Accounting Firms–Where do you fit?
As the spring semester begins, the most popular topic of discussion among my accounting classmates surrounds the upcoming semester of recruiting. Traditionally, in the spring of their sophomore year, students wishing to enter the public accounting field upon graduation will begin recruiting for offers to participate in Summer Leadership Programs with the big four and mid-tier accounting firms. The Summer Leadership Programs are usually one-week programs that allow students to get better introduced to the different firms, while also participating in team-building exercises and activities that allow the firms to get to know the students better.
At USC, there are a few basic things that the majority of accounting sophomores will do in their spring semester to gain more exposure to the different firms and learn more about the accounting profession. Each semester, accounting students are invited to attend “Meet the Firms”—a night of networking hosted by the Leventhal School of Accounting where students can meet and talk to professionals from major accounting firms. In addition, the majority of accounting students also join Leventhal student organizations like Beta Alpha Psi or Accounting Society. These organizations have weekly general meetings where a firm will speak on a topic and provide students the opportunity to network with professionals in a smaller setting. Beta Alpha Psi, of which I am a part, hosts professional events such as workshops on how to better network and interview, a mentoring program with professionals in the accounting field, and student panels on a variety of topics with upperclassmen who have already gone through the accounting recruiting process. I have found these opportunities invaluable in helping me hone my professional skills and giving me greater exposure to the different accounting firms. Because although they provide very similar services…every firm has a very unique culture and group of people that both the firm and student take into consideration when they are looking to hire or accept a job offer.
Although I can’t say that I have a favorite firm yet, I am hoping that this season of recruiting will give me greater exposure to the different firms!