January 21, 2019

Russian National Is Feeling Rejected By Big 4

Welcome to a special Friday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. Since Frankenstorm might sweep a lot of us out to sea early next week, let's get in all the good advice we can before the world ends. If you're having a career emergency and still have a charge left on your phone while you're waiting for the power company to get you back up, go ahead and shoot us an email.

Hello GC fellows,

Bottom line up front: from a top MAcc program but got rejected by all the big 4. 
 
Bio: 1) 22 years old, 2) Russian nationality (foreign student), 3) 3.77 GPA undegrad in bus. admin; 4) 3.6 current GPA in a leading U.S. MAcc program. Oh yes, 750 GMAT. 
 
More details:
 
I came to the U.S. in 2009. By December 2011 I managed to get 2 degrees (1 from Russia in Public management, another is BSBA in Management from a middle-tier school in the U.S.) After graduation in 2011 I got accepted to one of THE best MAcc programs in the U.S. The program is famous for a ridiculously high student placement percentage.
 
The school started in May. In June recruiters came on campus and stayed here until the end of September. I got 5 interviews – all the companies that sponsored H1-B visas. I networked heavily. I attended 4 networking events for EVERY company I was recruiting with (panels, meet-the-firms events, socials, and pre interview reception). 
 
So for right now I was rejected by ALL the companies I was interviewing with. 
 
I smell OK. I speak VERY fluent English as I spent almost 4 years in the U.S. I am slightly introverted, but feel comfortable during networking events. I got all the interviews I was asking for. I have business experience. I am able to bring diversity of thought and background to companies (they were ALL talking about this stupid diversity.) Long story short: I feel more than qualified and for some reason got rejected. As well as ALL other international (120 people class, 10 internationals), NOT EVEN A FUCKING SINGLE OFFICE VISIT
 
I was looking through topics and never found a topic dedicated to international students. 
 
Can you help a truly pissed off Russian national? For what am I paying $52,000? 
Okay I'm just going to come out and say it because there's no way around it: it's because you are Russian.
 
Just because employers sponsor H1Bs doesn't mean they'll want to sponsor you. And how do you know they sponsor them? Did you start out your networking events asking? Because that's awkward as hell.
 
If you were an American national, your stats and experience would all be impressive but given the pain your potential employer would have to go through and cost involved in sponsoring you, you might not be worth the risk as a marginal candidate. Maybe it's your accent. Maybe you're a little more than slightly introverted. Maybe you don't smell OK by American standards. Without meeting you and spending some time nit-picking you, it's hard to say. Your English is obviously better than that of some native speakers so that's not it. Given that none of the other international candidates got very far either, I'm willing to guess it is simply that the American candidates were satisfactory enough to hire without the bother of H1Bs and possible ICE raids.
 
Diversity doesn't mean what you think it means, darling, it means hiring one black guy for every twenty white guys and promoting a couple chicks every now and then. In other words: it's a bunch of bullshit and has very little to do with building a diverse team that looks like the It's a Small World ride at Disneyland. If "diversity" were a real thing, it wouldn't be so easy for us to populate our "old white guys" board on Pinterest. It is simply a buzzword – like dynamic or prestigious – with very little real substance behind it.
 
Demand for international workers has slowed in recent years and if the firms had chairs to fill immediately, maybe they didn't feel like sitting around waiting for your paperwork to go through. Perhaps if you were a truly exceptional candidate with a perfect GPA, stellar social skills and a clear willingness to be the firm's bitch for way longer than the usual two years they'd take a chance but in this economy and with so many perfectly fine average American candidates to choose from, it appears to me like they just don't want the trouble. Not saying you're any less than those average candidates and not saying you don't deserve the opportunity, just saying that's how the egg cracks sometimes.
 
Beyond suggesting you marry a decent-looking American – who you already love, of course – I don't really know what to tell you. Obviously hitting a few Meet the Firms events and getting five measly interviews will not do it for you. You could maybe try government work or smaller firms but you need to hustle and now. You may also have to – gasp – get in touch with some bottom-feeding recruiters and see if they have any leads. If this school of yours is really so stellar at getting its graduates placed, maybe you and the nine other internationals should storm in there and ask them why you paid $52,000, not us.
 
Good luck?
 

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