Bean Counting and Networking: Accounting?
Wait, accountants don’t just sit at their desks and use those big old school calculators? One of the biggest conceptions that I had coming into Marshall (I came in as a Business major) was that people in Accounting were nerdy, hard to social with, and were mostly isolated to the cubicle for the majority of the work day. Now, I’m a Business and Accounting double major (with a minor in Applied Computer Security), hoping to secure an internship and future job with the Big 4 and to obtain my CPA. So what changed?
It all started with the introduction to accounting class. At first, it went as expected; lots of numbers, concepts, balancing numbers out, debits and credits. I might lose credit with the readers at this point, but I actually found that accounting wasn’t hard for me to understand, and I even found it quite interesting. But even then, the prospects of sitting in a corporate cubicle for the rest of my life didn’t sound so appealing, so I didn’t really think about it.
Then came along, in the Spring semester of my Sophomore year, a ton of invitations to accounting events (that I was not even a part of the accounting school yet). Ranging from networking events to workshops to guest speakers, there were a plethora of events that started to pique my interest in accounting, and I spoke with my advisor. It wasn’t too difficult to do both Business Administration and Accounting, so I declared my double major. Not only that, but given that Leventhal is one of the top accounting programs in the country, it didn’t take much to convince me.
Now comes the revelation. Starting my Junior year, I became fully involved in Accounting (much more so than Business). I joined Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honor society, and it was there I learned how wrong I had been in the past. Accounting is no less different from any other Business function, where networking is crucial to your success. I would even dare to say that I’ve done far more networking for Accounting than many of my Business major friends who are also Juniors. Because Leventhal is such a top accounting program, the Big 4 and midtier accounting firms are almost always on campus, if not with a specific student organization, then to hold case competitions or to hold general networking events. I can easily say that for the past 7 weeks of me being a Junior Accounting major, there has not gone by a single week where I did not interact directly from a professional. Not only does Beta Alpha Psi hold general meetings every week where professionals come speak to us about their careers, but the Big 4 actively host socials specifically for USC students (and in some cases, even based on the field that you are interested in), such that you receive an enormous amount of face time with professionals.
So if you think that accounting is just about bean counting, think again. Accounting is just as much about social skills as any other Business major, and maybe even more in some cases. Given that Leventhal is such a top program, I would strongly encourage anyone even remotely interested to apply to Leventhal.