Interesting question. I work with many accountants so I have some idea of how you should begin your accounting career. I work for one of the "Big 4" auditing firms (EY, PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte) and these firms employ many accounts on both the commercial and public sector side of their business. There are tons of places that want accountants, so you are quite versatile in what you can do. If you are still in school, I would try to go through on campus recruiting. I know PwC as well as the other Big 4 firms recruit on campus so that is a really easy way to get a job right after college. Other large Fortune 500 firms recruit on campus so you aren't just limited to 4 firms. I would go to your school's student career center/office and see what resources they have there. That office has tons of materials and they should be able to help you out. Ask them about recruitment and what companies visit campus, when they visit, and how to apply.


I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!!


Best,

Austin


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Ken’s Answer

You should actually begin your accounting career while still in school by getting to know more about yourself and the vast area of accounting to find your niche. From my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I have found that those individuals who took the time and effort to identify their own area of concentration and pursued it were the ones who were most successful. Too often I found students who did not follow these steps found themselves in a situation that was not the most comfortable or productive for them. Here are some steps that I found to be most helpful to those who were successful in their education/career journey. It is like buying a pair of shoes. First you need to get properly fitted and then you need to try on the various options and walk in them for a while to see how comfortable they might be for you.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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Katie’s Answer

The Career Services departments at schools are very helpful, and I believe they often will assist even after you have graduated too. For instance, I get emails from my school's Career Services office with offers on sessions and other networking events offered. Once you begin attending networking sessions and other events, this will help you find opportunities. If your school has career fairs, these can be extremely helpful as well. Good luck!


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Ford’s Answer

Hi Joshua,

Like Ken mentioned above, it is actually much easier to start your career while still in college. Most colleges are very helpful in terms of career services departments and providing students with great resources to jumpstart their careers. In my experience, I had several Big 4 firms start their recruiting process while I was still a sophomore. Usually there are networking sessions, leadership programs that you must interview for, etc. If you have more questions, you can always contact the recruiting team of a firm you are interested in and they will provide you with more information.


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