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The Recruiting Process and How the MAC Programs Prepares Us for Success

Author: Ashleigh

The Recruiting Process and How the MAC Programs Prepares Us for Success

The Jenkins Masters of Accounting Program provides students with great exposure to professional opportunities of all types during the recruiting process. These career service programs and events provide a glimpse of the possible career paths the accounting field offers, helping us to make an educated decision when choosing between public, corporate or governmental accounting.

Career Workshops

All MAC students at NC State complete a one credit hour course called Managerial and Career Effectiveness. This course helps students going through recruiting to:

  • assess, revise, and rewrite their existing resumes to more effectively present their abilities
  • prepare for their interviews by participating in a simulation of an actual interview in which they receive feedback and coaching to improve their performance
  • understand how to properly dress for interviews as well as networking events that call for business casual
  • brush up on dining etiquette, to prepare for interviews and events that include meals
  • learn tips on how to make the most out of your office visit

Tour of Cities

In the summer prior to starting the MAC program, students may participate in the Tour of Cities program. This gives you the chance to visit firms in cities including Atlanta, Greensboro, Charlotte and Washington, D.C., to learn about the job opportunities in those regions. Each visit typically begins with a presentation on why students should consider working for that firm, followed by opportunities to ask questions. You then tour the offices of the firms you are visiting; that allows you to meet more employees and learn about the culture of the office. The MAC Program also hosts an alumni social in each city, giving students a chance to network with alumni in that area.

Meet the Firms

Meet the Firms – held in September – is an exciting and fast-paced experience for students going through recruiting. Over the span of four nights, students meet with representatives from four to five firms each night, spending about 30 minutes talking with people from each firm. The firms bring anywhere from a handful of representatives to a whole roomful . Each begins with a short presentation about the firm and ends with us breaking into smaller groups to get to speak with the representatives on a more personal basis. I was able to ask the firms questions about their training, industries, future growth opportunities, their clients, and the culture of their firms. Also, since I knew beforehand that I wanted to pursue a career in audit, I was able to ask each of the firms the types of audit assignments I might have in my first year, which helps differentiate firms from the very beginning. Asking each of the firms similar questions helped me to compare one to one another, which allowed me to narrow them down based on my personal preferences.

Corporate & Governmental Expo:

NC State MAC students also attend a Corporate & Governmental Expo where they network and discuss career opportunities in areas other than public accounting. This year I was able to speak with representatives from Cisco, Lowe’s Corporation, SPX Corporation, BB&T and First Citizen’s Bank and learn about their unique job opportunities, including job rotations and international opportunities.

Getting the Interview

The next step was signing up for interviews with the firms or companies that we meet during the earlier events. I logged into ePACK- the univeristy’s online career resources system – uploaded my resume and requested an interview with the firms I selected. The firms were then able to accept or reject my interview request based on having gotten to know me a little at the network events and my qualifications as presented on my resume. After a firm accepted me for an interview, I chose a time slot from the options provided, and attended the interview at the NC State Career Development Center on campus.

Pre-Interview Social

Many of the firms host a pre-interview social on the night before the on-campus.interview. This gives you another chance to socialize with a number of the firm’s employees in a more casual setting, to help you determine if you would be a good fit with the firm’s culture. It was a great experience for me to to meet with the employees in a more casual atmosphere and get a feel for the true culture of the firm.

The Interview

On the day of the interview I made sure I followed all the dressing for success tips that Brooks Brothers taught me, that I was well rehearsed for questions regarding my resume, and that I arrived about 15 minutes prior to my interview. Typically, the firms had a “greeter” in the interview waiting area – often recent graduates who talked to the candidates and answered questions about what the first few years at the firm were like. I really enjoyed getting to know these employees and learning about the transition from being a student to starting a career.

The interviews themselves usually focused on questions about my resume, past experiences, and what I was looking for in my career. Sometimes the firms asked behavioral interview questions, but this was typically not the case in my experience. During the last part of the interview I was able to ask the interviewer any questions I had about the firm or their job experience. It was great to learn why employees decided on the firm they did and why they have stayed as long as they have. Generally, the interviews lasted between 30 and 45 minutes, which goes by quicker than you would think!

The Office Visit

Office visits are next, and for me, they begin this week! Although it may seem like a scary step, the career workshops, Tour of Cities, Meet the Firms, and pre-interview socials all helped me to prepare. I now know which firms I favor, the questions I have left to ask, and which aspects of the firm are most important to me. My next blog will be about my experiences as I go through the office visit stage of interviewing. Stay tuned!

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