Per BAP: FYI: We made the Annual Meeting video private until we get a version with standard music. The music on the first version is copyrighted. Thank you for your patience. Here's the video proudly posted on Facebook on August 14th: And then the oopsie news two days later: Yeah, that's only slightly embarrassing. But […]
Ed. note: Have a question for the career advice brain trust? Email us at email@example.com.
Is it just me or has it been a strange, weird week? I mean, look at yesterday’s Accounting News Roundup for what’s been happening:
• Everyone’s favorite shove-chips-down-your-throat airline lost its chief financial guru.
• The curtain continues to be pulled back on the next great technology company bubble.
• Rick Perry
• Capitalism is on life support
And oh yeah, Ohio was momentarily resembled a safari. Christ. Get a re-fill turn up your iPod. Let’s push through this week. On to the questions:
My question is about recruiting. On Campus Recruiting has ended last week and unfortunately I wasn’t invited to any of the Big 4 interviews. I really thought that my high GPA and my experience at a F500 company and a large governmental organization would land me the internship.
After being rejected, I started talking to some friends to see who had Big 4 interviews coming up, and I found out that only campus leaders had interviews. By campus leaders I mean BAP, ALPHA, NABA, and etc board members. I’m currently a senior and I will be applying for full-time positions next year. Since I’m not in any leadership position, and probably won’t be by next year, am I screwed? Also, is it true that 90% of Big 4’s entry level full time positions are filled by interns?
Maybe you’re a sloppy dresser. Maybe you have sweaty palms. Maybe you think brushing your teeth is more of a take-it-or-leave-it option than a societal norm. Possibilities…but unlikely. This sounds more like a case of “Good College in a Small Market Where the Firms Just Don’t Need to Hire Many People.” Unfortunate, but it happens.
Here’s the sitch: the firms love to hire out of universities with a broad range of students. The USCs and U. of Texases (at Austin, yes, yes) and Penn States of the world; even smaller schools like Lehigh and NYU. Why? Because they have national appeal – good programs, brand names, and students from every state. A Longhorn from Austin could be interested in working in Boston or Chicago or New York. Lehigh grads regularly pursue options in Philadelphia, DC, Pittsburgh, and the NYC/Chicago/the west coast hotspots. Alums of these schools can share their stories of the recruiting factory lines – Beta Alpha Psi board execs, members, and club rejects alike find jobs with the Big 4. The Budgeting Gods love these schools and make a concerted effort to build robust programs around these schools and those like them.
Your current situation falls into a different category. You’re either:
a) at a good school in a smaller market and the local firms have limited hiring needs
b) at a small school that the firm is obligated to recruit from because the Office Managing Partner graduated from there in 1963.
Whatever the reason, it’s unfortunate because there are probably a number of qualified applicants like you who are out of luck. The firms have fairly tight budgets on a per-school basis; even if they had a lack of candidates at another school, it would be a one-off case.
All that said, you’re not necessarily “screwed.” The officers will most likely accept fulltime offers they receive at the end of their internships. There is a possibility that the firms will have additional needs for fulltime hires; I recommend keeping your options open (audit, tax, etc.). As far as your projection that 90% of fulltime positions are filled by interns, I don’t know if it’s that high (it was in ‘08/’09), but above 75% on a national average. The goal is “as many as $%*@ing possible.” Good luck.
For once, we have a heartwarming story of a person who set her mind to accomplishing a goal in spite of more than her fair share of adversity and challenge. This should shame all of you C students into at least pretending like you are grateful for what you have, at least until next semester.
Last week, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants announced that Ms. Hefgine G. Fils-Aime, a spring 2011 graduate of the University of South Florida, has been awarded Beta Alpha Psi’s Medal of Inspiration Award. The award, sponsored by the AICPA, is bestowed upon a student who has experienced extreme hardships in his or her life and who has demonstrated an unusually high level of success d y. The award includes a $5,000 cash stipend, which Ms. Fils-Aime plans to use to help continue her education by pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in accountancy at Wake Forest University.
Ms. Fils-Aime’s story is one of overcoming persistent obstacles. In the mid-2000s, her parents sent Fils-Aime and her sister to Florida to live with relatives, fearful that their young daughters were in danger if they remained in Haiti. Then 14-year-old Fils-Amie, a native French and Creole speaker, had to learn English immediately and was enrolled as a junior in high school due to having skipped a grade in Haiti and the differences between the Haitian and American school systems. Fils-Aime graduated high school at age 16 and enrolled in the University of South Florida.
While the other 18 year-olds in the dorms were partying and trying to get her to take that route with them, she chose to remain focused on her education. As if that weren’t challenging enough, her biggest challenge arrived on Jan. 10, 2010, when Haiti was hit with a 7.0 earthquake. It would be days before she knew what happened to her parents and younger brother. Her mother did not survive the earthquake, buried in the rubble of their home when it collapsed. Port-au-Prince was so damaged that she could not fly in to attend her own mother’s funeral. Somehow during all this, she stuck to school and her extra-curricular activities, which included serving as student project support assistant at the Business Systems Reengineering Department, a candidate for Beta Alpha Psi and the Brothers Points coordinator for Alpha Kappa Psi. She attended PwC’s Florida Leadership Adventure in the summer of 2010.
“The winner of this year’s Beta Alpha Psi Medal of Inspiration Award, Hefgine G. Fils-Aime, is a shining example of a person who overcame extreme hardship, and a language barrier in a foreign country, to achieve success,” said Jeannie Patton, AICPA’s vice president of academic and career awareness. “Her dedication, motivation and courage to continue offers inspiration and hope to every one of us who has thought about quitting when the going got tough.”
Fils-Aime was presented the award on Friday at Beta Alpha Psi’s 2011 annual meeting in Denver.
“Hefgine Fils-Aime’s life story is an inspiring one for everyone who is part of Beta Alpha Psi,” said Mary Stone, president, Beta Alpha Psi. “For members, it is a story to remember when life seems overwhelming or unfair. For faculty advisors, forum members, and staff, it is a story to remember when confronted by the media stereotype that today’s students don’t work hard. For all of us, it is reminder that great challenges can be overcome with hard work, perseverance and good humor.”
Fils-Aime graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting with an overall GPA of 3.89 in May of 2011 and received a full-time offer from PwC. She was recognized on the College of Business’ top 25 under 25 and had been active in Beta Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma.
Current BAP students may vote for either themselves or another BAP student who they feel meets the criteria for this award, which is given out annually. There are two criteria whereby students can win. First, they may have experienced extreme hardships in their lives in pursuing their education, and demonstrated an unusually high level of success in spite of that adversity. Or, second, they may have done something particularly inspirational in the course of their young lives that had tremendous impact on someone else’s life. Either path is acceptable. Students are encouraged to participate in the program, not to bring honor or glory to themselves, but to inspire students to want to affect on the world around them in a positive way.
Good morning, capital markets servants. Aren’t you glad there are still capital markets to serve? For now, anyway. Despite the doubts around our economy, we have a nice little offer for the future capital market servants who are attending this year’s Beta Alpha Psi Annual Meeting here in Denver. There are details after the jump but basically all you need to know is that it is tonight, attendees will be on a rooftop, there will be free refreshments, and attractive bar and wait staff will be catering to your requests.
So if you’re at this year’s meeting, join us at Spill located at 1410 Market St. in Denver, starting at 6:30 with open bar (beer, wine and well liquor) and appetizers until 8:30. I’ll be around chatting with various people so feel free to awkwardly interrupt to say hello; you never know, you might be getting me out of a bad conversation. Show up to eat, drink and mingle with your fellow attendees.
Fair warning, however, some of our sales people will be milling about chatting up exhibitors and apparently they have a reputation for being “loud” and “unprofessional” but you should know that only means they are FUN. So, unless you have a problem with that it’d be wise for you to show up. Hope to see you there.
As previously discussed, the fall recruiting onslaught is a huge part of the major accounting firms’ strategy to keep as many bright-eyed and bushy-tailed auditors, tax and advisory professionals on staff. Some schools simply rely on their reputation for churning out dynamite candidates on paper to keep the firms coming back but what about other schools that don’t necessarily enjoy the sterling reputation?
Well for starters, you could burn those other schools to the ground. If doing a 6 to 10 stretch doesn’t work for your career plan, then perhaps getting your name out there before you meet the firms will help.
That’s exactly what the University of Tampa’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter is doing for their members – posting their photo, bio, résumés and email address to allow firms to get to know candidates prior to meeting on campus.
So far the feedback has been positive, including some from KPMG that was included in the chapter’s press release:
“It was a great resource for us to be able to recall the individuals that we had the opportunity to meet, and then easily review their goals and current status, and then further review their resumes. It allowed us to obtain quick and accurate information on those we met.”
Perusing around some of the other chapters like Texas, Notre Dame and BYU it’s pretty obvious that U. Tampa’s site is more interactive and easier to navigate. Plus, if you’re participating in the recruiting in the process for your firm, it’s a great way to prepare to meet recruits as opposed to the standard awkward small talk.
Kudos to U. Tampa BAP for getting their members names and faces out there. Hopefully other chapters will follow their example to engage more effectively with the firms in their cities and regions to assist members as they go through the recruiting process.