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The Recruiting Process

Now that the fall semester is rolling with homework and exams in full swing, many students in the MAC program also have another goal in mind – to land a full-time job after graduation. One of the highlights of NC State’s program is the opportunity to meet with and be recruited by dozens of accounting firms and other major industry companies. The potential to land a job for Fall 2018 (a year from now!) is something that most other majors on campus simply cannot offer.

The recruiting process goes through three stages:

  • Meet the Firms – This takes place over four nights and one half-day in late August and early September and is also known as “speed dating” with the firms.
  • On-Campus Interview(s) – After the Meet the Firms evenings, students request interviews with firms of their choice later in September. If a firm chooses to invite you to an on-campus interview, you’ll meet with them for a 30-45 minute interview on campus at the University Career Center.
  • Firm Office Visit(s) – Finally, after all of the on-campus interviews conclude, firms will call students who they would like to invite to an in-office interview. These interviews take place in mid-to-late October and are the last round before (hopefully) a job offer or other final decision.

Today I’m focusing on Meet the Firms. Here goes…

The Format

Over the course of five sessions which are two or three hours each, a group of 15-20 students (pre-assigned) spends 30 minutes with a firm and then rotates to another. The firms are allowed to use their half hour timeslot however they choose. Some firms used the entire 30 minutes to give a presentation with slides covering employment opportunities and their office culture, while others brought along corn hole boards, a putting green, and other games to focus solely on getting to know you better.

The Goal (and my advice)

Because the first stage is essentially networking, the goal for the evening is to meet as many firm representatives as you can while having meaningful conversations. Throughout this process I cannot tell you how many times I was told to just “be myself”. While this is good advice, as an introvert I found it difficult to apply to networking events that are outside of my comfort zone.

I gave myself an even more specific goal of finding something other than accounting to talk about during each conversation. Sometimes that meant talking about a shared hobby of running or my desire to learn how to play golf (which many of the firm representatives already enjoy playing). In other cases, I asked about the person’s hometown and was surprised how many times we were able to find something in common with this subject.

Even though you are there trying to get an accounting job, I’m learning that firms are interested in seeing your personality outside of campus (or eventually, the office). I tried to quickly jot down what we spoke about after each 30-minute session and used this information for thank-you emails early the next day.

What’s Next

The next step in the recruiting process is the On-Campus Interview. Come back over the next couple of months and I’ll keep you posted on how my job search goes. I’m crossing my fingers for a job offer by the end of the process!

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